11 Amalek Then and Now
Chananya Weissman
March 26, 2020

This is a follow-up to an article I published on March a few weeks ago called "Amalek's Last Stand", available here: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/amaleks-last-stand/.

The Midrash to Megillas Esther (7:13) provides the details of the letter Haman sent to all the countries announcing the royal decree to annihilate the Jews. At first Achashverosh was afraid to take action against the Jews because his predecessors who did so were all destroyed. Haman continued to badger him until he relented and called in the wise people of all the nations.

They argued that the world could not exist without the Jews, that Hashem's bond with them was unbreakable, and that anyone who wished to take action against them would be destroyed. Haman allayed their fears, claiming that the God of the Jews had become old and no longer had the power to protect them. He pointed to the fact that the Beis Hamikdash had been destroyed and the Jews exiled as proof that they had nothing to fear. Immediately they accepted his words.

We must emphasize that the nations of the world never opposed slaughtering the Jews on moral grounds. It was strictly due to practical, self-centered considerations. Once Haman reassured them that they would neither be punished nor suffer for destroying the Jews, no one objected. This has always been the nature of Amalek: to plant seeds of doubt and sow moral corruption. Those who already lack moral conviction are prime targets for Amalek, who seizes on their vulnerabily and leads them to rationalize all manner of atrocities. Amalek gives them the strength and justification to commit their deepest, darkest desires.

An examination of the letter the nations sent under Haman's guidance shows an eerie resemblance to modern times. Here are some notable excerpts from the lengthy letter (Soncino translation):

"Peace be to you without end. Be it known to you that there is a certain man among us who is not of our place, but he is of royal descent, from the seed of Amalek, and he is one of the most eminent men of our day and his name is Haman. He has made to us a very slight request concerning a certain people that there is among us, which though the most contemptible of peoples is exceedingly haughty; they desire our evil and they are forever cursing the king..."

Notice how the murder of millions of innocent people is casually framed and defined as "a very slight request", one coming from a most honorable and dignified source that should be automatically trusted. The reader of this letter is being subtly urged not to think too much about this. Haman is "one of the most eminent men", his request is "very slight" and it concerns the "most contemptible" and "exceedingly haughty" of peoples. It would be wrong to even consider saying no.

Reframing events, redefining words, conveniently leaving out certain details, and using hyperbole to magnify the urgency of a desired action while using euphemisms to downplay its severity are all hallmarks of Amalek.

Keep this in mind as we examine more excerpts from the letter, and compare and contrast to our times. These tactics are being used incessantly in our time to wage war against Israel, the Jewish people, and God's morality, and we must recognize them as the handiwork of Amalek.

Another excerpt from the letter. "[T]hey are ungrateful to their benefactors. You may judge what they are from the way they treated that hapless Pharaoh. When they went down to Egypt he received them with all kindness and settled them in the best part of the land, and supported them in the years of famine and fed them with the fat of the land."

Our enslavement and persecution for centuries is reframed as generosity by Pharoah, while our life-saving contributions to Pharoah and the Egyptians are conveniently left out. Jews continue to be portrayed as ungrateful toward their host countries, while in fact they are the greatest and most loyal contributors.

"When he had some palaces to build they built them for him. With all this he was not able to make them loyal, nay more, they made a crafty pretext to him, saying, "Let us go...three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice unto our God, and after that we will return. If you are willing, lend us vessels of silver and vessels of gold and garments." So they lent them their silver and their gold and all their best garments, so that each of them was able to load ever so many asses with the goods, until they despoiled the Egyptians, as it says, "And they despoiled the Egyptians." Then they ran away. When Pharaoh heard that they were running away, he went after them to recover his money. What did they do to him? There was with them a certain man named Moses son of Amram who by means of his magic arts took a certain staff and uttered incantations over it and smote the sea with it so that it became dry and they all went into the midst of the sea on dry land and all got across, and no one knows how they crossed and how the waters became dry. When Pharaoh saw this he went in after them to recover his money, and in some strange way he was thrust into the midst of the sea and he and all his host were drowned in the sea. They gave no thought to all the kindness he had shown them, so that you see how ungrateful they were.

