This post from Rabbi Charles M. Feinberg from the Adas Israel Congregation is part of a larger blog series on faith and the fight against malaria ahead of World Malaria Day. Get involved in Faith at ONE’s “Shine a Light on Malaria” campaign on their website.
Since 1898, we have known that the mosquito is the carrier of the parasite which infects human blood cells causing serious disease, even death if untreated. We know that malaria can be prevented by draining bodies of standing water where the mosquitoes breed and by distributing mosquito nets to affected regions. Some estimate malaria could be controlled and eventually banished from the world for about $3 billion a year. Given what the world spends on armaments and weapons, this is not a lot of money.
As a rabbi I speak for a tradition that believes that God and human beings are partners in creating the world. It is our holy task to prevent disease, and if it occurs to cure it. Since we are created in God’s image, and since God is a healer (Exodus 15:26), we too must continue God’s work by healing what we can heal. All we have to do is listen to God’s voice and do what is right in His eyes, and then we can overcome enemies that have afflicted humankind. Malaria can be controlled and overcome. May God give us the wisdom and the will to act.
Please join ONE this World Malaria Day to mobilize your faith community to “Shine a Light on Malaria” and take action to save lives. Together, we can show that people of all faiths care about our neighbors suffering from malaria, and provide the lifesaving resources required to eliminate malaria deaths. Download the World Malaria Day Action Guide at www.one.org/faith to get started today!
Charles M. Feinberg is a rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC, and the co-chairperson of the board of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America.
Photo credit: Anne Heslop