23 Feb Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat T’tzaveh 5778 – Weekend of February 23-24, 2018
This Shabbat we read from Parashat T’tzaveh which continues the detailed instructions given to the People of Israel on how to build the Tabernacle. But this Shabbat is also the second of four special Shabbatot that precede Passover, this one known as Shabbat Zachor. Its title comes from the fact that we read a special maftir portion this week from the book of Deuteronomy in which the Israelites are commanded both to remember (in Hebrew, zachor) what the Amalekites did to them on their way out of Egypt and to wipe the people of Amalek off the face of the Earth. This is one of the earliest instances in our tradition of a lesson that the world still has not yet mastered. When we either forget, or perhaps choose not to remember, the awful atrocities perpetrated on all peoples –obviously including our own – we open ourselves up to allowing these same crimes to happen again. It is a refrain that we hear now most often in reference to the Holocaust, but has been a recurring theme for our people throughout time. So this week, let us take a moment to rededicate ourselves to the cause of preventing further acts of hate to be perpetrated against our own people and against all the peoples of the world.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik