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Rosensweig: The plight of the Yazidis

Defend International and its supporters provided humanitarian aid to Yazidi refugees in Kurdistan region, Iraq. (Flickr photo)

Somewhere in the backwoods of heaven there is a muddy puddle where evil breeds.

Out of that sludge came Hitler, Pol Pot and anyone who would murder a child. Out of that cesspool ISIS was fertilized and its fighters made their way down to earth. The world had no choice but to accept them, just as it did the Egyptians who enslaved us and built walls with the bodies of our Jewish children.

ISIS is a cheap club where sociopaths go to play destructive games with peoples’ lives and attempt to destroy civilization in all of its glory. Jews had to fear the Nazis. The Yazidi, the aboriginal people of Iraq, wanted nothing more than to be ignored by ISIS. But alas, that was impossible, as they are the “infidel” to ISIS, just as we were to the Nazis, and therefore anything goes.

Over the last few years, these people, whose history goes back 7,000 years and whose numbers have dropped from a high of 23 million down to one million today, are experiencing their 74th genocide.

If there is to be any good news in all of this, it’s that Toronto has taken in 230 Yazidis. Most of them live in Richmond Hill. Ninety of them are children. Their integration into Canadian society, however, is said to be the toughest of any refugee group for one simple reason: their level of trauma. And because of this, they need help – in a big way.

The Yazidis who have recently arrived receive funding from the Canadian government for one year. When the money runs out, if a case worker can determine the family is still vulnerable, they can apply for further funding.

Debbie Rose is the executive director of Project Abraham, a not-for-profit whose mission is to assist the Yazidis. “I had heard what was going on with the Yazidis and felt it was my responsibility as a Jew to help, because of the similarities to what happened to us,” she said.

Rose learned that Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped by ISIS and forced into sexual slavery. “Most were raped daily,” Rose said, “and today are so traumatized they can experience epileptic fits and lose consciousness just like that.” Rose watched the little girls play with dolls and could see that “they’ve seen things they shouldn’t have.”

She is calling for volunteers to work with the Yazidis once or twice a week, in order to spend time with them socially and take them to medical and dental appointments. Volunteers will also assist the Yazidi with their mail and some complicated government forms. Most importantly, they will help these newcomers become self-sufficient. Training and support is available for volunteers.

In essence, the volunteer will act like a surrogate family, which is a very big mitzvah!


We need to help the Yazidis. This is the beginning of their diaspora and we Jews know what that is like. They are feeling alone and miss their homes, but are thankful for the help they are receiving, as they know that it is coming from a place of authenticity and love.

It’s impossible to understand why God created those who attached themselves to the devilish ideology of ISIS. It is heartbreaking to see what the terrorist organization has done to thousands of innocent people, especially the Yazidi. But we have a chance to help. Let’s do so. We said we would. Never again!


For more information, visit www.mozuud.org.

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