For many American Jews, the Yom Kippur fast is a vehicle of both repentance and connection. We focus inward on our personal failings, and outward toward a world where hunger is a constant, not a 25-hour interruption in lives of bounty.
A fast is not a famine, but a fast can at least prompt us to remember that famine is ravaging the horn of Africa, where the United Nations predicts that up to 750,000 people could die in the coming months. Caused by drought, this famine is made immeasurably worse by the inconscionable actions of Somali fundamentalist Muslim militias. Much more targeted foreign aid is desperately needed.
We know our own hunger will be sated when the fast ends. Let’s not forget those who are dying awaiting such assurances.