Friday, March 10, 2006

Two Remembrances: "Zachor eis Yom HaShabbos" and "Zachor eis asher asah licha Amalek"

Prior to Shabbos, I feel that I must say the following:

First of all, as I mentioned previously, this Shabbos is Shabbos Parshas Zachor. We, as Jews, have a Torah obligation to "remember that which Amalek did to you [i.e. us]".

We have three obligations to remember during the maftir (Reading of Parshas Zachor):

1 - Remember what Amalek did to us.

2 - Remember to wipe them out.

3 - In order for a person to fulfill his/her obligation proper he/she should have kavana to fulfill the obligation to hear "Parshas Zachor" specifically from a Sefer Torah and specifically with a minyan (quorum - at least 10 men, aged 13 and over).

Note: The "Terumas HaDeshen" understands the Rosh as ruling that one must hear "Parshas Zachor" with a minyan to fulfill their Biblical obligation. According to other opinions, this is a Rabbinic enactment.

The following is the passage we read from, the special Maftir from the end of Parshas Ki Tzeitzei (Devarim - 25; 17 - 19):

(פסוק יז) זכור, את אשר עשה לך עמלק, בדרך, בצאתכם ממצרים.
(פסוק יח) אשר קרך בדרך, ויזנב בך כל הנחשלים אחריך:ואתה, עיף ויגע; ולא ירא, אל-הים.
(פסוק יט) והיה בהניח י-ה-ו-ה אל-היך לך מכל איביך מסביב, בארץ אשר י-ה-ו-ה אל-היך נתן לך נחלה לרשתה:תמחה את זכר עמלק, מתחת השמים; לא, תשכח. [פ דברים, כ"ה, י"ז - י"ט]

"Remember that which Amalek did to you, on the way, when you were leaving Egypt. That which he happened upon you on the way, and they attacked in your midst all those who were straggling behind you, and you were tired and weary, and you did not fear G-D. And it shall be when HaShem your G-D gives you rest from all of your enemies from [your] surroundings, in the Land which HaShem your G-D is giving to you as a portion as an inheritance, you shall wipe out the memory of Amalek from below the Heaven; Do not forget."

This obligation is everpresent every generation. In this generation Bnei Yisrael has the Biblical obligation to wipe out Amalek. Amalek has certain characteristics, which would be a whole blog of its' own.

Today we have enemies, one of which (among many) is a group of people that call themselves "Hamas" - pronounced in Hebrew as "חמס". The Hebrew word "חמס" has a couple meaning; It means "robbery" and it means "violence". The generation of the mabbul (flood in Noah's generation) was guilty of many great sins including sexual perversion, idolatry, among others. We learn that the people during that generation would each steal from the other a very small amount. When all the thefts would add up, they would impoverish their "neighbors". The Torah teaches us that it was this crime of theft which lead the a flood coming to wipe out all life on earth, with the exception of Noah's family, the animals on the Teiva (Ark), and the creatures in the waters (as well as Og - he was the King of Bashan "who survived from the rest of the Refaim (giants)" (Book of Bamidbar).

So, why was the generation of the flood wiped out? Because of the robbery, the "חמס" that they were involved with, as it says in Parshas Noach (6; 11-13):

(פסוק יא) ותשחת הארץ, לפני הא-להים; ותמלא הארץ, חמס.
(פסוק יב) וירא א-להים את הארץ, והנה נשחתה: כי השחית כל בשר את דרכו, על הארץ. [ס]
(פסוק יג) ויאמר א-להים לנח, קץ כל בשר בא לפני:כי מלאה הארץ חמס, מפניהם; והנני משחיתם, את הארץ.

"And the Land was corrupted before The G-D; and the Land was filled with robbery. And G-D Saw the Land, and behold, it was corrupted, for all flesh had corrupted its' way upon the Land. And G-D said to Noah, the end of all flesh has come before Me, for the Land is filled with robbery, from before them, and behold I am destroying the Land."

We know that the terrorist organization, "Chamas" - "KiShemo, kein hu" - "As his name is, so is he" - "Chamas" is one of the biggest proponents of violence and robbery in the world. The Pelishtim (I believe it is the Chasam Sofer (commentator on Torah) who said that people with the characteristics of going around in marauding groups, terrorizing people, though they may not be physical descendants, are still considered to be the "Pelishtim" - therefore, all the prophecies referring to what will happen to the "Pelishtim" refer to those people. The "Palestinians" share the name, live in the same land, and are extremely violent and involved with robbery, just like the "good" Yishmaelim that they are.) Anyway, it was the current "Palestinians" who chose "Chamas" - they had already chosen the path of violence and robbery, now they chose the "party", "Chamas" which is the very representative of that way of evil. That is not the right move if they would want to find favor in G-D's "Eyes", but of course they do not care about that.

This Shabbos, in Yerushalayim comes in (counting from candle-lighting) just after 5:00 p.m. (5:03 p.m. to be precise). Just to note, we should, in addition to remembering that which Amalek did (and has done throughout history), we should also "remember the Sabbath to keep it holy" - "Zachor es Yom HaShabbos L'Kadisho" by trying our utmost to fulfill the laws of the Shabbos as prescribed in our Holy Torah (Written and Oral).

As a result of striving to follow the word of HaShem by keeping the Shabbos (which is equivalent to keeping the entire Torah - Yes, we are still just as obligated to keep all the mitzvos) we should merit to see great destruction wrought against our enemies with the coming in of this Shabbos Parshas Zachor. That means, we should see the destruction of evil as soon as 5:00 p.m. our time. Signing off and wishing you a good and happy Shabbos. Remember what to Remember! - Jerusalem Standard Time @ 4:27 p.m.


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