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Shabbat Zahor -- Reconstructing Amalek Via Hasidism

"Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey after you left Mitzrayim. How he surprised you on the march, and cut down all the weak ones who were behind. When you were famished and weary and were not God fearing. Therefore, when Adonai your God grants you safety from all your enemies around you; in the land that your God is giving you as a hereditary portion. You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under the Heaven. Do not forget!” Deuteronomy 25:17-19
Here is a Hasidic take on the Amalek section from the Itturei Torah, a Hasidic collection:
"Had the children of Israel not forgotten abut the slower ones in back but instead, brought them closer under the protecting wings of God’s Presence, binding the slower to all of Israel, the Amalekites would not have succeeded in their attack. But because you allowed the slower ones to be aharekha (meaning both “behind you” and “other”), that you separated them off from you and made them “other”, and you forgot about your brothers and sisters, Amalek could viciously attack the. Therefore, the Torah tells us to remember Amalek, so that we never forget to bring our brothers and sisters who need special attention into our midst."
I find this Hasidic interpretation to be very helpful in terms of not cutting out problematic ideas or texts and risking the possibility we disassociate ourselves from the shadow side of our own behavior in order to be politically sensitive. Even when we disagree with tradition, we clarify our values. We can easily treat others within our own community as well as outside of it as "Amalek." Reading the Amalek section can help to raise our consciousness about our own shaddow. It may also bring to awareness the masks we wear internally all year so that we may better bring them out into the physical world as we choose our costumes for the Purim celebration.
Topics: Divrei Torah
Type: Dvar Torah

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