Having spent the last week recovering from surgery, and assuming that things continue to progress smoothly, I'm looking forward to rejoining you this Shabbat weekend.
We start off Friday evening with services at 7:30 pm. It is a very special night as we celebrate our beloved matriarch Mary Gaines's 102nd birthday, so please come out and join with her family to help her mark this great occasion with much joy!
This Shabbat is the second of the four special Shabbatot between now and Passover. It is called Shabbat Zachor (the Sabbath of Memory) and it always occurs on the Shabbat before Purim. Specifically, we remember the wicked Amalekites who attacked the Hebrew nation mercilessly from the rear as we traveled from Egypt toward the promised land. It is said that all wicked rulers who have harmed us are directly descended from their leader Amalek. And of course, this includes the abominable Haman whose memory we will blot out on Monday evening as we read the Megillat (Book) of Esther to celebrate his destruction. At Saturday morning's service which begins at 9:30 am, our Torah reading will include the commandment in the Book of Deuteronomy to remember what Amalek did to us, and our Haftorah will include the prophet Samuel's condemnation of King Saul for not completely destroying the Amalekites after conquering them.
My d'var Torah will attempt to deal with the moral dilemma of destroying an entire people for the acts of a few, a concept that I have been struggling with for most of my adult life. It should result in a meaningful and lively discussion.
On Sunday, I hope to resume our adult education session at 11 am when we go back to our 613 Mitzvot and continue to dissect the meaning behind each one. Then at 12 noon, Eileen continues her adult Hebrew reading class.
On Monday, we gather at 6:30 pm for the much anticipated annual ice cream social and Purim treats followed by the reading of the Book of Esther. You are encouraged to come in costume, or we can provide one for you! We will provide noisemakers and you will provide your own voices to shout away the memory of the "unmentionable" one!
Looking forward to seeing you in shul throughout this very special Shabbat and Purim weekend and wishing you the best, Ron