Thursday, March 01, 2007

Remembering to Forget Amalek

The pasuk says Therefore, when the Lord your God grants you safety from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!.

This passage is peculiar. Why are we commanded to blot out the memory of Amalek when we are at peace? Shouldn't Amalek be blotted out as part of the process of war and conquest?

I interpret this to mean 'When you are not at peace, you may have to do terrible things to survive and prosper. Fighting wars are necessary, but they are dangerous to the victor as well as the vanquished. When you have defeated Amalek and are at peace, do not take up the ways of Amalek. Instead blot out the memories of what you have suffered, and behave as though the coarsening effects of war had never touched you.'

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