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Zachor in a Nutshell

Zachor in a Nutshell

Deuteronomy 25:17–19


This being the Shabbat before Purim, on which we celebrate the foiling of Haman the Amalekite’s plot to destroy the Jewish people, the weekly Parshah is supplemented with the “Zachor” reading (Deuteronomy 25:17–19) in which we are commanded to remember the evil of Amalek and to eradicate it from the face of the earth.

Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he encountered you on the way and cut off those lagging to your rear, when you were tired and exhausted; he did not fear G‑d. And it shall come to pass, when the L‑rd your G‑d has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the L‑rd your G‑d is giving you for an inheritance to possess it, that you shall obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget.

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Anonymous ca February 24, 2013

Forgetting and obliterating You do not inflict yourself daily with the memory of what someone has done to you. You erase it from your mind so it does not interfere with your daily life. However, you do not forget it, in that part of you needs to protect yourself from the evil if it resurfaces from another source. That is part of using life's experience. Reply

Sol Pavlosky February 24, 2013

We don't forget we use our knowledge Moses is referring to remembrance of God and His relationship to the people of Israel. The reference to the obliteration of Amalek is a reference to forgetting the events after taking action and moving on. That is why we celebrate Purim and deliberately bring in the name of Amalek. When the Israelites with G-d"s aid where so successful after leaving Egypt, their ego swelled and they felt powerful and other peoples feared them, but Amalek gave them a reason to take pause about their abilities, and for that reason Amalek is remembered but not his action. The significance of memory does not help in making it any less fragile. It is fair to say that forgetting is the natural state of our minds – it is remembering that takes effort. Reply

David Gr Griffin, GA February 23, 2013

"obliterate the memory" vs "Do not forget." I thought obliterating the memory of someone or something, meant forgetting them. Yet Moses says "Do not forget." Can anyone explain this apparent contradiction? Reply

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