The Amalekites were an ancient nation living near the land of Canaan. They were the first nation to attack the Jewish people after the miracles of the Exodus from Egypt. The term Amalek represents an internal enemy that we each battle on a daily basis. Amalek represents the apex of evil. Amalek's attack is similar to a bath of boiling water, which no living being can tolerate. A fool came along and jumped into it, scalding himself, but making the water's heat less intense to onlookers. Similarly, after their exodus from Egypt, the Jews appeared indestructible. Amalek was the first to attack them, despite the tremendous miracles that G-d performed for the entire world. This was not just a mere incident; it was a fight against the completeness of the name of G-d.
Amalek stands for the highest evil, the capacity to "know God and intentionally rebel." Most evil can be resisted with rational justifications, but not Amalek. He spreads uncertainty and confusion by cynically criticizing every justification for doing good.
Amalek is the persistent skeptic, boldly reacting to every indication of love for holiness and attempting to calm things down. Simply to cool us down from serving G-d. Amalek’s real sin was that “he cooled you off on the way.”
Amalek’s attack not only affected the Jewish nation, but also the Gentiles. The ultimate purpose of the redemption from Egypt was the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The seven Noahide commandments were also given at Mount Sinai to all the nations.
The giving of the Torah was the ultimate in spiritual perfection for the entire mankind but Amalek was fighting against it. The Torah gives us spiritual elevation but Amalek always tries to cool it off.
The only way to respond to Amalek is to be supra-rationally good, evoking the essential connection to G-d hidden in the essence of our souls. This link exceeds intellect and feelings, and Amalek is powerless to reject it. Over the ages, Amalek's identity has been lost. In the spiritual world, however, the warning to "remember Amalek" still holds true. This way we complete G-d's name and reveal His rulership to all.
Rabbi Moshe Bernestein is a writer and a Community Rabbi in Netanya, Israel. He believes in making connections between the Jewish People and the Noahides worldwide in order to share and enhance the knowledge of the Torah's Universal Code for Humanity and fulfil Isaiah's Prophecy 11:9 " And the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the oceans".
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