This second bitter herb represents the bitterness of abandonment. The Jews enslaved in Egypt were not only oppressed, they endured the added pain of feeling alone. Many who have survived genocide say that the idea that no one is coming to help can be more devastating than oppression itself. That is why hope is so powerful. People need to know, "We are not alone."
Darfur is a world away. The refugees are, in many ways, nameless, faceless “strangers,” so it might seem easy to ignore their plight. But, when we turn our backs on people who are suffering, we are culpable as bystanders, enabling the oppressors. As Jews, we have frequently been the strangers, feeling isolated and forgotten by the world. Because we know how it feels, we cannot abandon Darfur.
Have you ever stood by when someone was mistreated, humiliated, teased or ostracized? Upon reflection, would you act differently?