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D'var Torah:
Weekly Torah Portion Commentary

Shabbat Zachor - 3/21/24

One of the panels in the stained-glass windows on the south side of the Beth Hillel sanctuary contains the word “Zachor,” “Remember.”  The bottom of this window depicts ashes and a memorial flame to represent the Holocaust.   This is Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim, when we are called upon to “Remember Amalek,” the arch enemy of the Jewish people.   Amalek was an enemy who attacked the weak and the elderly among those departing Egypt.  The legend grew that any adversary of the Jewish people in the generations following Amalek were his descendants, including Haman, of infamous Purim fame.  While Purim is among the most festive and fun highlights of the Jewish year, before we lose ourselves in its revelry, we are to pause for this moment of Zachor.  Jewish life is often a balancing act between Zachor, a painful history, and “Simcha,” happiness.  What is a healthy balance between these two poles?  I will speak about this topic in my sermon this Shabbat.

-Rabbi Dena A. Feingold


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