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Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt

By Rabbi Aharon Gabbay

We read the famous passage about erasing the name of Amalek. Amalek are a nation who despise the Jews with endless hate and there are even mitsvot related to erasing their name. But what is it that singles out Amalek more than any other nation? What is it that it is vital for us to have nothing to do with Amalek to point where we must erase them and blot them out.

Over the past century, mankind has made phenomenal scientific discoveries that tower the previous thousands of years. The observance of creation is amongst one of them. Evidence shows that in order for there to be a multitude of organisms that we see today, there must have been a perfectly timed, perfectly arranged accumulation of certain chemicals and elements to produce even the smallest living organism. The sophistication of our body is phenomenal. A build up of nervous, respiratory, digestive and immune systems which work effectively is probably the most complicated production ever seen and the chances of these chemicals assembling correctly by chance are in the millions. It is said that “there is more chances of a Boeing 747 being assembled by a tornado sweeping through a junkyard”. These figures are only referring to the human body, not to mention, plants, animals and natural occurrences such a season changes, volcano eruptions etc.This turns the chances into a figure too big to read. The only alternative is that a supernatural being created it all – Hashem.

However, some scientists, despite the extraordinary low chances, believe that it is possible for such chemicals to come into alignment because there is a chance. Because they are threatened by religion and the existence of G-d they result to such distorted solutions. Because there is a doubt: maybe it all just happened by chance.

That so called doubt is Amalek. Amalek are the ones who deny G-ds existence by stating that there is always a chance. Amalek has the same numerical value as the Hebrew word safek – doubt. Hashem never created doubt, Hashem either created something or he didn’t. There is no such thing as ‘he might have created something’. Only when man approached and explored the world, they established doubt about physical and spiritual forces and objects. It is only the childish observation of man that claimed that ‘maybe’ such a thing exists or not. Amalek use this approach to suggest that there is no overpowering being that controls the world.

Amalek are not just a nation who strive to destroy the Jewish people, they also symbolise an ideal that promotes an alternative to Hashem’s existence. An ideal that threatens our fundamental beliefs. That ideal we are told to erase and blot out because it defies the basis of our heritage.

With Purim just around the corner, the Megilla tells of an Amalekite, Haman, who wanted to destroy the Jewish people. The Gemara (Megilla 12a) says that the reason the generation of that time were held liable to be punished is because they bowed down to an idol. Idol worship promotes that Hashem does not exist and there are other ways that nature came to existence. This was so popular amongst society in that time. Mordechai and Esther grabbed onto their Jewish teachings and knowledge and refusing to accept such scepticism and ultimately through their commitment the Jews merited redemption.

We are continuously challenged in life with tests of faith in Hashem. Whether it’s in His existence or in His involvement with our lives, it is incumbent upon us cling to the idea that no other forces are involved besides those of our creator above.

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