Parshat Zachor is a funny thing- we are told to remember what Amelek did, and at the same time we are supposed to eradicate them from the world. How and why are we supposed to remember but also forget?
While talking about this with a friend over the weekend, it made me think about the Nazis. That they wanted to eradicate the Jews, but at the same time create a museum that showed that they once existed. Or in the opposite direction seeing memorials for great wars or tragedies, we want to remember that this event happened, while at the same time saying “never again”. We must remember, in order to make sure that it never happens again- that we are not going to be in that same situation.
Thinking about it on a personal rather than national way, I think it can also have to do with trauma. There are times that are hard or awful, and in order to continue on, there needs to be some part of forgetting, but also remembering where you came from.
I look back to where I was last year this time- how hurt I was. I still see that hurt coming into my life today- how I haven’t yet started to trust my new teachers; how going to an evaluation make me freak out, just to hear that they think I am doing well; how I still don’t want to get involved with the students; and especially not talk to some from last year. But at the same time, I want to try and move past it, and remember what it brought me. That I am doing to do well and overcome despite everything that happened.
I want to try and forget what happened, I need to, and otherwise I will never be able to trust or work. But at the same time I must remind myself, that I was stronger than they were. No matter how much they tried to put me down and kill my spirit, and even though they came very close- they didn’t actually do it, and that is a lot of power and strength that in a weird way they gave to me.
And just like Amalek- they came at the worst time, from the back just to kill Beni Yisrael in the desert. But, Beni Yisrael found the strength to fight back, and win.
May we continue to be blessed in our lives with the strength to fight back (and win) against those who want to destroy us.