Israel Forever

For the week ending 19 March 2005 / 8 Adar II 5765

Remembering Amalek and Auschwitz

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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"Remember what Amalek did to you."

This is the theme of the special Torah reading we will hear this Shabbat Parshat Zachor in addition to the regular weekly portion.

A little over a month ago the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp offered the entire world an opportunity to remember what the Amalek of the last century did to the Jewish People. For the Jewish People themselves there is an opportunity every single year to remember what Amalek did to them over three millennia ago and what that vile enemys physical and ideological descendants have perpetuated throughout history.

Lest we make the error of viewing our struggles against Amalek and his successors in the narrow confines of nationalistic survival, we read on Purim itself the Torahs account of our first encounter with this perennial opponent. In this section, which is read not only on the Shabbat of Parshat Beshalach but also on the day recalling Heavenly deliverance from a descendant of Amalek named Haman, we hear the Divine pronouncement that the war against Amalek is G-ds war. This should serve as a reminder to all enemies who seek a "final solution to the Jewish Problem" because Jews are G-ds Chosen People that they will meet the same fate as Haman and the architects of Auschwitz, while Israel remains forever.

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