Points For Study:
What is the purpose of
2. "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way
as you came out of Egypt. How he met you on the way and cut down all the weak who
straggled behind you, when you were weak and exhausted, and he did not fear G-d.
Therefore, when the L-rd your G-d will relieve you of all your enemies around you, in the
land which the L-rd your G-d gives you as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of
Amalek from under the heaven. Do not forget!"
3. "Remember what Amalek did to you"
Nurture or Nature?
5. "The grandchildren [descendants] of Cicero
studied Torah in Jerusalem, the grandchildren of Sancheriv taught Torah in public, the
grandchildren of Haman studied Torah in Bnei Brak"
6. The fact that the children of these wicked men
converted to Judaism and taught Torah in public is an incredible thing. Understand,
though, that individuals such as these, who are extremely wicked, have great power. Such
great power must be derived from the supernal power of G-d, only in these men, it is
impure. However, when their descendents convert, this power is purified. Therefore they
were among the great teachers of Torah. It is impossible to be otherwise, for such great
power must come from G-d, and therefore must have a kernel of holiness. Even though in the
father the holiness was overwhelmed by the impurity, in the children, it can be purified.
7. The quality of love that dwells in the souls of
Tzadikim embraces the entire creation. Absolutely nothing is excluded ... no nation or
language. Even Amalek is not meant to be wiped out except from "under the
heaven." But with purification, he rises to the source of good which is above heaven,
and everything is included in the supernal love. However, one needs great power and purity
for this unique level.
8. "You shall not abhor an Egyptian" ... even
though they threw your children into the river (Rashi), even though according to common
sense, you should hate them (Malbim) ... "because you were a stranger in his
land" ...for good or for bad, you were with them a number of years (Pesikta Rabasai
12). "The children that are born to them shall enter the congregation of the L-rd in
their third generation" (Deuteronomy 23:8-9). "The reason, in my opinion, is
that the inclination of the father is implanted in the children until the third
Is revenge ever
10. The Torah must warn us in many places not to forget
Amalek, because if it wasn't for these admonitions, even though he did evil to Israel, it
would be a positive trait not to remember the old hatred, but only to do good to him.
Thus, the Torah must warn us not to do so with Amalek, not to have compassion upon him.
11. One of the things most desired by a person is to
take vengeance on his enemies. Even though we have been strongly admonished against taking
revenge, that is only toward our own people, as the verse says, "Thou shall not
avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people" (Leviticus 19:18).
However, toward our enemies, the hope and delight of vengeance has not been denied us.
12. However, if they accept upon themselves the seven
Noachide commandments, they are no longer in the category . . . of Amalek, and are
considered as proper Bnei Noach.
13. There was an outlaw living in the neighborhood of
Rabbi Meir who used to persecute him. Rabbi Meir wanted to pray that he should die.
"What are you thinking?" his wife Bruria asked. "Because it is written,
'and all the wickedness shall be consumed from the earth' (Psalms 104:35). Is it written
'wicked'? The word 'wickedness' is written. Furthermore, look at the end of the verse,
'and the evil-doers will be no more.' Since wickedness will cease, then evildoers will be
no more. You should pray that he repent." Rabbi Meir prayed for him, and he repented.
14. Bruria understood that there is no sinner in the
entire world who would not choose the path of good over the path of evil, except that his
evil inclination forces him and deceives him. Therefore, he is unfortunate that he goes in
the way of evil. Still, there is no person who is entirely corrupt, and who would not be
helped by proper education and wise admonition, whether a little or a lot.
15. As long as the annals of humanity cover the memory
of the heroes of the sword with glory, as long as those that throttle and murder the
happiness of mankind are not buried in oblivion, so long will each successive generation
look up in worship to these "great ones" of violence and force, and their memory
will awaken the desire to emulate these heroes, and acquire equal glory by equal violence
16. "To everything there is a season, and a time
to every purpose under the heaven . . . a time to love and a time to hate."
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