By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
This week, we read the parashah of destroying Amalek. The pasuk says, “Timcheh es zecher Amalek mi’tachas ha’shamayim lo tishkach—You must destroy Amalek from under the heavens; don’t forget!” The connection between this and the events of Purim, which we celebrate next week, is that Haman was a descendant of Amalek, and he, like his ancestors, attempted to annihilate the Jewish nation. When he came before Achashverosh, the king of Shushan, he described the Jewish people as “Yeshno am echad mefuzar umeforad bein ha’amim,” there is one nation that is divided and scattered amongst the other nations. He then convinced Achashverosh to take money from him; that way he would not have to feel any loss of taxes from these subjects.
The Midrash says about the money that Haman gave, that this was all the money he owned, and he was so dedicated to his cause that he was willing to give up everything, just to be able to destroy the Jewish nation.
It is interesting to note that the way Haman describes the Jews is a seeming contradiction. He describes them as a nation that is one, meaning a nation that is unified, and yet he says that they are divided and scattered. The ideal way to be one is to work to destroy any divisions separating one Jew from another. This year, for Purim, we need to show Hashem how Haman’s declaration about us does not hold weight any longer. Not only are we one nation but we are also not divided and splintered into many fragments. We are a nation as one whole. Then Hashem will see that we are deserving of miracles, just as in the times of Purim, when the Jewish people united for the sake of their lives.
The way to reach that point of absolute unity starts on an individual level. When we make peace in our home, beginning with our spouses, our children, and then stretching out to our relatives, friends, and neighbors, we can slowly build a chain of peace and unity that stretches across the entire Jewish nation. We can take a lesson from Haman’s dedication when he gave up all his money for the sake of destruction, and give all we have in terms of our time and energy, towards constructive causes like unifying the Jewish nation.
In the merit of creating peace in our homes, and then working to create peace and unity with everyone we know, we should merit to see miracles “ba’yamim ha’heim baz’man ha’zeh” like those days, in these times, and we should know only joy and happiness. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.