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Terrible Tanach Class

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 7 Tevet 5784

4:00 PM - 5:00 PMVia Zoom

Terrible Tanach - Blot Out Amalek!

This class will consider a special Maftir, Deuteronomy  25:17 -20 and the accompanying Haftarah from 1 Samuel 15.2-32, which are collectively known as Zakhor (Remember!) from the first word of the Maftir and are read on the Shabbat before Purim. The Maftir enjoins the Israelites to "blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." (Deut. 25:19). Amalek was chosen for special opprobrium because the Amalekites had attacked the weak and defenseless in the rear during the Exodus .The Haftarah shows how King Saul was stripped on the kingship for disobeying the mandate to blot out Amalek by sparing the life of the Amalekite King Agag.  The association with Purim is that Saul's act of seeming mercy lead to the birth of Haman, the proverbial enemy of the Jews. Throughout history, certain Jews have characterized especially vicious enemies of the Jews to be Amalek, including  the Cossacks, Hitler, Al Queda, ISIS, and Hamas.

We shall consider this material in the context of October 7.Like Amalek, Hamas attacked the weak and defenseless.  But none of us today would seriously argue for the blotting out of the entire population of Gaza. Can we-should we- reconcile the message of Zakhor with today's world? I did see at least one or two buttons at the November 14 rally with the word "Zakhor!" inscribed in Hebrew on them!

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Fri, June 14 2024 8 Sivan 5784