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Parshas Zachor: The Enemy of Joy

The forecast for shul this week is: crowded. This is because it is the week before Purim, also known as Shabbos Parshas Zachor, when we read about how Amalek attacked Bnei Yisrael shortly after Yetzias Mitzaryim in an attempt to undermine Hashem’s power and minimize His glory. According to the Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim (685), the Mitzvah D’Oraisa of Zechiras Amalek is fulfilled through reading the portion of “Zachor es asher asah licha Amalek” in shul with a Minyan on the Shabbos before Purim (Bamidbar 25:17). The Sefer HaChinuch explains that we read Parshas Zachor before Purim because Haman, infamous villain of the Purim story, was a descendent of Amalek.