Parashat Tetzaveh – Shabbat Zachor – February 23 & 24
Candle Lighting: 5:24 pm
Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat: 5:30 pm
Sefer Torah Sponsor:
Alice and Lewis Retik
From the desk of The Rabbi – Parashat Tetzaveh-Zachor: “Remember what Amalek did to you on your exodus from Egypt” (Devarim 25:17)As we prepare for Purim, the Torah seems to send us a reminder to remember what brought us to the miracle of the holiday in the first place. Haman, the Amalekite, is representative of a nation, the mission of which is to destroy us, regardless of location and historic period. The invasion of Amalekites at the end of parshat Beshalach and the command to obliterate and erase their memory as enunciated at the end of parshat Ki Tetze are poignant symbols of the fact that we do not live in a safe world, be it in Israel or other places.
But there is a second meaning to the commandment to remember Amalek, which, in terms of its juxtaposition to the laws concerning proper business-ethical behaviour, tells us to take a second look at the text at hand. Prior to the last paragraph dealing with the mitzvah of Zachor, theTorah reminds us that we should possess proper weights and scales in the marketplace. The Kli Yakar, writing about the adjacency of this law to Zachor, indicates that unethical practices not only lead to a breakdown in the moral fabric of society, they render the community vulnerable and open to even physical attack, such as in the case of Amalek. A strong community postulates a way of life that is harmonious and respectful, and provides for the protection of its citizenry from outside infiltration.
The Kli Yakar addresses the communal nature of society and of its need to promulgate ethical behaviour. The Rav, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, on the other hand, looks at the account of Zachor, and demonstrates the need for the individual to recognize the elements of Amalek that invade our very spiritual essence, and the requirement to eradicate it.
Amalek is the symbol of sin. The Rav, in a unique homiletic approach to the mitzvah of Zachor, identifies Amalek as not simply a nation of evil doers, but as the residue of the Tohu Vavohu, the chaotic formless matter with which Hashem creates the universe. This residue is reflective of evil which invades each of us, and it is our responsibility to eliminate it through the performance of mitzvoth.
The remnants of Tohu Vavohu are allowed to remain extant in the world; in order to allow man to use free will in following the word of G-d. The Ravâ€™s identification of Amalek with these fragments of formless matter is reminiscent of Lurian Kabbalah, that also refers to the shards of shells (kelipot) that remain after the creation of the universe, requiring humanity to engage in Tikkun Olam to repair these shells with mitzvoth observance.
Obviously, this interpretation of the Rav goes far beyond the ordinary understanding of the mitzvah of Zachor. However, it gives us pause for thought as, on the basis of his remarks; we should not look at Purim as simply a joyous holiday of celebration of victory over Haman and his cohorts. Purim, like Yom Ha-Kippurim, the Day of Atonement, calls on us to introspect and examine our deeds and our thoughts.
Rivka, Judith, Tani and I wish you and your families a Chag Purim Sameach.
Lessons in Faith –NEW TIME!4:00 pm Shabbat Afternoon
Murder Mystery Purim Seuda
Women’s Megillah Reading
Rabbi Yehuda Simes zt”l Sefer Torah
We have been so pleased with the response to Rabbi Yehuda Simes ztâ€l Torah Project and with the responses so far. We wanted to share with you the launch of a dedicated website for friends in the United States to help us reach our goal. https://www.jewcer.org/project/rabbisimestorahproject/We hope you will support this worthy initiative and help us spread the word to all those who knew Rabbi Simes.Please share this link with your family, friends and people who knew Rabbi Simes and who live in the US.
The Rabbi Simes Torah Project is a celebration of the man who positively affected so many lives. His lasting influence on the Ottawa Jewish community and his Congregation is immeasurable. Rabbi Simes loved his family. He loved Judaism. He loved his community and he loved learning.
A Torah scroll dedicated in his memory will honour his love of teaching, learning and commitment to a life of Torah. This Sefer Torah will be housed at Beit Tikvah, the shul Rabbi Simes attended. In recognition of the fact that Rabbi Simes reached the entire community, the Sefer Torah will be made available and brought to other locations for Simchas and sadly, during times of sorrow.
Help us reach our goal. Donations can be made by Interac eTransfer, cheque, credit card, and PayPal or by calling the Shul office at 613-723-1800.
Donations: * General Donations: $18
* Siddurim: Koren/Artscroll $50
* Koren Talmud Bavli: $100
* Wall of Honour/brick: $118
JFS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: JFS is in need of Friendly Visitors for a few clients. All are isolated seniors in need of a little companionship, whether visits at home, over the phone, or going on outings. Some will be replacements for volunteers gone south for the winter. Students welcome. Commitment is for only 1 hour at a time, every week or twice a month. East and West end locations. 613.722.2225, ext.315 to help. ESL teacher needed beginning January 2018. Beginners’ conversational English for Russian-speaking seniors, on Mondays 1:00-2:30pm, at JFS on Carling Ave. Lesson prep, room set-up/clean up, and attendance taking. Occasional replacement for 10:30am-12 class, as well. Conversational Russian an asset, but not required. Call 613.722.2225, ext. 315 to volunteer. Russian-speaking volunteer needed to help plan and organize monthly day trips, cultural activities, picnics, and potlucks for Russian-speaking seniors. To help, please call Gohar at 613.722.2225, ext.425. Drivers urgently needed to transport clients to/from Adult Day Programs, medical appointments, and social programs. All areas of the city needed. 613.722.2225, ext.315.OTTAWA KOSHER FOOD BANK: Looking for empty resealable egg cartons to be used for the OKFB food distributions. Please contact Michelle for further information at 613-728-3501 x 235 or drop them off at the OKFB office.