It’s Shabbat Zachor …
We remember Amalek …
Haman’s ancestor ——-
This week is Shabbat Zachor (Shabbat of Remembrance), one of the special Shabbatot leading up to Passover. In addition to the regular Torah portion (Tzav) we conclude with a maftir reading, Deuteronomy 25:17-19. These verses tell us to do something difficult – remember what Amalek did to us after we left Egypt, while we erase the memory of him:
Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt. When they encountered you on the way, and you were tired and exhausted, they cut off those lagging to your rear, and they did not fear God. Therefore, when God gives you peace from all the enemies around you in the land that God your Lord is giving you to occupy as a heritage, you must obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. You must not forget.
Shabbat Zachor is also the Shabbat before Purim, when we read the Book of Esther. The villain of the Purim story, Haman, is an Amalekite – a direct descendant of Amalek. During the reading of the Megilah we make noise each time Haman’s name is read, in effect obliterating his name.
Image by David Hurwitz via Flickr
Ed Nickow | The Torah In Haiku