Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
Is Hamas the Present-Day Amalek?
Published: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 05:13:04 PM
Number of views: 2412

Over 6000 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel since the Gaza withdrawal and the expulsion of almost 10,000 Jews from their homes in the summer of 2005. This is including hundreds of missiles that were launched at Israel while the supposed truce between Hamas and Israel was in effect. Actually, it was a one-sided cease-fire. While we ceased, they continued to fire. Why does Hamas reject any peace with Israel or even the existence of Israel itself? There is the public proclamation by Hamas, in its charter as well as its contemporary declarations, for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews wherever they may be. Jews everywhere, not just in Israel, are referred to as inherently evil, as responsible for all the evils of the world, as defilers of Islam, and as "the sons of apes and pigs." This is genocidal anti-Semitism. Where does this cult of murderous hatred come from? In Parshat Ki Teitzei, the Torah describes the Amalekite unprovoked terrorist attack on the weakest and most defenseless members of the Jewish people. This is exactly where Hamas aims their rockets - at kindergartens and Old Age Homes. Rashi at the end of Parshat Ki Teitzei describes what makes Amalek's hatred towards us unique and different from all other Jew-hating nations. He explains that Amalek's hate for us is greater than his love for his own life. Amalek is willing to destroy himself in order to kill us. This is precisely the tactic of Hamas's suicide bombers - glorifying suicide in order to murder Jews. In a survey taken, the large portion of the Palestinians justified suicide bombings against Israel and were willing to sacrifice their own children to be suicide bombers to murder Jews. There is an amazing verse in T'hilim 83:8, where the Psalmist compares Amalek to Philistia, which is the Palestinians. Thus, Rav Chaim Soloveitchik ruled that any nation that displays this irrational hatred towards Jews, i.e. focusing their terror and targeting the most vulnerable of our people, the aged and children, and who are willing to destroy their own lives in order to murder Jews, are halachically defined as Amalek even today. According to this ruling, Hamas would definitely qualify as being a full-fledged member of the Amalekite nation.

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