A sober look at Amalek and Haman

Amalek is alive and well to this day and we must remember fight to destroy the remnants of Amalek from under the sun.

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Phil Chernofsky,

Purim megillah father and son
Purim megillah father and son
Flash 90

The Torah reading of Purim morning, which we will read on Sunday or Monday morning, as the case may be, is made up of the last nine p'sukim of Parshat B'shalach.

The reading begins with VAYAVO AMALEK, and Amalek came and did battle against Israel at Refidim. In that portion we are told that Yehoshua and his army, with Moshe, Aharon, and Chur praying for our success, managed to weaken Amalek.

Not vanquish Amalek. Only weaken it. After the battle, G-d says to Moshe to tell Yehoshua that He (G-d) will wipe out the reminant of Amalek. Yet He also tells us that the battle against Amalek is from generation to generation - in all generations. And He basically tells us that His Name and Throne are incomplete as long as Amalek is around.

Four hundred or so years later, Sh'muel HaNavi commands Sha'ul HaMelech to fight against the nation of Amalek and wipe it out. He did not completely comply with his orders and lost his kingdom because of it. And Amalek survived. It was not wiped out completely. Haftara of Zachor. About 500 years later, Mordechai and Esther are instrumental in the deaths of Haman, his ten sons, and thousands of those who sought to harm us. Bio- logical Amalekites, all of them? Probably not. But heirs to the Amalek enmity against the Jewish People. Megila. Let's connect the dots.

From Yehoshua, to Sha'ul to Mordechai. But let's go back from the first Attack of Amalek to grandfather Eisav. Eisav swore to kill Yaakov. He didn't succeed and he sent his son Elifaz to do the job. He didn't succeed either. But we must connect the dots from Eisav onward.

Now let's fast-forward past too many generations that suffered from the Amaleks of the world. And let's go to October 16, 1946. Those Nazi leaders who had recently been convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg were executed by hanging.

The day was Hoshana Rabba (the end of the judgment period that begins yearly on Rosh HaShana 5707, and applies to all people, not just Jews. Eleven high ranking Nazis were scheduled to be hanged on that day. One of them, Hermann G-ring committed suicide the night before. So on that fateful day in the year TAV-SHIN-ZAYIN, 10 modern-day sons of Haman were hanged.

If you look in a Megila scroll you will find three letters that are written extra small. Only these three and all of them are within the list of Hamans sons. And the letters are TAV, SHIN, and ZAYIN. And one of the three big letters is the initial VAV of VAYZATA, son number 10.

That large VAV looks like a hanging post. Connecting the dots is kind of obvious even without this unusual scribal custom's hidden reminder for us. Yes, Amalek is alive and well to this day and we must remember, never forget, and when properly instructed, fight side-by-side with G-d to destroy the reminants of Amalek from under the sun.


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