We begin next week with the celebration of Purim. Wee-ha!
But before we do that, ‘ere the week begins, this Shabbos there will be a special Torah reading that correlates to Purim. It is a very short few lines known as “Parshas Zachor” where we are exhorted to remember what the Amalek nation did to the Jews way back when we were on our way out of Egypt. We’re told to completely “wipe out the remembrance of Amalak from under the Heavens.”
The Jews are charged with the mission of bringing G-d awareness into the world. Amalek tries to wipe out that awareness. Amalek is the “bad guy” in the play of the world.
G-d did a miracle for the Jews at Exodus and split the sea. The whole world saw the miracle and finally folks began saying, “wow, G-d exists.” Amalek then came, knowing they would lose the war and get many of them killed, but with great sacrifice to their lives, they came and fought the Jews to show the world “ah, that was one little miracle – most of the time, life goes according to physical reality and we, Amalek, can fight G-d’s representatives.”
The verse says, that Amalek “karcha baderech” ‘happened upon us on the way”. What does that mean – happened upon us? That is Amalek’s way of trying to get folks to not believe in G-d – they try to send messages to mankind that everything is happenstance, just a coincidence, mother nature, laws of physicality. Amalek are the ones who try to explain G-d out of the picture of the world. Playing up Darwin and evolution. Genetic behaviorism. Saying, the world and our natures are just mere happenstance. That is Amalek. The world just “happened”.
And our job as Jews is to fight the good fight – to wipe out such ideas so that the whole world will finally come to realize that “ayn od Milvado” there is nothing other than G-d. Choose your weapons, my friends. It can be science (intelligent design premises?), history (Twain’s essay on the Jews?), or any weapon that suits the warrior that is you. But, this Shabbos, you are told, through the reading of Parshas Zachor, that you are not absolved from fighting the good fight. Onwards with the fight.