Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Amalek Be Perished

The following is a translation of a short, Hebrew article by Rabbi Avraham Kahane (link):



Amalek On Your Way To Eretz Yisrael

Our sages learned from the verse in Psalm 111:8
"סמוכים לעד לעולם"
"Forever they are in proximity"
to relegate significance of proximity in Torah verses or chapters, especially in Deuteronomy (Brachot 21b), as when they asked: "Why is the chapter on 'The beautiful prisoner' juxtaposed to the chapter of the 'renegade son'"? (Sanhedrin 107a)

In light of this, we can ask: The end of Parsha "Ki Teitzei" finishes with the commandment to recall the attack on Jews by Amalek, "Remember that which Amalek wrought upon you on your way [to Mount Sinai] after you left Egypt"; The next Parsha starts with "When you come into the land"; Why this proximity?

One Depends On The Other

We can answer that this proxomity teaches us an aspect related to the conquering and settling of the Holy Land, which includes destruction of the Amalekite seed, to afford viability to the kingdom and the temple. Thus it says, "Eradicate Amalek", then it says, "And when you enter the land", ... "And you shall come to the priest who will serve in those days". That is to say, eradication of Amalek serves as a prerequisite in settling the land as preparation for the kingdom and the temple.

We can further say, the Torah is describing for us a state of affairs: On our journey to sanctification, we shall encounter various impediments, as Amalek symbolizes for us the obstacle in our path to acquire holiness, which is why we were commanded to destruct them. As we saw in jewish history, when Jews journeyed to Eretz Yisrael or to the Tmple, Amalek suddenly appeared in an attempt to forestall our holy acquisition.

To Defeat Amalek

After the Jewish exodus from Egypt, while Jews sang to God, they expressed the ultimate purpose for having left Egypt: "Take us into and plant us in the land of our inheritance ... the Temple of God that You wrought ..." and then it says, "And Amalek arrived and fought with the Jewish nation at Refidim."

And so it was during the Second Temple, when the Babylonian exiles wanted to return to Israel rebuild the temple, a hateful decree emerged from the family of Haman, which demanded cancellation of the building the temple (Seder Olam Rabbah 29).

Similarly in our present era, in our return to our land and in preparation for the imminent sanctification, we find obstacles that rise from Amalek's seed. May God find merit with us so we can remove all barriers so we can whole-heartedly worship Him.

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