Remembering bad times


This is Shabbat Zachor, the “Shabbat of Memory,” on which we remember Amalek, the ancestor of the wicked Haman, villain of the Purim story – which we will read on Wednesday night at our joint Purim celebration. The Torah commands that we “wipe out” the name of Amalek, a commandment that we fulfill on Purim by making lots of noise whenever Haman’s name is mentioned. But why is it so important that we retain such bad memories, the times in which the Jewish people were attacked or threatened? We remember the bad times in our past not only to rejoice that we overcame them but also to inspire us with hope and resolve in the present. The challenges facing us may be grave, but we know from our history that we have the strength and the courage to face them, to do the hard work of driving change, and even to rejoice at our successes. So while we whirl our groggers and eat our hamantaschen, let us also fill up our stores of resilience and joy for the road ahead. Hag Purim Sameah!