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Rabbi’s Blog: Purim & Remembering

03/15/2024 12:17:42 PM


Dear OZ family,


With Purim and Pesach around the corner, a number of Mitzvot of remembrance are upon us. First, we have Parshat Zachor next week, to assure that we draw attention to evil, and to remind the world that Haman’s disciples are still with us. The world will always bid us to forget and move on. Worse are the people who say that the pure evil of Oct. 7th never happened or is exaggerated. It is the same as Holocaust Denial. It is our obligation to assure that those who witnessed  the atrocities of Oct. 7 be heard, and it is our obligation to keep the continued plight of the hostages in the public’s mind.


At the same time we have a daily Mitzva to remember the redemption from Egypt. The way we do so in the daily tefilla, is a reminder that we need the God who redeemed us in the past, to continue to redeem us each and every day. We introduce the daily Amidah with the words, Ga’al Yisrael, the One who redeemed Israel in the past, and in the middle of the Amidah, we refer to God as the Goel Yisrael, the One who redeems us in the present.  


At the end of Pesach we will have Yizkor, when we remember those who are missing in our lives, followed shortly by Yom Hashoah, which will be observed at OZ on Sunday evening, May 5th. We will hear from a witness to the evil unmatched since World War II until Oct 7,2023. Emil Fish will address us and show a film he just completed about his experiences. A week later is Yom HaZikaron, when Israel remembers the supreme sacrifice made by her soldiers, and citizens. We do a lot of remembering and reminding. I remind our community to do everything we can on a daily basis to keep Israel in mind, to consider a trip there, and to join our next mission, at the end of May. We’ll be giving specific details after Purim.


I wish everyone a peaceful and restful Shabbat

Stay safe and well.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz




Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635





Sat, April 13 2024 5 Nisan 5784