The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America, representing hundreds of Orthodox rabbis and congregations, today wrote to President Bush to "commend" his "strong and principled stand concerning the atrocities being perpetrated on innocent people of Darfur."
The letter was signed by Stephen J. Savitsky, President, and Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, of the Orthodox Union; and by Rabbi Dale Polakoff, President, and Rabbi Basil Herring, Executive Vice President, of the Rabbinical Council of America.
(NOTE: The President of the OU and RCA is the volunteer leader of the organization; the Executive Vice President is the chief professional.)
The text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Mr. President,
The Rabbinical Council of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, representing many hundreds of Orthodox Rabbis and congregations, commend you for your strong and principled stand concerning the atrocities being perpetrated on innocent people of Darfur.
Our tradition teaches the transcendent value of even a single human life, a value rooted in the fact that each person is created in the image of God. The Passover season reminds us that we, too, were victims of tyrants, in the same region of the world. Moreover, our own history teaches us the bitter lesson of what happens when the world is silent in the face of genocide.
Our rabbis have joined with other clergy to publicly call attention to these horrors; we have urged all possible efforts to stem the violence; and we continue to mobilize our communities to stand up -- and not stand by -- while innocent blood is shed. It is indeed heartening to hear the powerful voice of the United States government and its Chief Executive placing their weight behind this important collaborative effort.
We will continue to work in every way we can to prevent genocide in the Sudan.
May the Almighty bless the work of our collective hands, help avert this disaster, and bring to justice those who perpetrate and countenance such evil.