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Tetzaveh Zachor- Doubting yourself

Friday, 23 February, 2018 - 10:34 am

Do you second-guess your decisions? A double take on your opinion or a humble admission of an error is a sign of tremendous character strength and very admirable.

Second-guessing isn't always a positive thing, though.

The Shabbat before Purim we read an additional Torah portion called Zachor, memory, remembering the crimes committed by the nation of Amalek, who waged battle at the fledgling Jewish nation barely emerging from decades of Egyptian slavery.

There is one major problem though: There are no suspects in this case. The Amalekite people, no longer exist today as a people nor can we identify their descendants (unlike some individuals in Poland today who want to shirk responsibility of their ancestors for terrible crimes committed not so long ago). So why spend our time dissecting the behaviors of a people whose memory has long been forgotten?!

It turns out that Amalek is a phenomenon that always exists. Its mission: to curb enthusiasm. Here you have a motivated people, all fired-up, on their way to embrace the Torah at Sinai, and its got the chutzpah to cool the enthusiasm, and ‘deflate the air out of its tires’.

The tactic is self-doubt. ‘Doubt’ in Hebrew (Safek) has the same numerical value (Gematria) as Amalek. Self-doubt can be very destructive, for when a person lacks confidence in him or herself, in their peoplehood and in G-d, they become weak from within and defeated.

We must eliminate self-doubting our very core - in our ability to believe, to advance and to succeed.

The best antidote to Amalekism is the celebration of Purim. Reading the Megillah evokes memory and heritage, sending Mishloach Manot food gifts, charity to the poor and the holiday meal unite us into one family and make us strong, happy and invincible! Don’t miss the party!

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