Friday, March 18, 2016
Shabbat Zachor- Celebrating Purim as Adults
Zachor eit asher-asah l’kha Amaleik baderekh b’tzeitkhem miMitzrayim.
And they spoke to Moshe saying: The people bring more than [we need] for the service of the work that Adonai commanded to make. (D’varim 25:17)
Our annual Torah reading is broken down into weekly parshiyot and special readings. These special reading include Rosh Chodesh, Hagim, festivals, and special days throughout the year. During spring’s approach we celebrate four special Shabbatot: Shekalim and Zachor before Purim and Parah and HaChodesh before Pesach, culminating in a fifth Shabbat, Shabbat Hagadol, immediately preceding Pesach.
Shabbat Zachor falls just before Purim. It is a reminder that in every generation there is someone who rises up against us- Amalek, Haman, Pharaoh. It’s a story that culminates at Pesach, with God redeeming us from oppression. It’s a story that spans the joke explanation of Judaism,
They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.
But it’s more than that. On Hanukah we place our hanukiyot in our windows proclaiming our Jewishness and our right to be here to the world. On Pesach, amid feasting and song, we will open our doors and call upon God to
Pour out Your wrath upon those who do not know You and upon the governments that do not call upon Your Name…. Pursue them in indignation and destroy them from under Your heavens.
And on Purim we will greet these reminders with song and dance, costumes, and celebration. We do this because Jews are the ultimate optimists. As a people we believe there will always be a tomorrow. We believe we will prevail. Thus, we meet danger with song. We treat past devastation with a carnival of celebration. Though others may hurt us, we will not break. No matter what others may try to do to us, we will be here tomorrow. Not only here, but celebrating with song and dance and a touch of the absurd.
Next Wednesday night we will gather to read Megillat Esther. I will be in costume, as will Sean. We hope you will too. Not just the children, this is not a make-believe game. It is peaceful resistance and in your face retaliation at its best.
They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s PARTY!