The Weekly Sedra – Parshas Ki Seitzei

The Rebbe says:

1. At the end of this week’s Torah portion the Torah tells us of the commandment to remember what the nation of Amalek did to us. The Torah reads, “Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he met you on the way and cut off those lagging to your rear, when you were tired and exhausted; he did not fear G-d. Therefore… you must obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget”.

When we analyze these words of the Torah we will see that there are three elements here. Firstly there is the commandment to remember what Amalek did to us. Secondly there is the commandment not to forget what Amalek did to us. And thirdly, there is the commandment to wipe out Amalek.

2. The Rebbe shows how important this is:

Some Halachic authorities (authorities on Jewish law) maintain that because of this commandment to “remember what Amalek did to us” we are obligated by the Torah to read these verses once a year on the Shabbos (Sabbath) before Purim,.

Additionally, our Sages tell us that women are generally not obligated to fulfill positive Mitzvos (commandments) which are time based, for example wearing Tzitzis (Tzitzit) or donning Tefillin (phylacteries),, however they are obligated to keep negative commandments even if they are time based.
Therefore, in this case as well, with regards to the commandment of remembering what Amalek did to us by reading these verses in the Torah once a year, it would seem that women are not obligated to fulfill this commandment because it is time based. However, being that in this case there is also another commandment “not to forget” what Amalek did to us, which women are obligated to fulfill, they are automatically also obligated to fulfill the positive commandment of “remember what Amalek did to us” even though it is time based.

From this that all Jews are obligated to fulfill the Mitzvah of remembering what Amalek did to us, even women, we see how important this Mitzvah is.

3. The Rebbe now discusses the element of wiping out Amalek:

It is impossible to physically wipe out the nation of Amalek in today’s day and age for two reasons. Firstly, we can only do this when the Jewish nation is in control. And secondly, being that the ancient king Sancherev mixed up the nations of the world by putting the inhabitants of one country in another country, we do not know who is who, and therefore cannot identify exactly who the Amalekites are.

Only when Moshiach (the Messiah) comes and the Jewish people will be in control will we be able to wipe out the nation of Amalek.

However this is all in a physical sense. In a spiritual sense we are able to wipe out Amalek even today, and even women who would not fight the physical war against Amalek must partake in the spiritual war against Amalek because they are also obligated in the commandment to remember what Amalek did to us (as we mentioned earlier).

Furthermore, our Sages tell us that it is a Mitzvah to mention and remember what Amalek did to us every single day. Therefore we see that this spiritual war against Amalek is not during certain times; it is a constant war.

4. The Rebbe now explains what the spiritual war against Amalek consists of:

As we quoted earlier, the Torah tells us, “Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he met you on the way…”.

The Hebrew word used here for, “met you”, is, “Kor’cha”, and the word, “Kor’cha”, could also mean, “made you cold”. This means that the Amalekians came to cool down the Jewish people’s excitement of fulfilling Torah and Mitzvos.

Hashem had just taken the Jewish people out of Egypt with all his wondrous miracles and they were on their way to receive Hashem’s most precious gift- the Torah. This made the Jewish people so excited that they started counting down the days left until they would receive the Torah from forty nine days before the deadline! Our Sages even tell us that all the nations of the world knew that the Jewish people were very excited to receive the Torah and this influenced them to be excited as well.

Amidst all this excitement and enthusiasm the nation of Amalek came to cool down the Jewish people’s eagerness to receive the Torah by waging war.

This fight with Amalek happens within us every single day. The Amalek within us says, “Don’t be so excited about Torah and Mitzvos; chill out. Granted, you need to fulfill the will of your creator, but don’t be all passionate about it”. The Amalek within us even says to us, “You yourself believe in Hashem and that He owns the world and can do whatever He wants, with whom He wants, when He wants. So why are you getting so excited over some miracle that He performed? This is old news!”

The way to fight this daily war is to get warmed up and excited about Judaism before we go out into “the daily grind”, and this is through Davening (praying) with enthusiasm beforehand. As a result of this, we will bring about the physical annihilation of Amalek.

Translated and adapted by Shalom Goldberg. Taken from Likutei Sichos volume two, third Sicha. a

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