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Parshat Ki Teitzei (5762)
This week's section ends with three commandments dealing with Amelek: a nation that hates the Jews and tries to destroy them whenever possible.
1) To remember Amelek
2) Not to forget Amelek and
3) To eliminate Amelek.
At first glance this is not understood:
First, the reason Amelek hates the Jews is because he hates G-d.
Now, the Baal Shem Tov teaches that G-d creates the entire world constantly. So why would G-d constantly create people that hate Him?
Also, the last of these commandments seems to nullify the first two; if we eliminate Amelek so he doesn't exist, then why would we want to remember him.
To answer here is a story.
The Rebbe of Lubavitch, Rabbi Menachem Shneerson, (a.k.a. 'The Rebbe') did so many miracles that often they were taken for granted. But here is one that can only be understood as miraculous.
Rabbi Moshe Finer was not a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe but now he was in a big dilemma. His wife was ill, the doctors said terminally ill, and there was simply no other hope.
He and his wife had been to over fifteen different countries and spent tens of thousands of dollars searching for doctors and treatments but she just kept getting sicker. And now, just the other day, one of the biggest professors in Israel confirmed the worst. She had only days to live; only prayer would help.
Prayer! Rav Moshe had done nothing but pray since the first day they got the terrible news. For over a year he, all his friends and family were praying and praying, but nevertheless she was dying.
"You have no choice, Moshe", his wife pleaded from her sickbed. "Go see the Lubavitcher Rebbe. We've tried everything Moshe, everything, we have nothing to loose, nothing. And you know that you admire him anyway. So go Moshe, please."
So the next day Rab Moshe put on his best Sabbath garments, took a subway to the Crown Hights area of Brooklyn entered the Rebbe's headquarters on 770 Eastern Parkway and made an appointment.
Fifteen hours later at two in the morning he was standing nervously in front of the Rebbe's office door waiting for it to open. After over five hours of waiting (he was scheduled for nine P.M.) he was now first in line. The people behind him were silently reading Psalms or nervously adjusting their ties and straightening their suits.
The door opened! The man that just finished backed out of the Rebbe's office eyes red as though he had been crying and Rav Moshe entered.
The room was very brightly lit and very quiet; the walls were lined with books. The door closed behind him. The Rebbe was looking at a letter from a pile on his desk and occasionally the chair he was sitting on or the paper he was reading creaked or rustled like thunder in the silence.
The Rebbe looked up at him and said "Sit". But Rav Moshe couldn't sit. Something very, very unusual was happening here. He had lived around Chassidic Jews his entire life but he had never seen anyone like this, no less to be alone with him. This man was royal, powerful, wise, simple, friendly, holy and worldly all at the same time.
"What do you want?" asked the Rebbe.
Rab Moshe began to cry and tell his story. But when he finished the Rebbe answered. "But what do you want from me? If all the doctors and professors can't help what can I do?"
But Rab Moshe was becoming more and more positive that if anyone could do it, it was this man.
"Rebbe, have mercy! My wife and I have been so much, through the Holocaust and everything afterwards. Oy Rebbe, she is such a good woman. Please…. please help!"
"Aha!" Said the Rebbe. "The Holocaust! So I have a solution for you!
"The Nazis, yemach Sh'mam (may their name be cursed) killed millions of Jews. Do you agree that I trade one Nazi woman for a Jewish woman… for your wife?"
Rab Moshe knew exactly what to say… "Yes!!" he answered enthusiastically "Amen!! Amen!! It should only be so with all the Nazis, yemach Sh'mam!!"
The Rebbe blessed him and his wife with a long healthy lives and Rab Moshe backed out of the room, drying his eyes and thanking the Rebbe as he went.
Sure enough, the next day his wife began to feel better and in two week's time she felt well enough to take a walk outside.
The doctors couldn't understand the change in her x-rays and were even more amazed when a month later the disease completely disappeared!
Needless to say, Moshe, his family and his friends dropped their opposition to the Rebbe.
This answers our questions.
A basic principle of Judaism is that every Jew is a complete world, containing spiritually, in miniature, everything in creation and therefore has the power to affect the entire world around him.
As the Rebbe often said regarding the situation in Israel today, "The Arabs aren't our only enemies; the entire U.N. is like 'Seventy wolves against one sheep'. But you should know that every Jew has a little gentile inside him and when he defeats that little gentile inside he will defeat the big gentile outside."
Every Jew has an 'Amelek' a 'Nazi' within him; a cold, hard core of indifference and even hatred to G-d, Torah and the Jewish people.
And the only way to totally defeat it is by being attached to the Rebbe.
In fact that is why G-d creates Amelek, in order to unite the Jews to the 'Moses' of every generation in order to defeat him.
Just as Mordechi in his generation united and saved all the Jews from Haman, and just as Moses in his generation united and defeated Amelek (in the end of our section). So the job of the Jewish leaders of each generation, and especially the Rebbe in our generation (the generation of Moshiach) is to fight the 'little Amelek'; the coldness and indifference to living Judaism within each of us in order to transform each and every Jew into a warm, living Holy Temple.
That is the goal of Judaism and it will be accomplished ONLY by Moshiach. Only the Moshiach will totally defeat Amelek build the Holy Temple and gather the Jews.
But until then we must do these three commandments: 'remember', 'not forget' and try to 'destroy' the Amelek within us at every opportunity.
In other words; do all we can to bring,
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