anti - Semitism / Mitzvot / Purim / Shabbat Zachor

Parashat (Torah Reading) ZACHOR


Photo: Miriam Woelke

Yesterday’s Shabbat was SHABBAT ZACHOR. The Shabbat before Purim where we read the Parashat (Torah Portion) ZACHOR in the Synagogues. Zachor (Remember) teaches us about the evil attack of Amalek, the grandson of Esav. When the Amalekites were attacking the Jews in the desert.
Until today, all anti-Semites are being referred to as Amalek. Not in a biological sense but in an ideological sense. 
We find Parashat Amalek in Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:17 – 19.
“Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way when you were leaving Egypt, that he happened upon you on the way, and he struck those of you who were hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear G – d. It shall be that when A – do – na – i E – lo – he- cha, your G – d , gives you rest from all your enemies all around, in the Land that A – do – na – i E – lo – he- cha, your G – d, gives you as an inheritance to possess it, you shall wipe out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven – you shall not forget!”
The positive commandment to remember Amalek is listed in the Torah among the 613 Mitzvot. Rabbi Simcha Raz wrote a great commentary (see above photo) on Sefer HaChinuch (the Book of Mitzvot). On the background of the Amalek Mitzvah he writes:
It was well-known among the nations what G-d had done to the Egyptians. G-d’s miracles had left a great impression on all nations. The only ones who did not believe in the Exodus miracles were the Amalekites (Ibn Ezra). They neither believed in G-d nor in the Jews being His chosen people. This is why the Amalekites attacked the Jews out of the blue. There was no particular reason for the attack but the Amalekites simply hated the Jews. This was their only reason: Pure hatred.
Until today, we are facing the same hatred from anti-Semites. Other nations and even Jews hate Jews because they are Jews. There are a lot of self-hating Jews acting in hostile ways towards Judaism and Israel. Some say that those Jews are actually part of the famous Erev Rav (Mixed Multitude) but who knows …
And what exactly is the connection between Parashat ZACHOR and Purim? Why is Parashat Zachor read on the Shabbat before Purim?
Haman was another “Amalek”, as his goal was to kill all the Jew only because they were Jews. Anti-Semites do not need a reason but act out of hatred.

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