This week’s portion, Ki Tetze
This week’s portion, Ki Tetze, or, “and you shall go out” discusses all the laws of how we are supposed to behave during a war. These laws include how we act towards other people, nature and so on. In the last few lines of the portion, the Torah tells us to “remember what Amalek (the greatest enemy of the Jewish people in our Bible) did to you on your journey to Egypt,” recalling a story of mass destruction for the Jewish people. The final words of the portion command us, “לא תשכח”, or “do not forget!”
This shabbat is the 80th anniversary of the final shabbat before World War 2 broke out in Europe, meaning that, exactly on this shabbat 80 years ago, this is what our grandparents and great grandparents were hearing in synagogue before their world turned upside down in Europe.
Jewish time and practice is cyclical, it always has something to teach us, elevating and sometime speaking directly to the human experience through repetition and memory.
תהא נשמתם צרורים בצרור החיים
May their memories be bound in the chain of life.