Zecher Amalek – how can it ever be wiped out?

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    Something I’ve been wondering for a while and was curious if any classic or modern authoritative commentaries deal with was the issue of Zecher Amalek, and to a lesser extent, the Zecher of the wicked in general. To that end I have several separate questions.

    Minor questions: Why do we want to erase the memory of the wicked? Don’t we want to remember it as a lesson for all time? Isn’t part of the suffering of the wicked in this world and the next world linked to their deeds being remembered (either by us, or them, or both), not forgotten or blotted out?

    Major question: Given that the Torah is eternal, how can we ever blot out the memory of Amalek? Amalek is mentioned in the Torah! Furthermore, every time we actively blot out Amalek’s memory, we are ironically propagating it! Lechora, if we just kept quiet about it, we’d be doing more to wipe out Amalek’s memory than by all the active things we do! How do we deal with this?

    Thank you kindly


    Given that the Torah is eternal, how can we ever blot out the memory of Amalek?

    Fulfill the mitzvah to kill any Amaleki you run across…

    on the ball

    Naturalselection – it’s a question I’ve also had. I haven’t seen this answer anywhere but I think the commandment to wipe out Amalek is not that we should forget Amalek (on the contrary the Torah says we must not forget) – like you said we must remember the wicked as a lesson.

    Rather the mitzva is to wipe out Amalek’s physical and ideological remnants; whether descendants who embody Amalek’s evil or his ideology – that of denial of G-d’s providence ch’v)


    If you read the question carefully, that’s not what I’m asking. How can we blot out its memory, whether they are all dead or alive, if the Torah, which is eternal, mentions Amalek in any capacity?

    Keep the blind zeal to a minimum before you answer again please (e.g. KILL KILL KILL). It just might result in a more thought out response. Thanks


    There is a small part of Amoleik in all of us, you know that little voice who tells us in the middle of davening to check who is texting us. Are job is to erease that voice.


    Not looking for cute pshetlach, buddy. I’m talking about the historical Amalek and the Torah’s injunction. Not Aggada or Midrashic layers about inner struggles vs. our yetzers.


    On the ball: That’s a good start, thanks. I posted after you but it was @ droid. Any other well thought out responses would be greatly appreciated. Thx


    The meforshim explain that the mitzvah of erasing the memory of Amalek is to kill anything related to them.

    Ibn Ezra explains that this posuk is the klal and Shmuel A 15:3 is the prat. That posuk says to kill every man, women, child and animal.


    DH: In other words, ein bichlal ela mah sheb’phrat so the mitzvah to erase isn’t chal on the mentions in the Torah? I hear. I didn’t see that ibn Ezra, it answers the kashya very well. Now I have another question; supposing that Amalek was a civilization on par with the Phoenecians — who were around at the same time — and had a culture with arts and literature, given the miut of man woman child m’gamal v’ad chamor, woud we be obligated to burn their books and smash their pottery? (No comments about secular art and literature in general please, just this mitzvah).


    I don’t think you say ein b’chlala ela mah shebprat on psukim that aren’t smuchos. I think he was just saying that both pesukim were mechaven to the same inyan of michiyas amalek.

    For your question, I think that if it was a klal uprat it would be mema’et only the people and animals. But I don’t think its a klal uprat.


    A-It’s all asmachta anyway

    B-Smichus of ??????? ?? ?? ??? ?? to ????? ???

    C-Even if it isn’t actually a drasha of that sort, if the pasuk limiting it to people and animals is clarifying the mitzvah, it is clarifying that the mitzvah means only people and animals. Incidentally, that’s what klal uprat is.

    BTW, that’s my bar mitzvah haftara.


    Oh I see what you’re saying. I thought you were talking about making a klal uprat from Devarim to Shmuel.

    Still the klal over here is ???????. Maybe the actual mitzvah of ???? ?? ??? ???? goes further than that.

    Maybe burning their books is a chumrah!

    Is this your bar-mitzvah haftorah or your bar-mitzvah pshetel too?


    Moderator, please, delete this discussion.


    Mdd: I’m glad you give convincing reasons for your desire to have threads closed. I wholeheartedly agree with your implied statement that the entirety of the forums should bend to your notion of what are and aren’t appropriate topics. Please continue to shower us with your timeless wisdom.


    If the mitzvah of timcheh goes further than that, and is not delineated by the pasuk of v’hacharamtem, we’re back to square one i.e. it’s not delineated at all and the Torah’s reference to it ensures that it can never be fulfilled.

