Let him who is convinced that his views are true and right express them . . . at every opportunity . . . without considering how much support or how much opposition he will encounter. Only falsehood is in need of many supporters in order to win the day; falsehood must have the authority of numbers to make up for what it lacks in justification. Truth, by contrast, will always prevail, even if it takes time. Noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the fiery zeal and conviction and with all clarity of sure awareness, stated again and again at every opportunity, truth will ultimately gain respect and admiration even of those who do not accept it. The only truth that can be lost beyond recall is that truth whose adherents no longer have the courage to speak up candidly on its behalf. Truth has never gone down in defeat as the result of opposition, it has done so only when its friends are too weak to defend it. - R' S.R. Hirsch

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Spirit of Amalek and the Left

When I think of the Left I can't help but think of the Amalekites: base opportunists who worship power. At the end of last week's Torah reading, Amalek is highlighted: 

"So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the L-RD said to Moses, "Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-L-RD-Is-My-Banner; for he said, "Because the L-RD has sworn: the L-RD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation" (Exodus 17).

Later in Deuteronomy we are adjured to:

"Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear G-d. Therefore it shall be, when the L-RD your G-d has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the L-RD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget" (Deuteronomy 25).

So, the Torah reminds us that this is ultimately not a ground war, but a heavenly one. There is no doubt that Joshua waged physical war with a sword in his hand against a physical enemy committed to wiping Israel out, but let us not forget and let us remember that this war is ultimately fought and won in the heavenlies: as long as Moses' hands were held aloft, Israel prevailed.

The moral future of mankind is threatened not so much by Amalek himself, but by glorifying the memory of Amalek. Glorifying those and the memory of those who have committed themselves to destroying the happiness of mankind by whatever means possible will awaken the desire of future generations to emulate them.

Amalek's greatness lies in the power of destruction. Therefore Moses builds an altar for remembrance, an antithesis to the sword of Amalek, indicating that someday in the future the entire earth will be transformed into an altar to G-d. It is with this altar that the war against Amalek has begun. Moses calls the altar 'Hashem Nisi', 'the L-rd is my banner' or 'the L-rd is my miracle,' precisely because G-d is calling us to battle and He is showing us exactly where we are to fight.

A banner is not a weapon, but is employed to show the soldiers the direction and location of the battle. This was an enterprise launched by G-d through Moses. The purpose then is to fight and overcome everything that is un-Godly on earth. Our objective is not militant in nature, but rather a defensive struggle where Amalek is ultimately defeated. This is ultimately a war for the complete recognition of G-d's Name on earth, and therefore G-d's direction of history will inevitably mean war against Amalek until the end of the age.

Amalek, and its imitators on the Left, will ultimately be defeated, not by a sword stronger than their own, but by a force augmented by G-d's power, a force rooted in tenacious adherence to the truth and unflappable faithfulness to G-d and His Word. Sans provocation we will continue to be attacked by the Left, simply because they sense a threat latent in us which contradicts their power.

May we never envy or glorify these destroyers of everything, men who are always promising you freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; if by such men a person is overcome, by such men he will also be brought into bondage. They feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; they behave as raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

Remember to blot out his memory . . . do not forget.

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