Right now, the good people of the world are scared. We find ourselves targeted by a savage death cult, and wonder when the next attack will occur.
These barbarians make no contribution to civilization’s progress. They distinguish themselves only by seizing attention via murder.
With God’s help, we will catch, kill, and destroy them. If we become hate-filled in the process, however, then they achieve something of their desire. If we turn on each other, God forbid, then we give them everything they want. To this, we must say, “No.”
So, how do we live productive, joyous lives without giving in to fear?
Terrorism is not new. It’s been around for all of human history and is driven by an atavistic, malevolent force. It wants power and recognition.
The Torah calls this force “Amalek.”
“God is at war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:16).
Here is how the Torah tells us to respond to Amalek:
“Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he encountered you on the way and cut off those lagging to your rear, when you were tired and exhausted; he did not fear God. Therefore . . . you must obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget.” (Deuteronomy 25:17–19)
The message appears to be twofold; Remember, and do not forget. But aren’t those the same? What is the difference between remembering and not forgetting? And why does it say “obliterate the memory” right before saying “do not forget”? Isn’t that contradictory?
The Torah teaches that we should never forget the damage done by Amalek, because he remains dangerous in every generation.
At the same time, we must not weaken ourselves with fear of evildoers. Instead, we obliterate their names and move on.
Most importantly, we must also remember the good.
We remember all the times in the past when good has defeated evil.
We remember that God rewards righteousness and punishes evil, though we can’t always see it.
We remember the tremendous good that is done by righteous people every day, in every generation.
My pals, let us resolve to remember the good, and battle the bad.
With God’s help and our unity, we will destroy the Amalek of our generation.
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