Friday, February 22, 2013

The Sabbath of Remembering


This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering.

The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional) portion after the conclusion of the regular weekly Torah reading, commands the Jewish people to remember that the nation of Amalek attacked our weak, tired and elderly shortly after the Jews crossed the Red Sea (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Therefore, there is a mitzvah to destroy Amalek. Parashat Zachor is always read on the Shabbat before Purim.

The Amalekites traveled many miles in order to attack the Jewish people from behind, attacking the weak and the stragglers. Miraculously, the Jewish people defeated the Amalekites in a one day war. This attack underscored the evil character of the Amalekites. God had just performed great miracles for the Israelites and no nation dared attack them, except Amalek, who hit them from the rear.

The nation of Amalek is known for its all-consuming love of self, and reliance on violence to prove its superiority. The Midrash (Sifrei 296) tells us that the wording in Deuteronomy 25:18, "Asher kar'cha ba'derech," literally means that Amalek "happened" upon the Jews. This, the rabbis explain, is a description of the personality of Amalek: Amalek represents the belief in chance, of the haphazard dictates of "fate," which opposes the Jewish belief in Divine providence. Amalek's philosophy negates the concept that there is a purpose to humanity or to creation itself--again the antithesis of Jewish philosophy.

Parashat Zachor is read on the Shabbat before Purim because Haman was a direct descendant of Amalek. Like his forefathers, Haman was the archenemy of the Jews. He wanted to wipe them out. Neither begging, bribery nor debate would have changed Haman's mind because the Jewish nation represented a spiritual force which he abhorred.

*This Treat was originally published on March 2, 2012.

Copyright © 2013 NJOP. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

HE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The Ten Commandments were given by God to the nation of Israel as a covenant. The Ten commandments were not given to those living under the New Covenant. Nine of the Ten Commandments have been restated under the New Covenant. The one commandment that has not been restated under the New Covenant is remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
New Testament Christians worship on the Lord's Day, "Sunday."

TEN COMMANDMENTS GIVEN TO ISRAEL

Exodus 34:27-28 The the Lord said to Moses, "Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the Ten Commandments.

The covenant was made with Israel. It was not made with those living under the New Testament (The New Covenant).

NINE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE RESTATED UNDER IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Ten Commandments with Israel. (Exodus 20:1-17)
1. "You shall have no other Gods before Me.

Restated in the New Testament. Matthew 4:10

2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Restated in the New Testament. 1 John 5:21, Revelation 21:8

3. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

Restated in the New Testament. Matthew 6:6, Acts 19:13-16, Matthew 5:33-37, James 5:12, Matthew 7:21-23, Mark 7:7

4. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8-11....9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.....

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy has not been restated in the New Testament.

5. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

Restated in the New Testament. Ephesians 6:1-3

6. "You shall not murder.

Restated in the New Testament. 1 John 3:15

7. "You shall not commit adultery.

Restated in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 6:9

8. "You shall not steal.

Restated in the New testament. Ephesians 4:28,

9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Restated in the New Testament. Luke 3:14, Matthew 15:19

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or any thing that belongs to your neighbor.

Restated in the New Testament. Ephesians 5:5

Christians under the New Covenant did not and do not worship on the Sabbath nor did they, nor do they keep it holy. Christians worshiped and worship on Sunday, the Lord's Day, the first day of the week.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and prolonged his message until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. 2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.

Sunday is not the Sabbath, it is the Lord's Day.

The Sabbath that Christians should be concerned about is their final resting place.

Hebrews 4:9-11 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has Himself also rested from works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.



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