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Thursday, September 20, 2018

The horrific tragedy that took the lives of 17 students and teachers last week in Florida, five of them Jewish, has cast a darkness over our entire nation.

Just a week until Purim, facing Parshat Zachor, we see on our screens the hate of Amalek’s pervasive purpose reflected in the eyes of this confessed killer.

The eternal enemy of our people connects on a timeline through Haman and Persia all the way through the contemporary mullahs and revolutionary guards of today’s Iran. Nothing has changed, and people still hate and kill Jews because we are Jews.

The same courageous spirit of Queen Esther and Mordechai that will come to life in our reading of the Megillat Esther is needed again as our brothers and sisters in Israel face a growing physical threat from Iran nearing its borders in civil war-ravaged Syria.

We are reminded almost daily as we read the news coming out of the Middle East. But if we need an even bigger spiritual heads-up, we can look no further than this week when we read Parshat Zachor, where we are reminded what Amalek did to the weakest of our people. Sort of like using an assault rifle on teenagers and those tasked to protect them and teach them.