Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): This Shabbat is Shabbat Zachor, when we read a special section of Torah, remembering the heinous attack by Amalek on the most vulnerable among us.

It feels especially resonant this year. 1/x thread.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): Deuteronomy 25:17-18:

"Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt—how, undeterred by fear of God, he surprised you on the march, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers in your rear."

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): When you were already struggling, when you were already having a hard time, when you were already exhausted, Amalek came, and ambushed you, going after the people who were most vulnerable--the ones most likely already to be left behind.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): As we hit the second anniversary of a mass global pandemic--exhausted, doing our best but still struggling, knowing that we have already lost so many, grieving, still recovering or forever disabled, suddenly a new wave of attacks on those most already harmed by our systems.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): Trans children, for God's sake. Trans adults.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer kids, kids from queer families, anyone who doesn't fit a heteronormative model.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): Who is harmed most from abortion bans? People struggling financially, BIPOC people, immigrants, young people, trans men and nonbinary people. Abortion bans make it more likely that people will be trapped in poverty or abusive relationships. Increase maternal mortality rates.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): Bans on "CRT" (it's not actually CRT) are bans on accurate history, on teaching Black and Indigenous writers and thinkers, on teaching antiracism as concepts and ideas. On creating a new generation (re)entrenched in white supremacist thinking.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): Amalek comes when we are weary and tries to cut us down.

Amalek comes for the people most marginalized by our society already. Again and again and again.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): My tradition says, in no uncertain terms: This is evil.

"You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!" Deuteronomy 25:19

This is the kind of evil we must paradoxically remember and blot--not forget to erase.

Why? How?

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): The Torah knows: this is the kind of evil that comes back, again and again and again.

There is always Amalek.

There is always the vicious, power-hungry opportunist willing to harm people when they are at their most exhausted--to pounce, bloodthirsty.

He always comes back.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): The reason we read this now is because he's said to be an ancestor of Haman, the villain in the Book of Esther--the kind of guy who would buy the opportunity to genocide a people to avenge his hurt feelings.

We've seen him recently.


Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): He always comes back.

He always comes back.

He always comes back.

We have to keep blotting him out, again and again.

Making sure he knows that he isn't going to win.

He didn't win in the Book of Esther.

He doesn't win every time.

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR): The work is ongoing, but the project is upon us here, now, with clarity.

We see who Amalek is this year.

We see who is out to harm the most vulnerable.

And we know what our work is.

It's the same that it is every single time he comes back.