Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

“And when he (Moshe) let down his hand then Amalek prevailed.” (17:11)

Download PDF

The Ramban cites the Midrash that explains why Moshe “allowed” his hands to be lowered, thereby endangering the Jews in battle. The Midrash explains that Moshe’s action was consistent with the dictates of halacha. Halacha states that one should not spend more than three hours with his hands spread out in prayer toward Heaven.  Let us now attempt to reconcile this halacha with the matter of war against Amalek. Klal Yisrael was waging battle against a powerful and ruthless enemy. Amalek was an unscrupulous people, accustomed to violence. In contrast, Klal Yisrael had recently been liberated from a state of slavery which was both physically and emotionally devastating. They were in no condition for war.  Yet, Moshe permitted himself to interrupt his prayer on behalf of Klal Yisrael, in response to the dictates of halacha — even if by doing so Amalek would prevail!

The Satmar Rebbe z.l., derives an amazing insight from Moshe’s decision. True, it is imperative that we battle against the forces of evil, and we must certainly do everything within our power to eliminate our archenemy, Amalek, from our midst. Not, however, at the expense of halacha. We are a nation committed to Toras Hashem. To deviate one iota from this Torah is to disenfranchise ourselves from our national heritage. Without our Torah, we are like any other people. We can only succeed in destroying Amalek if we adhere to the Torah. If we deviate from the Torah, Amalek has consequently emerged victorious!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our weekly Peninim on the Torah list!

You have Successfully Subscribed!