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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Shabbat Zachor - The Way of Entering Into Purim

Purim is the next holiday on the Jewish calendar, this year it is taking place on the evening of March 17th. On the Shabbat morning before Purim, we read in the Maftir section about the Israelites’ arch-enemy, Amalek, and the abhorrent way in which they attacked the Israelites in the desert. As a result, this day is known as Shabbat Zachor, “the Sabbath of Remembrance”. It is a special mitzvah [commandment] of the Torah to hear the reading and thus to remember.

In this session, we will challenge some of our preconceived notions about Purim by suggesting that in our attempt to make it more appealing with a carnival-like façade we miss its deeper meaning, the one which is implicit in the Maftir section read on Shabbat Zachor.