Remembering Our Sacred Spaces

Remembering Our Sacred Spaces

Feb 19, 2021 By Julia Andelman | Commentary | Terumah | Shabbat Zakhor

On Shabbat Zakhor—the Shabbat of remembering—we recall the Amalekites’ vicious attack on the Israelites in the desert, in which they targeted not the fighters but the weaker members of the community (Deut. 25:17–19). This year, however, I suspect many of us will be focused instinctively on remembering something else: the anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic turning our lives upside down.

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Purim Resources

Purim Resources

Feb 27, 2019 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Collected Resources | Purim | Shabbat Zakhor

A curated listing of Purim and Shabbat Zakhor resources on JTS Torah Online

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The Performance of Memory

The Performance of Memory

Mar 10, 2017 By Avinoam Patt | Commentary | Purim | Shabbat Zakhor

On the Shabbat before Purim the maftir Torah reading includes the following verses:

Remember what Amalek did to you by the way, when you came forth out of Egypt … you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget it. (Deut. 25:17-19)

Because of this reading it is called Shabbat Zakhor (Remember). The verses recited in Deuteronomy are in effect already a remembering of what Amalek did shortly after the flight from Egypt.

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Amalek

Amalek

Feb 27, 2015 By Jan Uhrbach | Commentary | Purim | Shabbat Zakhor

The Shabbat prior to Purim, known as Shabbat Zakhor, takes its name from the first word of the special maftir (additional Torah reading) for the day, which retells the story of the first post-enslavement attack against the newly freed Israelites:

Remember (zakhor) what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt . . . You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget! (Deuteronomy 25:17-19)

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Four Special Sabbaths

Four Special Sabbaths

Feb 19, 1994 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Tetzavveh | Pesah | Shabbat Zakhor

Judaism does not allow Passover to catch us by surprise. Long before its arrival, while the ground is still covered with snow, the Jewish calendar alerts us to its coming. A series of four special sabbaths prior to the month of Nisan (Passover begins on the full moon of the 15th of Nisan) picks up the liturgical pace of the synagogue service. After a long and largely monotonous winter, the pace quickens as we are brought to anticipate the renewal of nature and the redemption of Israel. In the words of our tradition, “With the coming of Adar (the month before Nisan), we indulge in more merrymaking.” The last month of the year (Nisan is the first) goes out in a flurry of festivity which transcends the celebration of Purim.

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How We Wear Our Judaism

How We Wear Our Judaism

Apr 6, 2004 By Lewis Warshauer | Commentary | Tetzavveh | Purim | Shabbat Zakhor

The more we know about animals, the more they seem to have what we consider to be human capabilities. Beavers build dams and porpoises communicate in sophisticated ways, while apes use tools and may even reason on some level. But, human beings are the only species to make their own clothes. The wasp’s nest has no garment district.

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What We Are Asked to Remember

What We Are Asked to Remember

Mar 11, 2006 By JTS Alumni | Commentary | Tetzavveh | Shabbat Zakhor

By Rabbi Yehoshua Aizenberg

Two Sabbaths ago, we celebrated Shabbat Shekalim, the first of four special Sabbaths preceding Pesah. This coming Shabbat, Shabbat Zachor, always comes right before the Purim celebration.

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“Do Not Forget.”

“Do Not Forget.”

Apr 3, 2007 By Marc Wolf | Commentary | Tetzavveh | Purim | Shabbat Zakhor

“It is evident that we live in an age of violence and terror. There is not a continent on the globe that is not despoiled by terror and violence, by barbarism and by a growing callousness to human suffering.”

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Remembering to Forget

Remembering to Forget

Mar 3, 2012 By Andrew Shugerman | Commentary | Text Study | Shabbat Zakhor

How does one recall something that we are ultimately supposed to forget? That is one of the great paradoxes found in the Torah reading for Shabbat Zakhor and later reflected in a rabbinic tradition that stems from the midrash above.

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A Threefold Method of Biblical Interpretation

A Threefold Method of Biblical Interpretation

Mar 3, 2012 By Walter Herzberg | Commentary | Tetzavveh | Shabbat Zakhor

Why are these two seemingly unrelated matters—the law against harboring dishonest weights, on the one hand, and the exhortation to “remember” Amalek’s treachery, on the other—juxtaposed?

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