"And then how they treated Amalek my original ancestor, at the time when he came to fight against them. What did that leader of theirs, Moses, do? He had a disciple named Joshua son of Nun who was very cruel and pitiless. Said that Moses to him, 'Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek'"...

Those cruel, pitiless Jews, running off with Pharaoh's money and then having the audacity to raise an army after Amalek attacked them! It would be difficult to take this as anything but comedy if we did not continue to witness such antics to this very day.

Amalek is alive and in our midst, attacking us from without and within. From without he strengthens and emboldens those who hate us. He spreads vicious lies and propaganda, knowing his eager audience will accept what it wants to hear. He makes it safe and acceptable even virtuous for atrocities to be committed. A little reframing here, a little redefining there, a bit of obfuscation, exaggerated outrage, and a catchy slogan is all it takes. Then anything is possible.

Those who murder Jews are justified through reframing events; they are oppressed, desperate, lashing out in pain, fighting for freedom, fighting for their land, they have their own narrative, etc. At worst they are lone wolves or mentally ill. Under no circumstances can they be referred to as what they are: evil people to the core who are waging war against God and His people. That would be offensive and racist.

When the Jews defend themselves, their actions are reframed as cruel and disproportionate. Anyone who considers himself moral and decent, who wishes to be "on the right side of history", will respond accordingly.

It is virtuous to refer to Israel's handcuffed response to attack as "genocide", but to refer to massacres committed by other nations in such terms is "unhelpful", and "politically not expedient". The dignity of other nations must be respected, of course.

Murdering a child because he has yet to be born is called aborting a pregnancy, an antiseptic term that reduces the severity of the act. Even if the child has recently been born, it is now increasingly acceptable to murder the child, a sort of grotesque grandfather clause.

Those who fail to rid themselves of their annoying moral sensitivities are reassured that it is not really a human being, just a "bunch of cells" being removed from the mother's body, little different than a tumor. Animals and even trees have rights equal rights, perhaps even superior rights but bunches of cells have none.

Those who are still disturbed by this are loudly admonished for trying to control women, reframing the situation even more absurdly to throw the adversary off balance and shame him into submission.

Homosexuality is reframed as two people loving each other. Adultery is redefined as polyamory, or an open relationship. Refusing medical care for the elderly, or encouraging them to die, is reframed as a benefit to them and to society. Murdering the sick is redefined as a mercy killing. Snuffing out the life of children with illnesses is reframed as sparing them a life of suffering. Cruelty is merciful and mercy is cruel. Good is evil and evil is good.

The most violent religion on earth is called the religion of peace, while God's Chosen People, who are relentlessly attacked, are smeared as Nazis. This is how Amalek wages war on us and God from without.

From within his emissaries seek to erode our principles and our convictions. They preach about such lofty ideals as democracy, equality, justice, openness, tolerance, free speech, and diversity, all while they will stop at nothing to control, dominate, bully, silence, and destroy.

The entire world is suffering from a plague, and countries around the world are uniting to fight it except for two. Two countries are simultaneously embroiled in an internal struggle for control over the very character of the nation: Israel and the United States. Israel represents the redemption of God's Chosen People and, ultimately, the entire human race. The United States is the crown jewel of the gentile world, built on a foundation of biblical principles and a striving for freedom from tyranny, despite its many imperfections.

It is no coincidence that even now, when everyone and everything is vulnerable especially now Amalek is pulling out all the stops to seize control and destroy from within.

This is the final act in a play that started thousands of years ago. This is the time for those who have been influenced by Amalek's insidious tactics to see them for what they are, a destructive force at war with God and everything good. It is time for the decent people who have fallen under their spell to wake up and separate themselves from these insidious ideologies and return to the truth of the Torah.

More than ever before, those who market evil in attractive packages are exposing their nature for all who wish to see the truth. God is engaged in a selection process. Those who disassociate from Amalek will be saved. Those who cling to Amalek will be destroyed with him.

The battles of Gog Umagog will soon be upon us. Whose side are you on?