It is not by chance that the same word Zachor –Remember, is used both in the Torah to command the remembrance of Amalek and by society today to remember the atrocities of Hitler and the Holocaust – ZACHOR!
The question is what exactly should we remember and why should we remember it? Should we remember how brutal our enemies are and that the world has never been friendly to the Jew? Should we remember how powerless we were without our own country and our own army? Or should we remember the heroism and dedication of so many Jews throughout the generations including the Holocaust that stood up against evil and remained faithful to G-d and the Torah? We should remember all of the above.
Why exactly are we remembering it? Please do not say, So it will not happen again. Keeping the memories of tragedy fresh in our minds certainly does not ensure its reoccurrence. The world as a whole is still unfriendly to the Jews. Despite that we have a beautiful country with an excellent army we are still terrorized regularly. So what exactly am I supposed to Zachor?
A vital lesson that is taught all through the 24 books of the Tanach and the Talmud is that G-d is just and always metes out justice. There are certain crimes, atrocities and tragedies so horrific that we cannot imagine what punishment would be just. Therefore, the Torah tells us Zachor – Remember and Do Not Forget – because indeed G-d will justly respond to the evil at the right time. Zachor Val Tishkach – eventually it will all be handled
Whether it was Pharaoh in Egypt, Haman in Persia or Hitler in Germany, or our modern day terrorists- in the end the Divine Judge – Hashem will oversee retribution.
Therefore amidst these turbulent times we must be strong, join together, and most certainly ZACHOR – REMEMBER – that eventually truth and justice will fill G-d’s world.
Rabbi Ephraim Epstein