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The Crown of Halacha

Ki Seitsei 5777 – Amalek Stands at the Head of All Evil

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Devarim 5777

Ki Seitsei 5777 – Amalek Stands at the Head of All Evil

[Therefore,] it will be, when the Hashem your God grants you respite from all your enemies around [you] in the land which the Hashem, your God, gives to you as an inheritance to possess, that you shall obliterate the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens. You shall not forget! (Devarim 25:19)

Everything Anti-Hashem Must Fall

Bnai Yisrael fought and defeated many enemies during their long journey to the land of Israel. Yet, only Amalek is singled out to be utterly destroyed. What defect gave them that extra edge of cruelty that made them so hated by Hashem?

A Tale of Two Gangsters

A gazlan (one who steals by day) and a gonav (one who steals by night) decided that rather than operating independently, they would form a partnership (to steal, of course). Everything went well, and the two gangsters were making money 24/7.  Eventually, the King heard of their nefarious enterprise and dispatched his soldiers to close them down. They were brought before the King for judgment.  “We throw ourselves on the mercy of the King!” the two pleaded.

“Very well, I have made up my mind,” the King said solemnly. “The punishment of the gazlan is ten years in jail. And the punishment for the gonav is to be beheaded.”

A Gonav’s Plea: I’m not as Bad as the Other Guy

The gonav asked for permission to speak. “Granted,” the King replied. “Your Majesty, if the gazlan, who steals by day and shows no fear of His Highness nor of mankind received a ten-year sentence, then shouldn’t I who at least showed fear of mankind by hiding my actions in darkness, be sentenced to a lesser punishment?”

The King’s Wisdom: Addiction vs. Premeditation

The King explained, “You feel you have a finer character than your friend because you feared your fellow citizen, however – you did not fear me. You were able to reason and discern when it was convenient to steal and nonetheless you did not come to a rational conclusion that my laws need not be obeyed. Your friend, on the other hand, has an addiction; he does not calculate what he does.

Rather, the gazlan blindly rushes to steal no matter who may see. I have no proof that he does not fear me personally, as King. Hopefully, the jail sentence will alleviate him of his addiction.”

Amalek: Cold and Calculated Evil

You shall remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt, how he happened upon you on the way and cut off all the stragglers at your rear, when you were faint and weary, and he did not fear God. (Devarim 25:17-18)

At the end of days, Amalek will come before Hashem saying, “The evil I brought into the world is not my fault. I was created with an addiction to cruelty and aggression. Therefore, I should not be punished!”

However, Hashem will answer, “Rasha! If you were acting out of pure compulsion then you would have immediately charged at Am Yisrael. However, you waited and calculated the best time to attack, when they were “ayaifv’yagai’ah” tired form their journey. You logically came to your strategy; nonetheless, you did not reason that you have to fear Me or My children!” The BriserRav says that this is the reason that Hashem has a war with Amalek for all generations.

During Ellul Plan for Success

Just as we would not go into war without a battle plan we must not go into the New Year without a battle plan to improve ourselves. Calculations which help us to do mitzvahs show how much we want to go beyond our nature to serve Hashem and come close to Him. Let’s not lose this opportunity during Ellul to ask Hashem for help with our plans to come close to Him.

 

Series Navigation<< Shoftim 5777 – War is Upon Us!Ki Savo 5777 – Make Every Day an Adventure >>
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