Our Parsha this week concludes with the commandment to Amalek’s sin against our forefathers on the way out of Egypt (Devarim 25:17)
"He ambushed (vay’zanev) all the stragglers (hanecheshalim) behind you, and you were tired and weary, and did not fear Hashem" This verse refers to how amalek attacked the Jews in the Desert!
What does "vay’zanev" mean, who were the "necheshalim," who was weary and why, and who did not fear Hashem?
Rashi according to a Midrash says that Amalek cut off certain Jews’ foreskins and threw them to the sky. The Divine cloud protected the nation in general, but those

who did not fulfill the mitzva of bris milah were excluded. Thus, the weak people were not physically weak and weary but spiritually so, as is confirmed by several midrashim. According to this approach, it is likely that those who did not fear Hashem referred to or included the Jewish victims of Amalek.

This raises a philosophical question. If Amalek attacked only those who Hashem had rejected, then why did Hashem view Amalek as His arch-enemy? Why couldn’t they just claim that they had removed thorns from the vineyard (Bava Metzia 83b)? After all, men who refuse to perform the bris milah are cut off from their nation and, in effect, demonstrate that they do not want to be part of the covenant.

The key to this issue is found in the words of Rav Kook. In his book, "Orot," Rav Kook deals with one of his time’s most charged topics, the question of dividing the Jewish community based on religious conviction.

Rav Kook viewed the less religious elements of the Jewish community as follows. "As long as they willingly are connected with the general nation... their external wickedness works to strengthen the power of the righteous ... and about them it is said, ‘Your nation are all righteous.’" Rav Kook compares the idea of separation from "sinners" in modern times to Amalek’s struggle against those who had been spit out by the Divine cloud. "This division undermines the foundation of holiness in its totality, as the act of Amalek who ambushed the stragglers who were spit out by the cloud ... reached out its arm [to injure] the members who were ‘at peace’ [with Hashem] and desecrated His covenant"

Thus, the imperative to remember that which Amalek did remind us not to give up on any Jew. We will not forsake a brother even if he appears to have forsaken the covenant. Any harm to them is harm to the nation.

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