The Fight Against Amalek Continues…

The name “Amalek” can symbolize a group of wicked people who want to destroy the Jewish people.


Amalek was the nation that (Devarim 25:17) “…struck those of you who were hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted and he did not fear God.”


Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik (1886-1959) said that Amalek is more despised than any other nation since Amalek wouldn’t make a brave frontal attack. They feared people (not God) and that is why they chose to ambush the Jews who straggled at the rear of the nation, the people who were faint and exhausted and least able to defend themselves.


Unfortunately we are still fighting against Amalek.


The attack that took place in Itamar last week where a father, mother and three children were murdered while they were in the weakest position possible (sleeping), where they didn’t have a chance to defend themselves shows that unfortunately Amalek is still alive today.


The murderers were afraid of man and therefore they attacked in the middle of the night yet they were clearly not afraid of God who is always watching.


The grandparents of the three children who were murdered live a few blocks from my home in Jerusalem. On Thursday morning, I went to the shiva (which took place in a tent since there were too many visitors to fit in their home). Every day, people from all over Israel have stopped me on the street to ask for directions to the shiva house. Many of the visitors did not know the family, yet felt that it was important to show that they care.


This Shabbat is Shabbat Zachor, the only Shabbat of the year where both men and women are obligated to listen to the Torah reading which describes the fact the we must remember Amalek’s attack on the Jewish people and that in the Land of Israel we must wipe out the memory of Amalek.


As Purim approaches let’s pray that just as Haman (an Amalekite) was punished for his behavior, so too should the cowards who murdered five members of the Fogel family be caught and brought to justice.