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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


From the Fire

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Parshas Tetzaveh Parshas Zachor

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M


Calling Out Modern-Day Evil By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf


have been waiting for this Shabbos when we remember the actions of those who have attempted to destroy us for months now. Although I am going to speak about things I usually avoid discussing on Shabbos, as I watch the events in Europe and throughout the Middle East, I cannot help but feel that we are living Part II of the story of “And it was in the Days of Achashveirosh” (Esther 1:1). Just like in the days of Achashveirosh, we had a dispute about the leader of our country a few years ago (Megillah 12a): Is he a foolish king or a wicked king? Our former president, Barack Obama, said repeatedly in every speech, “Make no mistake… Let me be perfectly clear.” And we

know from experience that everything he said after that introduction is a confusion obfuscation of truth, an utter lack of clarity. Purim is a holiday of stark contrasts. As we say in the song Shoshanas Yaakov, “Cursed is Haman who attempted to destroy me” and “Blessed is Mordechai the Jew.” We have “Cursed is Zeresh the wife of the one who terrorized me” and “Blessed is Esther [who sacrificed] for me.” The Megillah refers on one hand to “king” Achashveirosh. But it also refers to “The King,” the hidden King of all kings who acts behind the scenes. Purim means making a place in our lives for both parts. While gratitude to Hashem, re-

joicing in His salvation, gifts to the poor and to our friends, and celebrating with friends are a major part of Purim, an equally important part of the day is hatred of that which is truly evil in the world today. Therefore, when we celebrate on Purim by drinking a little bit, “when the wine goes in, the secret comes out” (Eiruvin 65a). Our inhibitions and political correctness subside and we call out the alternate text of Shoshanas Yaakov, “Cursed are all of the wicked!” Certainly everything in Yiddishkeit starts and ends with the quality of love. In the second blessing before Shma, we say every day, “You have loved Your nation Israel with an eternal love.” In Shma, we say

the pasuk (Devarim 6:5), “And you shall love Hashem your G-d will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all of your resources.” And the Torah teaches us, “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Vayikra 19:18). Love is the foundation of the world and is the overarching emphasis in our service of G-d. And the ultimate goal of “turn away from evil” is to “do good” (Tehillim 34:15). As Rabbeinu Bachaya says, “a little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.” That is always the primary emphasis. But the truth is that love is not everything. The Western world is drunk with the idea that, as the song says, “All you need is love.” That is the perverse current formu-

Baltimore Jewish Home - 2-22-18  

Baltimore Jewish Home - 2-22-18

Baltimore Jewish Home - 2-22-18  

Baltimore Jewish Home - 2-22-18