Remember what Amalek has done to you
Once a year we perform the Mitzva of "Zachor et asher asa lecha Amalek" = remember what Amalek has done to you.
It will be remembered that the Nation of Israel is privileged to dwell in it's Land in the merit of the Covenant of Circumcision. While Yishmael's 'partial circumcision' forms the basis of his claim to the Land, it is Esav and his descendant Amalek, who are Israel's 'irreconcilable enemy' and who are ruthlessly bent on extirpating the Covenant of Israel and all that it stands for.
Together they vow to prevent Israel from its eternal inheritence - from entering the Land of Israel. They understand that Israel's final destiny - redemption of the world through acknowledgement of the G-d of Israel - spells out their ultimate demise.
From the very beginning then, we see that Esav attempts to detain Jacob-Israel from dwelling in the Land of Israel.
The Torah describes the birth of Jacob and Esav. Their place of birth was in the Land of Israel:
"And the children struggled together within her; and she said, if it be so, why am I thus? and she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be seperated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red, all over like a hairy garment; and they called his name Esav. And after that came out his brother, and his hand took hold on Esav's heel; and his name was called Ya'akov; and Yizhaq was sixty years old when she bore them."
"Rebecca was informed that she carried two nations in her womb who would represent two different forms of social government. The one state would build up it's greatness on spirit and morals, on the humane in humans, the other would seek its greatness in cunning and strength, morality and violence oppose each other, and indeed, from birth onwards will they be in opposition to each other.
One form of government will always be more powerful than the other. The scales will constantly sway from one to the other, between "Le'om ule'om" (nation and nation).
The whole of history is nothing else than a struggle as to wether spirit or sword, or, as our Sages put it, whether Cesaria or Jerusalem is to have the upper hand".
Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, "Commentary on the Pentateuch", Parasaht Toldot, Bereshit 25:23.
Esav detains Jacob on his journey from Haran to the Land of Israel:
"And Ya'akov sent messengers before him to Esav his brother to the land of Se'ir, the country of Edom.... and the messengers returned to Ya'akov, saying,we came to thy brother Esav, and also he is coming to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. Then Ya'akov was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that were with him... and said, if Esav comes to the one camp, and smite it, then the other camp which is left shall escape."
Before meeting Esav face to face, Jacob struggles with the spiritual power of Esav:
"Ya'akov was left alone; and there wrestled a man ( = "Ish", i.e. an angel) with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh... and he said, thy name shall be called no more Ya'akov, but Yisrael: for you hast contended with God and with men, and hast prevailed... and he blessed him there."
When the funeral of Jacob arrives at the cave of Mach'pela in Hebron for his burial, Esav stands at the entrance to the cave to prevent Jacob's body from receiving burial in the Land of Israel:
See, Yalkut Shimoni - Parashat VaYechi 49.
The Nation of Israel leaves Egypt. On their way to enter the Land of Israel, Amalek arrives:
"Then came Amalek, and fought with Yisrael in Refidim"
"Remember what Amalek did to thee by the way, when you were come out of Mizrayim: how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were feeble in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not G-d."
The Nation of Israel is ready to return to its Land from the 70 year long Babylonian Exile. Haman the Agagi-Amaleki devises a plan to destroy them at the last minute in order to finally prevent their promised return and his own demise.
"And the letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces, to kill, and to anihilate, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women."
"R' Zvi Kupshitz, R' Chayim's grandson, related that when the German Kaiser Wilhelm visited Jerusalem in 1898, the entire city went out to greet him. Some went out of curiosity and others in order to recite the blessing "Who has given of His glory to flesh and blood".
R' Chayim however did not go out. R' Chayim explained that he gave up the opportunity to recite this rare blessing beacuse he had heard from his rebbi, R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin, that it has been said in the name of the Vilna Gaon that the German nation is from the seed of Amalek. They exhibited the classic symptoms of Amalek - externally polite and friendly, but harboring a deep and bitter hatred of the Jewish people."
"Gaurdian of Jerusalem", Life of Y.C. Sonnenfeld, Pp 202-203.
"Yes, we are barbarians. It is an honorable title to us... the Jews have inflicted two wounds on mankind - circumcision on its body and conscience on its soul. They are Jewish inventions... I am freeing humanity from the shackles of the soul, from the degrading suffering caused by the false vision called conscience and ethics...
the struggle for world domination will be fought entirely between us, between the Germans and the Jews. All else is facade and illusion".
Herman Rauschning's intimate conversations with Hitler during the early years of the War.
Quoted in Encyclopedia HaIvrit, "Antisemitism" Pg. 530 and in "Path Through the Ashes" by Prager, English edition Pg. 88 (Artscrolls).
Before a sofer starts writing, he has in fact to write and delete a whole groups of letters. This dates back to the tradition of remembering and blotting the memory of Amalek, the ancient tribe that did not allow the Jews coming out of the desert to pass through their territory. Instead, they unleashed the war against the Jews, exhausted by years and years of life in the desert. Torah instructs that we have "to blot the memory of Amalek from ounder the heaven - and not to forget" (Devarim, 15:19). Thus, the sofer literally implements this commandment written in the Torah: on a special sheet of ther parchment he writes down the name of Amalek and crosses it out. Now evil is blotted out, the scribe may get down to his holy work.
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