    My bar-mitzvah pshetel was on the Korban Olah but if I ever have to suggest a topic to another parshas zachor kid I know what to recommend. 🙂


    it’s not delineated at all and the Torah’s reference to it ensures that it can never be fulfilled.

    Maybe that’s the point. That is where deiyezooger’s “pshetel” comes in. As long as we are in Galus, there will always be some mitziyus of Amalek that we will have to fulfill. Today we don’t know who they are to kill the people and animals. But we have their kefira to some extent that we need to destroy. When we strengthen our emunah maybe we are also being mekayem timcheh.


    NaturalSelection, hisgarus be’Umos.


    This is a similar question to the more general question of:

    The torah says to destroy all Avoda Zara. So what about Molech, Markulis, Ba’al, Ov, and the other Avoda Zara mentioned in Tanach & Chazal? How about the Issur of “lo Yishama Al Picha”, how can one mention the names even in context of Torah?

    A simplistic (and perhaps correct) answer is that once they are discussed as Torah, those words are no longer part of the Avoda Zara, but part of Torah. I think the same idea can be applied here as well.


    g_a_w: That’s an interesting idea. It’s known that Amalek represents kefira, but discussing Amalek in the context of Torah would be like “emunah-izing” it.

    I like that.


    Rather than the speculation that we’ve mostly seen in this thread so far, how about restating what rishonim and acharonim have said on this topic?



    ??? ?????? ???? ?? ????, ????? “???? ?? ??? ????” (????? ??,??).

    ???”? ???? ?????

    The chinuch has it as number 604.

    basket of radishes

    Remember always that HASHEM has control over the universe. If there is a remnant of Amalek today, Hashem is very aware of this existence. If there is to be a war against a component of our society, rest assured that Our Creator will be the one to initiate this happening. But that said, our battle is against Evil and heresy. And if we can fight against this where it exists in our lives, we will always come out ahead. Thanks.


    Zecher doesn’t mean the fact that they existed. The Pasuk concludes, Lo Sishkach! Zecher means their remnant.


    I think the “lo sischkach” is going back on the “timcheh”. Meaning remember to wipe them out, not remember Amalek.

    On the other hand the previous posuk says “z’chor al tishcah eis asher asah l’cha amalek”.


    I am very scared this July 4th, because being 2 Dozen Decades, means this birthday is Gematriyo of Amolek=240, and looking at the 2 presidential candidates in the election year of America being age of Amolek’s Gematriyo, is petrifying to say the very least.


    147 -“I am very scared this July 4th, because being 2 Dozen Decades, means this birthday is Gematriyo of Amolek=240, and looking at the 2 presidential candidates in the election year of America being age of Amolek’s Gematriyo, is petrifying to say the very least.”

    It’s a good thing to be scared – if it motivates you to do good!

    I’ll tell you a little secret, that a lot of Jews know already, the Torah says Amalek was able to start up with us because we were weak in Torah.

    So the solution is to strengthen our learning & doing more Mitzvahs!

    This way Amalek or any of our enemies, won’t have any strength to do any harm to us!

    Avi K

    Health, maybe because we were weak in the will to fight.


    Avi K -“Health, maybe because we were weak in the will to fight.”

    Sorry – the Torah doesn’t believe in Koach V’ozem Yodi!

    From Rabbi Wiggins: “Why did the Jews deserve to be attacked by Amalek? The key to understanding this particular downfall is the name of the location where Amalek attacked us – Rephidim. Although on a simple level this name is merely a geographical location, the Midrash tells us that it is an acronym for rofu y’dayhem min hatorah – the hands of the Jewish people were weak in their support of Torah. What does this expression mean? The usual term for lack of Torah study is bitul Torah – neglecting the study of Torah. What then is the idea behind their hands being weak in their support of Torah?

    Rabbi Hutner explains that this expression refers to a weakness in recognizing and appreciating the importance and relevance of the Torah in our lives. When we fail to realize how vital Torah is to our very existence and to the existence of the entire world, we are inviting Amalek into our midst.

    Not only should we be concerned with how much Torah we learn, but also with how much value and importance we attribute to the Torah which we learn. Do we realize that Torah is Hashem’s wisdom? Do we realize that Torah sustains the entire world? Do we realize that the ultimate perfection of the world can only come through Torah? May Hashem help us to increase our time to study Torah and our appreciation of its greatness.”

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