17:07 ‘…and the people said: Is Hashem in our midst or not’ 17:08 ‘and Amalek came and waged war with the Jewish people in Refidim’ Q: Why does the Torah mention these 2 verses next to each other? A1: Rashi explains that it is precisely because the people wondered whether Hashem was with them, after all that Hashem had done for them in yetziat mitzrayim/manna/water etc, that Hashem brought Amalek onto the Jews, so that the Jews will really cry out to Hashem and know that He is there. A2: Amalek represents the world of safek, doubt (Amalek = safek = 240 in gematria

). As explained once by Rav Elon, this juxtaposition teaches us that as soon as we doubt a matter, the world of doubt will immediately take hold of us (‘vayavo Amalek…’). This is very similar to the insight by many baalei mussar that as soon as we give the yetzer harah one inch, then it will strive to take hold of us, just as a nachash (that represents the yetzer harah in Bereshit) envelops round a person.

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