`177 Why Would They Do That?
Chananya Weissman
January 11, 2022

There are many reasons why people refuse to accept reality. Usually it has something to do with an unwillingness to admit that they were wrong. Some people are incapable of admitting that they were wrong about anything, and will contort reality every which way to justify themselves. Such people live miserable lives, irrespective of how much money they have, and spread misery to others. When people like this are in power, they bring destruction upon society.

Some people can admit that they were wrong some of the time, but refuse to accept reality when the truth really hits home. For example, if someone willingly took one or more injections of a bioweapon, believing it was a miracle drug, or spent the last two years assaulting people for not wearing masks, it will be very painful for them to admit that they were terribly mistaken.

This is even more true if they compelled their parents, spouse, or children to take these shots. They may have doomed themselves and those closest to them to serious injury or death. If they accept this reality it will torment them day and night for the rest of their lives, especially if they have to acknowledge that a tragic “coincidence” was really nothing of the sort.

It takes great honesty and fortitude to accept that one was terribly wrong about something with such severe consequences. This is why many people continue to dismiss any and all evidence that challenges their stance. This also explains why they often explode in rage when people who care about them desperately try to share information that could potentially save their lives. Whether this information turns out to be correct, incorrect, or partially correct, it is irrational to react with hostility to such a gesture.

They react this way because, quite literally, they can't handle the truth. The implications of accepting reality would be devastating. So they rationalize in ways no rational mind can, and stubbornly continue on the path of destruction, insisting it is the path to salvation. (They say the same about us, of course, but that doesn't make them equally right, nor any more difficult for an honest person to discern the truth.)

Some people are refusing to accept reality for an entirely different reason, though often in addition to the above. They cannot believe that rich and powerful people, their own leaders, and institutions that are supposed to protect them would all conspire to commit horrific evil. “Why would they want to murder so many people?” they ask. “Why would they want to destroy their economy, and devastate their military, and kill children? Why would doctors kill their own patients? Why would the media cover up for them?”

They cannot fathom why anyone would do these things, let alone a worldwide cabal of evil people, so they simply refuse to accept that it is happening before their eyes. This is a terrible mistake. Just because one cannot understand why people might do something doesn't mean they aren't doing it. Just because the police cannot determine a motive for a crime doesn't mean the crime didn't happen. A clear motive helps us zero in on likely suspects and uncover evidence, but absence of a clear motive does not prove there is no motive or no crime – especially when the crime clearly exists.

For one thing, evil has always existed since the world was created. The moon was jealous of the sun. The snake was jealous of Man. The first pair of brothers in history fought to the death because the world wasn't big enough for both of them. Is it so hard to believe that power-hungry maniacs would be unwilling to share the world with billions of people?

Institutionalized evil existed since the first institutions were created. The first king we know of was Nimrod (many equate him with Hammurabi). He ruled by force, waged war on God, and tried to kill Avraham for rebelling against the idolatrous practices that had become law. This sort of rulership has been the norm ever since, with only minor variations. Those who serve God have been a persecuted minority almost without interruption throughout history. Is it so hard to believe that anti-God tyrants would use advanced technology for the same nefarious purposes as all those who preceded them? This would represent the rule, not the exception.

Those who find it hard to believe that any of the above could be happening today are deluding themselves. Perhaps the truth is too uncomfortable for them. Perhaps admitting that they harmed themselves and others, albeit unintentionally, would be unbearable. Perhaps they don't want to accept the responsibility of truly following the path of Avraham, with all it entails.

But there is another reason why many are struggling to accept reality. They are fundamentally decent people, and they simply cannot imagine that anyone would be truly evil. They can accept that people will sometimes do bad things for money, power, or desire, but they cannot accept the existence of actual evil. Even people who study the Torah can close the books and somehow still believe that everyone is basically reasonable and good, just because they are.

This week we read about Amalek's unprovoked attack on the Jewish people in the desert shortly after they left Egypt. Many nations waged war on the Jewish people in subsequent times, emboldened by Amalek's example. All of them were waging a proxy war on God as well, but only Amalek is singled out as an enemy of God throughout the generations (Shemos 17:16). Amalek is the only nation we have a mitzvah to destroy (Devarim 25:19). The other nations might have been motivated in part by jealousy, greed, politics, and grudges, but Amalek needed no other motivation; they are driven by evil.

Shaul, the first Jewish king, failed to complete this mitzvah when he had the opportunity, which led to his downfall and thousands of years of suffering. He defeated Amalek in battle and almost wiped them out, but he took pity on their king, Agag, and spared him. The prophet Shmuel confronted Shaul the next morning and finished off Agag, but the damage was already done (Shmuel I Chapter 15).

Agag's last words are recorded for us in verse 33: אכן סר מר המות. Most of the commentaries translate this as “Indeed, the bitterness of death has come upon me.”

However, there is a deeper interpretation of these words, as there seems to be little reason for his words to be recorded according to the simple meaning. Chazal teach us that the night before Agag was executed, when Shaul wrongly spared him, he slept with a maid and impregnated her. He sensed that he would bear progeny and the nation of Amalek would live on. According to this, his final words are understood as follows: “Indeed, the bitterness of death has been removed.”

Just as Avraham desperately wanted a child to continue on his righteous path and father a nation that would serve God, Agag desperately wanted a child to continue on his evil path and regenerate the nation that perpetually wages war on God. Just as the followers of Avraham do good deeds because that is their religious obligation, irrespective of any material rewards, Amalek does evil deeds because that is their religion, irrespective of any material profits they enjoy along the way.

This is the deepest reason why the wealthy and powerful are devoting themselves to “depopulating” the world, committing mass murder in so many ways. It is why governments all over the world are destroying their own countries, waging war on their own citizens, and committing atrocities against the most vulnerable. It is why they are utterly cold to the pain and suffering of their victims. It is why they couldn't care less about the law or scientific facts. It is why they couldn't care less if millions of their citizens protest so long as they don't revolt.

This is what they do. This is who they are. They are evil.

The middle managers and the grunts on the ground might need additional incentives to be corrupted, but the people on top are doing it with the purest of impure intentions. They consider it a mitzvah.

The Torah teaches us that Amalek is at war against God and all that is good until the end of days, when they will finally be destroyed. One who understands this should have no difficulty understanding “why they would do that” and accepting the reality that, indeed, they are.