Sunday, March 6, 2011

Should BW "Remember Amalek"?

As I gear up for the Purim holiday, I know that we are getting close to the once in a few times of the year that I actually go to synagogue.  This particular time I go because everyone is supposed to hear the commandment to "remember Amalek".

So who is Amalek? Why do we have to remember him? And should BW or other people "remember Amalek"?

Originally, Amalek was the grandson of Esau.Imagine, after great miracles God performed to save the Hebrews from out of Egypt. Many countries were afraid to mess with them.  But then came Amalek to break the illusion that they were invincible. Amalek was a root force, an initiator to a momentum that was destructive to the Jewish people. Also, Amalek went after the weak and the stragglers who were in the back of the trail.

The serpent tempted Adam and Eve from the outside. However, after they ate the fruit and got the "good and evil" inside, they then had to struggle within to figure out what was the good and what was the bad (sepent's advice) from within themselves.  So too now, with all the intermarrying that went on in the past, everyone is practically a mixture of all the peoples in the Bible. So too Amalek is said to be within us as well.

So because of his ruthlessness and his easy access within us, we can not afford to forget him.

And what does that part of us do? He makes us forget. Forget that there are greater things in life, great things in us; that there is a big universe out there, a higher power we can pray to, that mercy matters as well as justice, etc. He makes us sad, have despair.  That part of us causes us to be melancholy and heavy.

And so we must counter this. We must remember. Remember that there are greater things in life waiting for us; that there are great things even within us -great potentials (for who knows how much breath God breathed into us?).  Remember that there is a Higher Power we can pray to, that mercy matters and can even override the most harshest of judgements.  This remembrance can give us joy and renewed hope. And this joy and hope will charge us and give us the energy to take action.

 Remember amalek.

The things that happen in our lives all come from the same source. Like a coin falling down from the sky, will it land heads up (i.e . good for us) or tails up (i.e. bad for us on this physical plane)? If it lands heads up, then we celebrate and praise the Almighty.  If it lands tails up, then we understand that it is a hidden good-- more like a challenge to bring us to a higher good. The pepsi commercial comes to mind.  How strange it was to see a company blantantly putting out a negative stereotype about Black Women. And what timing?! During the superbowl no less!!

However, many rose to the occasion and used their skills to create new counter videos for themselves. Others at least thought of ways to counter this via letters and complaints and blogging. This initial wave sent the mainstream media to discuss the matter further. A light was turned on.

Honestly now....are there no angry black women? Yes, there are!!! Many have rejected that stereotype and refuse to act in such a way. But there are still those who are weak, those who straggle behind the group.

Remember Amalek.

And so too, with other matters we must always remember Amalek. Remember how he goes after the weak and the ones straggling behind.  Remember that he is within us, and may try to bring us down with great sadness and melancholy and heaviness.  But we've got to shake it off and remember the source, remember our goodness and potentials from the Higher One.

Remember Amalek.

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