Michael Dobkowski, professor of religious studies, had an editorial on the tsunami titled “Ask 'How can I help?' and not 'Why did this happen?'” published in the Jan. 4 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
“How should people of faith respond to the recent horrific tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia?” Dobkowski asked, then responded from his Jewish perspective. “We are forbidden to despair and must do everything in our power to help the survivors rebuild their lives, particularly imperative since most do not share our culture, nor our religions. I believe we are commanded by God to see in the human other the trace of the divine Other. The test, so often failed in the 20th century, is to see the divine presence in the face of the stranger; to heed the cry of those who are suffering and powerless and in need.”
“… Those in need are our brothers and sisters and their suffering is something we should feel in our very bones,” he said.