The war with Amalek was not a one-time affair, to be forgotten as soon as it was over. The Jewish people are commanded by G‑d to always remember Amalek’s evil actions, and to destroy his memory utterly.
Torah is most explicit:
‘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 struggled behind you, when you were weary 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 a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!’”
In essence, to forgive is also to forget, and, once again, we are reminded by G-d’s Command never to do so. Imbued in Torah are the instructions for leading an ethical life, and G-d provides us with the blueprints to do so through His laws and also with the Free Will to choose whether or not to follow the path He has set. Suffice it to say, if we are to choose to live by His laws, tolerance and forgiveness are not to apply to the incarnation of evil. Otherwise, we make no distinctions between good and evil or right from wrong, and there is nothing to set us apart, as the following passage clearly denotes:
Whoever is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.
Iranian leadership in responding to criticisms of its program to acquire nuclear weapons, sounded much like Hitler when they proclaimed, “Israel must be wiped off the map!” and that the Holocaust is a “myth!” What’s most amazing to me is that this war with Amalek continues—that the world is still so concerned with the fate of Israel and the small number of Jews in the world who do not even amount to a percentage of error when calculating the world’s population. The rhetoric is apocalyptic, even Biblical. Why care about Israel and the Jews? It must be a spiritual struggle of the generations. The Torah then has been proven to be incredibly wise in warning us never to forget or worse, to underestimate Amalek the anti-Semite—no matter how he may appear.
ON Purim and we will read the story of how Haman, a descendant of Amalek, persuaded Achashveros, King of Persia, to destroy the Jews. But it’s also the story of our time! Once again Persia threatens to destroy the Jews, only this time its name has changed. We no longer call it Persia, we call it Iran. Do you know why?
There was a love fest between Hitler and Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Persia, from the moment Hitler came to power in 1933. The shah was enamored with the concept of the Aryan master race—especially because Nazi racial theorists referred to Aryan origins in the Proto-Indo-European lineage of Persia. So intense was the shah’s identification with the Third Reich that in 1935 he—can you believe this—renamed his ancient country “Iran,” which in Farsi means “Aryan!” From that point on, Iranians were constantly reminded that their country was bonded with Nazi Germany for all time.
During the war years, Iran became a haven and headquarters for Gestapo agents and German operatives. In Tehran’s marketplace, it was common to see placards that declared, “In heaven, Allah is your master. On Earth, it is Adolf Hitler!” (Edwin Black, 12/19/05, JTA) And so how could the president of Iran now deny that the Holocaust ever happened when his nation is named for Hitler’s master race?
Let there be no mistake, the ultimate agenda of Iran and Hamas—like that of Hitler’s Germany—is not simply the destruction of Israel, but of the Jewish people.
. The Torah is clear, Amalek and Haman and all of Jewish history teach us that we must take our enemies for their word. They mean what they say and they say what they mean.
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