Friday, February 15, 2013

Zecher Amalek, Remember That Even a Paranoid Can Have Enemies, Too

I was run over by an Arab terrorist just before Shabbat Zachor, "Remember what Amalek did to you," seventeen years ago. 
"Zachor Et Asher Asa Lecha Amalek BaDerech Betzetchem MiMitzrayim"
"Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt! (Dvarim 25)"
On the Shabbat that precedes Purim, two Torah scrolls are taken from the ark; one for the regular parsha and one for the Maftir - 'Remember what Amalek did to you' (Dvarim 25). Because of this reading, it is called, Shabbat Zachor (Remember). The Haftorah also deals with Amalek.
There is a mitzvah in the Torah to remember Amalek and his descendants and to orally recall their iniquity. We are to tell our children in each generation what the people of Amalek did to us during our departure from Egypt. This mitzvah will be fulfilled completely only when we shall have caused Amalek's memory to perish, and their name to be erased from the world, together with the slightest remnant of anything that bears their name. As the Torah says: 'Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, upon your departure from Egypt'... 'You shall erase the memory of Amalek from beneath the heavens, you shall not forget.' Upon which the Sages have expounded: 'Remember,' orally - 'You shall not forget,' in your heart.

On Shabbat, few days after the terror attack, I limped to our synagogue, made the blessing, ברכת הגומל Bircat HaGomel to thank G-d for rescuing from a dangerous situation and also heard the special pre-Purim Maftir: Zachor!
"Even a paranoid can have enemies."  by Henry Kissinger

Jewish History and the background of many of our holidays has been described as:

"They wanted to destroy us.  They attacked.  We won. So let's eat!"

Until I was a victim of Arab terrorism it seemed more "something that only happens to others."  Even though it had happened at a time when there were many Arab terror attacks, most common were the suicide bus bombers, I did not go around thinking that "my time would be soon," or that there would be a "my time" at all.  I'm not really paranoid.  I'm just an ordinary relatively pragmatic person.

Unexpectedly, the attack, and my minor injury did not increase my personal fear and worry.  I actually felt calmer about my personal safety.  Being a victim of such an attack reinforced the knowledge that I have no control.  The Arab terrorists control the actual time and place and G-d controls the results, whether we live, die, suffer permanent or minor injuries.  And we must somehow try to find a way to understand what to do with this dangerous and unpleasant experience.

I'm just an ordinary person, but I wasn't attacked as an individual.  There was nothing personal about the Arab terror attack.  Some of the Jewish victims of Arab terrorism have been Leftists who, if it had been up to them, would give everything they could to Arabs in the hope that it would "end the conflict," sic. 
victims of Arab terror attacks

One of the lessons of Amalek's hatred of Jews is taken from the fact that Amalek went after the weak, the innocent civilians.  The weak aren't a threat to them, but since they are easy targets, they get targeted.  That's true terrorism.  Modern terrorists base themselves on Biblical Amalek.

That's why we must remember Amalek and "what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt!"

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