Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Parshas Zachor - Purim - Parshas Parah: The Relationship!

Last Shabbos, the Shabbos prior to Purim, we read “Parshas Zachor”. This is the time when the Jewish People have a Torah (according to others, Rabbinic) obligation to hear the reading of the Torah, describing Amalek’s attack on the Jewish People in the Midbar and our obligation to remember what they did to us as well as our obligation to wipe them and their memory out.

Next we have Purim. On Purim we remember how the famous Amalekite, Haman – yimach shemo v’zichro v’nimach zichuro milhazkiro, planned to wipe out the entire Jewish People, with the permission of King Achashverosh, the head of the Persian Empire (127 countries under his rule); Now, like then, apparent danger to the Jewish People is emanating from Persia, now more commonly known as “Iran”. Iran always talks about how they want to wipe out Israel; Of course, they hate the Jewish People. They have long-range missiles “capable” of hitting Israel and likely already have produced a nuclear device in their top-secret nuclear facilities. When they say they want “nuclear power” they mean power to attack HaShem’s People. No wonder that the name “Iran” comes from “Aryan”. In the end, the threat emanating from Iran was gone. Then, it wasn’t military action that was necessary, rather, sincere teshuva (repentance) by the Jewish People. Only then did the process get rolling to change things around from the Jews being the international targets of destruction to the reality of their enemies being the target of that destruction.

The beginning of this upcoming parsha, Parshas Ki Sisa, begins with the reading from the Torah that discusses the half-shekel that each Jew gave toward the building of the Mishkan. It was this money that saved the Jewish People. Haman “bought” the destruction of the Jewish People with 10,000 kikar of silver. Since, of course, HaShem knew of Haman’s ill design against the Jewish People, that was one of the reasons, we learn in maseches Megillah (13b – 14a) that HaShem wanted us to contribute the money, in advance, in order to counteract the power of Haman’s money. As we learn in Shemos (30; 11-16), RaSH”I comments that HaShem counted the Jewish People now, in this parsha, after the incident with the eigel (golden calf). HaShem is Showing the Jewish People that, though there was a plague against the Jewish People for worshipping the eigel, He still loves us. This can be compared to the owner of sheep who asks his shepard to count his sheep after they suffered from a plague. We learn that (Shemos: 30; 16), the half-shekel is an “…atonement for your souls.”…


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