"Amalek's Little Secret"
In the end of Beshalach we read: "War is to Hashem with Amalek from generation to generation."
But who is Amalek? Why does this nation deserve so much attention?
Amalek is the anti-good, anti-G-d force in this world. They hate the Jewish people for no other reason then Israel's goodness and spirituality. Hitler once said that he hates the Jews because they are the "conscience of the world." Amalek's qualities include the ability to cause people to doubt G-d, to cool off the excitement of G-d's miracles, to replace the faith in G-d with a belief in chance and happenstance. Amalek's every quality is meant to counteract the force of the Jewish people in this world.
But what is Amalek's weakness?
The Baal Haturim uncovers this mystery by asking an interesting question: What is the connection between the commandment to destroy Amalek and the commandment to bring Bikkurim, the first fruits to be eaten in Jerusalem? These two Mitzvot are seemingly connected only by their proximity in the Torah - the destruction of Amalek comes in the end of Ki Teze, and the First Fruits comes right on its heals in the beginning of the next parasha, Ki Tavo.
However, the Baal Haturim asserts that there is a reason why these two topics are put side by side.
The Torah tells us: "Therefore it shall come about when the L-RD your G-d has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the L-RD your G-d gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget." (Dvarim 25;19)
The Ba'al HaTurim lets us in to Amalek's little secret. The commandment to destroy Amalek only reaches its full potential when "the L-RD your G-d has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the L-RD your G-d gives you as an inheritance to possess ." Only when the Jews are in the Land of Israel do they have the power to fully destroy Amalek.
This idea is further buttressed by the proximity of the mitzva of Bikkurim, bringing the first fruits to Jerusalem. This commandment can only be fulfilled when the Jewish people are on their land: "Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it; that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name."
Amalalek wants to destroy the Jewish people, and he always attacks us when we are at our weakest, when we are tired, hungry, and separated. The contrast, of course, is to the Jewish people when they are on their own soil, united, strong, and eating of the fruit of the land – then the Jewish people are in position to turn the tables, to destroy Amalek, and to create a society built in G-d's image. Amalek's greatest fear is the Jewish life in the Land of Israel because that spells his doom!
So what does Amalek do? Everything in his power to stop us from reaching our goal – to stop us from reaching the Land of Israel.
"The king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, then Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?"
Who told Pharaoh that the Jews fled? According to the Baal Haturim, the culprit is Amalek. Amalalek sees the Jews fleeing Egypt and heading towards Israel and he must stop them. First Amalek dispatches Pharoah and the whole Egyptian army, and when that doesn't work Amalek goes out against the Am Yisrael himself: "Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim."
Even today, Amalek is hard at work trying to stop us Jewish people from taking up our eternal inheritance. Terror, political ostracizion, economic hardships, and most of all fear - this is the handiwork of Amalek. Iran's Mahmud Ahmadinijad is today's reincarnation of Hitler, Haman, and Amalek. Ahmadinjad is set on destroying us because he knows that the Jewish people's redemption is at hand, and he will do anything he can to stop us.
Fearlessness, faith, a constant commitment to bring all the Jewish people home are our greatest weapons against Amalek. When we unite in Eretz Yisrael, with joy and love, living by the Book, there is nothing that can stop us. May we merit G-d's blessings to fulfill our mission to destroy our enemies and build His dwelling place in Yerushalayim!
By the way, compare these two verses in light of the above:
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, "We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it."
and Ester 6;13
Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish origin, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him."
See it? Our faith in the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is the death of Amalek.