This Shabbat is called:
Meaning to remember!
In the Maftir for this special Shabbat Zachor we read,
"Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt." (Deut. 25:17)
There is a danger in not remembering Amalek,
In not confronting the reality of anti-Semitism,
But, there is a danger, in being too sensitive to the presence of antiSemitism,
this too poses danger to the very health of the Jewish people and to its future.
Professor Alfred Sabin, the inventor of the live polio vaccine,
who later became the president of the Weitzman Institute in Israel,
in an interview, provided us with a dramatic metaphor for this danger.
"Judaism came to me through my left eye. When I was a child in Poland, nonJewish children threw stones at me and I became blind in my right eye."
Well, too many Jews are conditioned to look at the world only
through one eye,
the eye of anti-Semitism.
They see Jewish history as one long account of suffering and persecution.
They are constantly on the lookout for every manifestation of Jewish hatred,
As a consequence,
such Jews have lost their perspective on Jewish life,
and no longer see the totality of the Jewish experience.
They have no idea of the richnessand fulfillment that Judaism has to offer,
for they are blind to the positive aspects of the Jewish experience.
There is an interesting MIDRASH which speaks to this issue.
It points out that there is another commandment which also begins with the word ZAKHOR,
"ZAKHOR ET YOM HASHABBAT L'KADSHO - "remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy."
The MIDRASH makes the following observation:
"One cannot compare the two commandments.
'' remember the Sabbath Day "
is a cup of sweet wine.
" Remember what Amalek did to you" is a cup of vinegar.
This MIDRASH indicates the twofold nature of Jewish life.
Jews have a bitter responsibility to remain sensitive to the forces of evil, to remember the Holocausts of history.
However, this is the vinegar of our lives.
But for a Jew to maintain that the totality of being a Jew is to be found in how we react to anti-Semitism!
We must never forget that Jews find it worthwhile to survive in hostile world
because Jews retain the memory of the Sabbath.
Through observing the Sabbath the Jew is reminded of the commandments, and of the ideals of the Torah.
By observing the Sabbath he is reminded of
the creation and the Creator,
of the holiness of life,
of the richness of Jewish family living.
On the Sabbath,
attendance at the synagogue brought the Jew into meaningful contact with fellow Jews, enabling him or her to feel a part of the Jewish community, past, present and future.
And the study of Torah,
both on the Sabbath and in the course of the week,
enable the Jew to better understand the role of the Jew, in God's world.
The Jew not only tasted the vinegar of Jewish history,
he drank the sweet wine of Judaism.
As Jews, as parents, and grandparents, we have the difficult task of presenting a balanced view of Judaism to our children,
enabling them to look at Judaism through both eyes.
We must teach them
ZAKHOR - "remember the AMALEKS of history.
ZAKHOR, remember that it can happen here.
And that it is their responsibility, not only to remember, but to do all in their power to prevent it from ever happening again to any people.
But at the same time we must teach them,
that to be a Jew is a real privilege.
To be a Jew is to be a member of an eternal people that is vital and creative.
to be a Jew is to have an heritage that is ancient and meaningful.
Tomorrow night is Purim,
We will read of the anti-Semite Haman and his attempt to destroy all the Jews of Persia,
but we also celebrate the victory we had and Haman's death.
Would like to inform you that on Sunday morning we will proceed with Shacharith at 8:00 am and reading of the meguila of Esther,
At 11:00 am at our school in Sembawang the Candy world party, all the kids will be in costumes, and Hamentashen is in the menu
Please come and bring your children, grandchildren, the all Family!
Let us see the fun in Judaism,
It is our requirement to do so!
SHABBAT ZAKHOR has an important message for us.
As Jews we must never forget the AMALEK of anti-Semitism which threatens to destroy us.
We must fight against evil. But we must also remember
the Sabbath of Jewish experience, the holiness of Jewish life,
its fulfillment and inspiration,
so that we will be nourished by the sweet wine of our heritage, which will refresh us and sustain us on the road of life.