Two words you don’t often see in the same sentence: Bono and Sukkot.
But the rocker/activist’s ONE advocacy group, which fights poverty in the Horn of Africa, released a PDF booklet yesterday that links the desperate situation in Africa with the ancient Jewish holiday.
On Sukkot we gather in flimsy booths to remember when the Children of Israel wandered through the desert. But a fragile, hungry existence is the daily reality for millions of Africans.
The pamphlet provides Jews observing the holiday, and their rabbis, with facts, figures, text and rituals to make the connection between the lessons of Sukkot and the reality of Africa. The purpose, according to the project’s creator Marc Friend, an intern at the American Jewish World Service, is to inspire Jews to act to address the situation.
The three page pamphlet states:
In Jewish tradition, the
holiday of Sukkot, the
Feast of Tabernacles,
provides a time for
one to remember the
journey from Egypt to the
Promised Land and to celebrate
the benefits of the harvest, by
living in temporary structures, a
Sukkah for a week. Yet, for millions
in the Horn of Africa, living in temporary
structures is a reality. Currently the Horn of
Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 60
years. More than 13 million people,mostly nomadic
pastoralists and farmers in parts of Somalia, Kenya
and Ethiopia are severely lacking access to food.
Instead of being able to celebrate the harvest, these millions
are left hungry and powerless. The holiday of Sukkot
provides an opportunity to celebrate our past, but recognize
that while we are free, others are still wondering the desert.
As the Horn of Africa faces such high levels of human
suffering, we can draw on our Jewish values and raise our
Bono founded ONE in 2002. (He wrote the song, “One,” in 1992. Monies from that went to benefit AIDS research.)
Download Bono’s Guide to Sukkot here.
While you’re reading it, listen to the song “One.” It still rocks.