Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Idea Is To Remember - Shabbat Zachor

This coming Shabbat, the one that falls before the holiday of Purim, is called Shabbat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering. We are commanded to remember the evil deeds of Amalek, who attacked the Israelites that were leaving Egypt and who were straggling at the back of the line.
What's strange is that, we are commanded to remember to blot out the memory of Amalek. So, in other words, we cannot forget to remember him, so we can forget his memory! That's a bit confusing. The idea is to remember Amalek and to remember what we might become if we let ourselves forget about our past experiences. But, what about us? Didn't we have any responsibility in our experiences in the desert? Perhaps, we were indifferent to those that were weaker and more vulnerable, and we left them behind. Perhaps, we were indifferent to the needs of others.  

In essence, there might be an Amalek within us in every generation....not necessarily someone who wants to destroy the Jewish people, but an Amalek that cuts the soul. Its about forgetting the humanity of others while pursuing our own needs: selfishness, conceit, narrowmindeness. We must remember the Amalek inside of each one of us so that we can move forward.

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