Bono Does Sukkot

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

voices together.

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.