Honorable Mensch-ion

Never Forget

Before we begin celebrating Purim this coming week, we pause to remember. This Shabbat is called Zachor. We will take out a second Torah scroll and read how the tribe of Amalek attacked the Israelite people from behind. Rashi attempts to reconcile the mitzvah of blotting out the name of Amalek with the mitzvah of remembering who they were. This week in Kohn Chapel, we will celebrate a bar mitzvah, the great-grandson of Holocaust survivors. He will read his Torah portion from that second scroll, but not just any scroll.

The Torah for Shabbat Zachor is a Holocaust Torah. This Torah was not supposed to be here. It was supposed to be destroyed, never to be read again. Yet, tomorrow morning, a young man, a great-grandson of Holocaust survivors on the Shabbat of remembrance, will read the words of his ancestors proudly.

Lo TIshkach. Do not forget. We will not forget not only in words but in deed. We will not forget not only by reading from the scroll, but we will remember by doing, we will remember by living, and we will remember by taking that message out into the world.

This past week, I received a call from a fellow clergy person in our neighborhood, asking if we could come together in prayer for the situation in Ukraine. Within moments of reaching out to other clergy, we received an overwhelming response. Minute by minute, faith communities are signing up to join together for our interfaith prayer service. We will act upon the words of the Torah. We will gather for Purim Wednesday evening with joy and blot out the name of Haman as we dress in costume. But before we eat our hamentashen and wave our graggers, join us Tuesday in prayer. Witness that within our neighborhood, it is our faith that binds us together. Lo tishkach. Never forget.

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