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Judaism: Go in Strength, Go Together

The Talmud describes the situation today, after the war, before the Messiah.
Published: Friday, September 05, 2014 11:17 AM


The war against terror is far from over but the battle lines are clearer than ever before. The enemy is more obvious than ever before. In the overall picture, the people of this land sense in their beings that the plan of destiny is moving forward and that Hashem’s eyes are on this land from the beginning of time until the end. 

Yet there are serious pitfalls and challenges still ahead of us.

One of the major issues is how we deal with each other. The last war in Gaza has seriously damaged the livelihoods and lives of many people living in the south and the periphery. |The Israeli government cannot turn a blind eye to their predicament, and all the outpouring of love that so characterized the days of the summer of 2014 cannot cease.
 
This is in fact what the Talmud predicts will be one of the dangerous pitfalls of the “last days”. In describing the dangers and failures that can surface in the days preceding the arrival of Moshiach, the Talmud tractate Sotah includes the following.
 
“In the footsteps of the messiah insolence will increase and honor will dwindle; the vine will yield its fruit abundantly but wine will be dear; the government will turn to heresy and there will be none to offer them reproof; …and the dwellers on the frontier will go about [begging] from place to place without anyone to take pity on them…”.( sotah 49b)
 
The dwellers of the frontier near the Gaza strip have become our front line. They cannot be ignored or forgotten.

In this week's Torah portion of Ki Teitze, we read the following;

"Remember what the Amalekites did to you on the way, when you left Egypt. They met you along the way and attacked the weak members of the nation at the back of the pack, and you were exhausted. and did not fear G-d”. ( Velo Yareh Elokim).. And it will be, when G-d gives you rest from your enemies round about, in the Land that G-d has given to you as an inheritance, you are mandated to wipe out the memory of Amalek from beneath the heavens - Do not forget!" (Deuteronomy 25:17-18)
 
The question that needs to be asked is who did not fear G-d?

Rashi teaches the following on the words”  Velo Yareh Elokim - and did not fear G-d” and writes; He did not fear [G-d]: that is  Amalek did not fear G-d so as to refrain from doing you harm. —

The Ktav Sofer,Avraham Shmuel Sofer (1815-1871) understood  the words to mean  "undeterred by fear of G-d" (Deut. 25:18). If Amalek attacked the Israelites immediately after G-d redeemed them from Egypt with signs and wonders, it shows that that they had no fear of G-d. That is why read in  Exodus the following;
 
And HaShem said unto Moshe: ‘Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. ‘And Moshe built an altar… And he said: ‘the hand upon the throne of HaShem: HaShem will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.’”   (Exodus 17:14-16)

That is to say that  G-d will be at war with Amalek from generation to generation because  in essence, it is a war between G-d and Amalek.

Yet the Mechilta understands the words differently. According to this view,  the words are pointing at the Israelites who were “exhausted and did not fear G-d”. Amalek always appears when the people of Israel become spiritually weary and fearful.
 
3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said: 'Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?'....7 And the name of the place was called Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tried Hashem, saying: 'Is Hashem among us, or not?' 8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. ( Exodus 17:3-8).

How was that “weariness” most clearly displayed?

Remember what the Amalekites did to you on the way, when you left Egypt. They met you along the way and attacked the weak members of the nation at the back of the pack, and you were exhausted and did not fear G-d”.( (Deuteronomy 25:17-18)

The fact that the Israelites could have allowed for the weak stragglers to be exposed and vulnerable and easy prey for Amalek, is the clear indication that they had lost the fear of G-d. When people lose their sensitivity to each other and lose the power of compassion, they cease become the vessel of G-d’s ultimate plan.

This will be the ultimate test in the near future as the spiritual heirs of Amalek continue to kill each other in preparation for their battle against Hashem’s people and plan. Yet those ultimate desires will be thwarted as well as we see clearly promised by G-d.

And it will be when G-d your G-d, gives you rest from all of your enemies from your surroundings in the land that G-d your G-d gives you as an inheritance to inhabit, blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens, don’t forget.”( ibid)

That is the promise

” When G-d your G-d, gives you rest from all of your enemies from your surroundings in the land that G-d your G-d gives you as an inheritance to inhabit”..

Do not forget
 
  
 
Lerefuat Yehudit bat Golda Yocheved