Parashat Tetzaveh

Parasha Thoughts

By Rabbi Yosef Shemtov

This Shabbat – the Shabat before Purim – we will take two sifrei Torah out, one for the weekly Torah portion of Tesaveh and the other for reading the Zakor. It is a positive mitsva to listen to this reading from a kosher sefer Torah. Some believe that even ladies are obligated to go to synagogue to hear this parasha.

The Zakor reading is about always remembering that the nation of Amalek was the worst enemy of the nation of Israel. Amalek came to fight Benei Israel for no reason right after Benei Israel left Egypt and Hashem saved us. Therefore, the Torah commands us to eradicate their name from the world. Amalek rejected G-d and believed that everything happens by chance. A question arises about the Zakor reading. By reading about Amalek every year and talking about them, we are keeping their name alive. Isn’t it better to just not talk about them at all? Then for sure they would be forgotten and their name would be uprooted.

The answer is that Hashem wants us to destroy their ideology that everything happens by chance. In every generation there are people who think like Amalek. Therefore, Hashem wants us to strengthen our belief in the Almighty and take away any doubt of Hashem’s supervision of the world. We have to remind ourselves that anything that happens in the world is the will of Hashem. Even a small virus which can kill many people is not chance, but is a messenger from G-d.

On behalf of the Kollel Rabbis I like to wish you a happy and meaningful Purim.