26 Feb Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat T’tzaveh/Shabbat Zachor
This Shabbat we read from Parashat T’tzaveh as well as mark Shabbat Zachor, the special Shabbat that always precedes the fun-filled festival of Purim. The word “zachor” means remember and is taken from God’s commandment to remember what the Amalekites did to the Israelite people immediately following the exodus from Egypt. We read that instruction this Shabbat from a second Torah as a special maftir aliyah. Today, even as we continue to remember what the Amalekites did, the word zachor is used in other contexts, most significantly with regards to Holocaust commemoration. We must forever remember that and all calamities that have befallen the Jewish people. For if we don’t history has shown us time after time that these events will repeat themselves. It is up to us to always remember what Amalek did to our ancestors, what Haman tried to do to the Jews of ancient Persia, what was done to our people less than 100 years ago, and all the other times that we have faced potential annihilation. It doesn’t eliminate the threat or completely insure our security, but it makes us ready to face the next challenge when it comes along.