• Jodi Samuels

Inspired to do more

We have just returned from Zambia where we went to the projects that we donated to through an organization Innovation Africa. This was Caila bat mitzvah project.

We had heard a lot about the project, seen photos and updates but nothing could prepare us for the poverty we have seen in the last few days. Gavin worked in South Africa in rural areas and shanty towns in South Africa during Apartheid when the government had an active policy of discriminating against Black people. He also worked in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. I kept asking him if this what a clinic looked like or a school. 30 years ago even a remote clinic would have had electricity, mattresses and basic vitamins to treat new born babies.

It made me reflect on the past 18 months where I have complained repeatedly about Covid. I am not the only one! We have lamented cancelled trips, long family separations, illness and financial hardships. Then you realize how first world your issues are…

I read an interesting idea from Rabbi Sacks about this week’s Torah Portion. In Ha’azinu, Moses does the unexpected but necessary thing. He teaches the Israelites a song. He moves from prose to poetry, from speech to music, from law to literature, from plain speech to vivid metaphor.

We all know about poverty in Africa but until you see a woman with her baby on her back scrambling down a hole to scoop dirty water from a ditch you just don’t really understand it.

Moshe teaches us a really important lesson about life. About having EQ and emotions matter. They guide our choices. They move us to action. Intellect alone cannot do this.

The power of this trip it took our intellectual knowledge of poverty in Africa and built it into a living breathing understanding. We can too now pass on the essential need to give to such causes. We are inspired to do more!

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