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July 24, 2006

Rabbi Gelman On Terrorism: Remember Amalek

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

A reader sent this article in, saying that he felt it had great value. I agree (it's hard to believe that MSNBC would have anything of importance to offer - its cable news is nothing less than dummycrat dribble - heavily spiced with symptoms of Bush derangement syndrome and anti-Fox News commentary). Here's a couple of excerpts from Rabbi Marc Gelan's piece titled, "Remember Amalek - What the Bible says about fighting terrorism":

... In Deut. 25:17-19 we read: "Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it."

... What made Amalek so dastardly was that unlike any other enemy who attacked the Israelites fleeing slavery in Egypt from the front, Amalek attacked the rear. This meant that his soldiers could kill women and children, the elderly and the infirm and in so doing avoid engagement with the soldiers at the front. In this way he could produce maximum carnage and maximum terror. The moral problem the Bible addresses is that this is not warfare, it is the slaughter of innocents--it is terrorism.

... In our generation Amalek is alive and well and killing the weak ones at the rear of the march. Amalek has attacked the rear of our line of march in Madrid and Bombay, in Jakarta and London, in Haifa and Tel Aviv, in New York and Washington, in a quiet field in Pennsylvania and in a hundred other homes and families--leaving them covered with blood and tears. Yes, one can disagree and debate how Amalek must be fought, but not that Amalek must be fought. One must report and mourn the innocents who are inadvertently killed by our soldiers in our battle against Amalek, but that remembrance must always make the spiritual moral and political distinction that our victims were killed by mistake and Amalek's victims were killed by design.

... I have no new or fresh or insightful take on the latest battle in the worldwide war on Islamic fascism except the message of our president: victory is the only way. In my heart and prayers, I thank President Bush for remembering Amalek. And to all the world leaders who are used to thinking about war as just a struggle for land or oil or power, remember that this war is different and this enemy is different. If you can, come to realize that this is a war against a lover of slaughter. If you join us, then we shall not have to fight Amalek alone and he cannot again attack the weak ones at the rear of the line.

Be sure to read it all....

You'll find a somewhat different take here and a little more context here.

And in this interesting article you'll find more on Amalek and historocity:

Unlike the Qur'an, the Bible does not "drop names" in order to attempt to establish legitimacy. The Bible explains everything within the framework of God's Divine plan. To understand who Haman was, we need to go back to the time of Jacob, the forefather of the Jewish people. Jacob had a twin brother named Esau, with whom he had a lifelong sibling rivalry. It became so bad that Esau wanted to kill Jacob. (see Genesis 27:41)

The Midrash tells us that when Esau was getting old, he called his grandson Amalek and said: "I tried to kill Jacob but was unable. Now I am entrusting you and your descendants with the important mission of annihilating Jacob's descendants - the Jewish People. Carry out this deed for me. Be relentless and do not show mercy."

Historically, we see Amalek and his descendants repeatedly trying to destroy the Jewish People. For example, in Exodus 17:8, they attacked the Jews even though Amalek lived in a distant land and was under no imminent threat. It was an act of pure hatred. For example :"Remember what Amalek did to you as you were leaving Egypt. He happened upon you, and struck the weakest people trailing behind, when you were exhausted. And he did not fear God." (Deut. 25:17-18); and, "God said to Moses: Write this remembrance in the book... that I will surely erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens." (Exodus 17:14)

The Talmud explains: What is the meaning of the phrase "[Amalek] happened ("karcha") upon you..." (Deut. 25:18)? The Hebrew word "karcha" literally means coincidence. Amalek's entire philosophy is that there is no divine design or providence in the world. Everything is haphazard, dictated by chance, luck and fate. That's why the verse continues: "And [Amalek] did not fear God."

On the other hand, Jacob (and subsequently the Jewish People) represents the bastion of conscience and morality. While Jacob believed that God runs the world and there is an absolute standard of morality, Esau believed that life is random and morality, therefore, is subjective.

The Scroll of Esther (3:1) identifies Haman as a descendent of Agag, the King of Amalek. Haman's desire to wipe out the Jewish People was an expression of his long-standing national tradition. Philosophically, this conflict is much deeper than "sibling rivalry." Amalek and the Jewish People stand at two opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum. Please read the Book of Esther in the entire context of God's message to the human race. You will see how God's plan manifests itself in human history as the Lord saves His people from the wrath of Amalek's descendent Haman. The story of Haman fits perfectly into human history and, more importantly, into God's plan of salvation for all of mankind. This wonderful story shows us the power of God and His divine plan over the affairs of man. In respect to God's plan Queen Esther and her brother Mordecai would be the first to tell us that God knows best! ... Read it all.

Hat tip - Paul D...

Posted by Richard at July 24, 2006 12:40 PM



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