Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Tzav - 5774

My friends,

This is a very special Shabbat in the Jewish calendar. In addition to Parashat Tzav, the second portion in the Book of Leviticus, we will be reading a very short passage from the Book of Deuteronomy, known as Zachor - REMEMBER.

In this brief passage, we are commanded to remember what Amalek did to our people. Following the Crossing of the Red Sea, when the Israelites began their journey towards the Promised Land, the nation of Amalek came and attacked the Israelites. They took advantage of the fact that the Israelites were vulnerable, since they were not yet organized to fight a war. Amalek also attacked the stragglers and the weak. Zachor - REMEMBER - is a mitzvah we fulfill just by reading this passage. Therefore, if you can, go to Shul this Shabbat so that you can hear the short reading of Zachor, and thus fulfill a Mitzvah from the Torah.

I believe that remembering is an important part of who we are. If we don't remember, who will? Our generation that has witnessed the worse and most horrific attack on our people, must never forget. Besides all the Holocaust deniers we have today, there are also those who have forgotten how modern Israel came into being. What Israel was like before the arrival of the early Halutzim and the way the Jews have redeemed the land and made it into what it is today. Revisionist historians would like us to believe that the land was stolen from others, and that we exiled millions of people. Those who accuse Israel of discrimination should look at the Palestinians, or Arab lands where there are no more Jews to discriminate against because they were all exiled.

Zachor - REMEMBER - to stand up for your people, If we don't - who will?

While we remember the evil that was done, we also know that Purim is here. A time to rejoice and be happy.

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and a joyous and freilich (happy) Purim!

Avram