"We are closer to G-d when we are asking the questions, than when we think we have the answers" Heschel

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Killing Amalek

FNQ - 5 q's for the week

Before we ascend to the spiritual bliss of Purim we have a commandment to recall the deeds of Amalek. The commandment to remember Amalek is, according to many, a preparative act for the ultimate goal to completely annihilate the Amalekite nation. This mitzvah has drawn significant attention throughout the ages as being very difficult to swallow. These are my 5 questions on the mitzvah to destroy Amalek.

  1. Is it acceptable to be uncomfortable with the Divine commandment to kill women, children and animals from Amalek? (animals is a machloket)

  1. According to the opinion that Amalekites cannot convert, why did G-d create something whose sole purpose in the world is to be destroyed?

  1. According to the opinion that Amalekites can convert (Rambam), how can we kill children who haven't reached an age when they can make that choice? (link to my shiur on converts from Amalek)

  1. King Saul was removed from the thrown because of his failure to complete this mitzvah. Why was this such grave mistake? (link to my shiur on this subject)

  1. What is the connection between the mitzvah to remember Amalek and the celebration of Purim?
What do you think?

Come back Tuesday for a thought on question 5.

Binyamin – always looking for a good question


  1. 2. Your question is flawed. God didn't "create" amalek. He created man- Amalek is a nation that consciously DID something to warrant its destruction.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I agree that initially Amalek warranted destruction do to their own actions and choices. However, once the commandment to destroy them was made for all generations that shows that there exists within them an inherent evil that must be annihilated. It is based on this command, which exists regardless of what the Amalekite people do that I posed the question.