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Friday, March 18

The Weekly Shtikle - Parshas Zachor

Once a year, we are required to recall the dastardly acts of the nation of Amaleik in attacking us abruptly upon our exit of Egypt. We are given two instructions, zachor and lo tishkach. To remember and not to forget would certainly seem, at first glance, like superfluous commands. But certainly that cannot be the case. Our requirement to lain Parshas Zachor once a year is actually part of the lo tishkach component. The gemara (Berachos 58b) indicates that the memory of someone who has passed on lingers for only 12 months. We must make a special reading of this commandment to make sure we do not forget. What, then, is entailed in the commandment of zachor?

 

The simplest translation of the word zachor is to remember. But it seems that the word can take on a much deeper meaning. This is evident in the fourth commandment, zachor es Yom HaShabbos. Is it really possible to forget Shabbos? It happens once a week. The Torah is certainly not telling us to simply make sure we don't forget about Shabbos. Rather, as Rashi states there (Shemos 20:8), the word zachor clearly indicates a persistent state of being. As we are taught in the Mechilta, when we happen upon a nice fruit or other object during the week, we should save it for Shabbos.

 

Therefore, zachor is a commandment to be constantly mindful. It is not enough to remind ourselves of Amaleik's treachery once a year through this special reading. Unfortunately, until the final redemption, we will not find ourselves girding for physical confrontation with Amaleik. However, we must constantly be mindful of the exceptional evil that Amaleik represents. We must study their ways and understand how they stand in direct opposition to our belief system and way of life. This is necessary to allow us to be cognizant of the manifestation of Amaleik in current times. Whenever the Torah tells us zachor, it is demanding of us far more than to simply remember.

 

As explained in the Rashi I love to quote this time of year (bottom of Taanis 29a) we have ushered in a "Season of Miracles" which culminates with Pesach next month. Then too we have a commandment which relates to one of zechirah. Perhaps the above understanding can lend some insight into what we will engage in in one month's time.


Have a good Shabbos.
Mishenichnas Adar Marbim beSimchah!

Eliezer Bulka
WeeklyShtikle@weeklyshtikle.com

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Zachar Amaleik? What was he smoking?

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