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כי מחה אמחה את זכר עמלק

I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek. (17:14)

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As Horav S. R. Hirsch, zl, observes from the Torah’s use of zeicher, remembrance (of Amalek), it is not Amalek who is so pernicious for the future of mankind, but his remembrance. The glorifying of Amalek’s memory, exalting in his achievements, presents an imminent danger to the moral mindset of G-d-fearing people. Violence, force, living by the sword, dominating the weak, murder and plunder at will, just to show one’s power and prowess, is anathema to the moral rectitude of humanity. Glorifying the deeds of murderers and terrorists, venerating their memory, catalyzes the weak-minded to emulate them. Thus, their memory must be blotted out – if we hope to live in a safe, moral and uncorrupted society.

Amalek goes by various names, based upon the period and geographic/culture in which one lives. Their names change, but their mission to destroy the weak, principled, moral people that stand in their way is the same. Amalek represents this evil, which he received via DNA from his grandfather, Eisav. Throughout the generations it has spawned like-minded despots, who, either in the name of religion or whatever excuse they came up with, have created a religious cult out of hatred and murder. They will prevail as long as the Divine code of morality is not the accepted and sole criterion concerning the worth of all men – from the greatest to the smallest. When the great and powerful are permitted a lapse in morality, when their ethical character is not questioned, we give sway to Amalek.

The ultimate goal of Hashem’s guidance and direction of the history of the world is the complete obliteration of the memory of Amalek. Only by doing away with the remembrance of the devastation and conquests of these imperious tyrants will their iniquitous deeds be put to rest.

How does Amalek succeed? Wherein lies his power? Amalek obtains his strength from our weakness. Hashem’s Heavenly Throne is not complete until Amalek’s Name is obliterated. The Alshich HaKadosh explains that Amalek is the agent of Satan, aka yetzer hora, aka Malach HaMaves. The legacy of evil courses through his veins. The absolute good of Hashem has no room to be completed as long as Amalek functions. The forces of spiritual and moral impurity unleashed by Amalek succeed in catalyzing separation and disunity; Satan’s focus is on fragmenting our relationship with Hashem. He begins with an inconsequential separation, making it appear negligible. Once the breach in our relationship is created, however, it continues to tear until the divide has become complete disunity. Our work is to see to it that we do not create any form of separation. Otherwise, we give Amalek and the forces of evil a foothold to destroy our relationship with Hashem.

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