Leah’s Blog Parashat Ki Teizei 2022
Ki Tiezeh – Remembering Amalek
There is something about the stage of Eretz Yisrael and the props that pop up in their season that remind you of the time and occasion about to come. The foreshadowing of the white clouds that roll in after the long hot summer, when the sky is void of mists and murks, just a steady blue sky mode. A breeze blows over the ever thirsty olive orchard. A comforting prospect, these clouds that decorate and cool, a hopeful time that marks in our memory the time of the shofar blowing, the pomegranate, apple and honey. Singed into memory that goes way back to the beginning- Rosh Hashana is almost here, a time of insight. This is the time of memory, this is the time Hashem remembers us. This is the time a tallit comes down to cover us.
In the dynamics of life that have us busy learning and living the laws written in so ancient a time as way back as Moses, we are commanded to keep six hundred and thirteen mitzvot. So many little nuances about marriage, property, law and justice. The Torah also commands us to remember. As time rolls on and years pass, hundreds of years, thousands of years, each era with its own idea of modernization, we repeat the Torah in its entirety like a little child in chieder replaying the alef bet, echoing the lyrics of each letter of the holy language. A new year comes, a year passes. The repetition might seem mundane at times yet we seek to know the Torah on a deeper level and how it applies at this divine appointment time. Every letter has a meaning for us and for now. Every niggun (sound) each letter makes is a world of a teaching. We ask, what does this mean to me? What does this mean to us? Rosh Hashana is a designated time for the world.
In our parsha, amongst all the mitzvoth (74 in all) we are also taught to recollect what Amalek did to us when we left Egypt with the shirts on our backs, with no liberty, with no possessions- attacked because of who we were. Remembering Amalek was commanded even in times we prospered in our land, harvesting plenty and living in peace here. Like a thread woven through the ins and outs of the Torah, the mantra penetrates and remains. Remembering Amalek took a pivot when we were ousted from this Land and traveled the world, dispersed – at times destitute, at times influencers. We always remembered Amalek because we are commanded to. The Torah and Hashem are something constant, like the seasons they change form but they are always with us. The scenes on the stage in a sense are reruns but the scenarios are all new. There might be times that we think we can’t do this- it is greater than us like the Holocaust, that evil prevails, unprovoked. Iran, terrorism at every corner – Israel is truly challenged as it seeks to belong on the world stage but persevering through memory is actually giving us all the tools we need. As Israel morphs in its identity on the world stage it cannot afford to show any vulnerability towards Amalek.
Sound the shofars. Remember what Amalek did to you. Continue to live life, to marry, to plant a vineyard, to start a start- up, to raise a family, to form an identity based on a timeless formula of morality from ancient times that apply right now as we speak! Instruct your offspring to know to be perceptive. Remember Amalek and be ready for what the New Year has in store in complete confidence and readiness for whatever may come. I have a keen feeling this teaching will come into play.
“זכור מה שעשה לך עמלק”
Shabbat shalom, Leah