The 221st mitzvah is that we are commanded regarding the law of a yefat to'ar.(A beautiful captive)1
The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement2 (exalted be He), "[When you wage war against your enemies...,] if you see a yefat to'ar among the prisoners [and desire her, you may take her as a wife]."
The details of this mitzvah are explained in the beginning of tractate Kiddushin.3
(This is explained in the Oral Torah as "speaking with the Evil Inclination in mind". It is one of the sad realities of war that armies commit rape.Had the Torah forbidden this practice, it would be so contrary to human nature, that the command would have been ignored.Here, the Torah actually permits the rape, but with the proviso that he must then marry the woman. This thought would put a damper on most men's urges.-J.S.)
The 189th mitzvah is that we are commanded to constantly1 remember what Amalek did to us, i.e. to be the first to attack us [after we were redeemed from Egypt]; and to speak of it constantly; to arouse people to wage war against them and hate them, in order that it not be forgotten or the hatred towards them lessened with the passage of time.
The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement2 (exalted be He), "Remember what Amalek did to you. [Do not forget.]"
The Sifri3 says, "The phrase, 'Remember what Amalek did to you,' refers to doing so verbally. The phrase, 'Do not forget,' means in one's heart." This means that one should say verbally words that cause people to keep this hatred in their hearts. The Sifra4 says, "From the verse, 'Remember what Amalek did to you,' you might think it means in your heart. But when it says, 'Do not forget,' that means in your heart! How do we explain the commandment to 'remember?' It means to speak about it verbally." You can see how the Prophet Shmuel went about fulfilling this commandment: first he remembered them [verbally] and then commanded that they be killed. This was done when he said,5 "I remember what Amalek did to the Jewish people when they came up from Egypt."
(The rabbis instituted that command to destroy Amalek in Deuteronomy, b read each tear on the Shabbat before Purim. According to most, this is only a custom. Some authorities, however, consider an annual remembrance to be Biblical.In the 17th century, some proposed that hearing it read from a Torah scroll is a Biblical requirement. This probably is baseless, but has come into the Jewish consciousness as a Torah obligation. Many synagogues read it several times, in different pronunciations, just to be sure.)
It's Wednesday! That means "Cup of Joe with Jo" is today at 12:45pm CDT. Join the women of A-T for a relaxing time of visiting. Bring your knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, etc., and relax for a while with us. See you there!