||LOOKING FOR YOUR MATE & SUFFERING, PART TWO
- Thursday, September 27, '01 - Parshas Haazinu 5762
In the book of Esther, the Jews were threatened with annihilation by Haman, who was from the nation of Amalek. When Esther sent a messenger to Mordechai to find out about the decree, the verse (4:7) says, "Vayaged lo Mordechai ess kol asher korohu (And Mordechai told the messenger about all that happened)." The Midrash (Esther Rabba 8:5) says that the verse's use of the word "korohu" [happened] is significant. It could have said another term (e.g. asa, done; instead of korohu, happened). The difference is: korohu refers to Amalek, asher korcha baderech [Deuteronomy 25:18], who happened to meet you on the way out of Egypt (again, the term "happened").
Reference to Amalek is consistently worded in terms of "happening." This is a reference to the fact that Amalek has no recognition of Hashem, divine supervision of the world, absolute authority, right and wrong, law and order. Things just "happen." One may do whatever one wants. There is no meaning or rule. This wild abandon and rebellion against all which G-d stands for is at the essence of Amalek. To Amalek, the world is a free-for-all. Anything goes, do what you want. Like John Dewey said, "If it works, it's good." That's Amalek. G-d is at constant war with this.
Amalek is antithetical to G-d, Torah and, therefore, the Jew. The salvation in the Purim story came with "keemu vikiblu" (when the Jewish people reestablished their commitment to Torah as part of the Purim story). When they strengthened their grip, as it were, on the Torah, G-d rescued the Jews, turned events around and killed Haman and his family. Again, we see the direct correlation between how strong one's "grip" on the Torah is and how favorably G-d treat him; how weak one's "grip" on the Torah is and how punitively G-d treats him - through Amalek.
G-d is at permanent war with Amalek. The Jew must be antithetical to the essence of Amalek, which is wildness, abandonment of Torah and G-dliness, evil, immorality, cruelty, absence of order or right, lack of authority and law. When the Jew aligns with G-d and Torah, G-d will provide all his needs and not be "at war" with the Jew, all the while that he strengthens his grip on the Torah, attaches to the Torah, is devoted to and practices the Torah.
When the Jews were spiritually weak, G-d brought about the punishment through brutal Amalek; which hit the Jewish people in the place they were weak, falling, dependent, vulnerable and defenseless. When, as opposed to this, the Jews attach to and are strong with the Torah; that will increase merit to earn that G-d should provide our needs, to save and to help, and grant our prayers.
This can apply to all needs or troubles, whether finding one's soulmate, having peace with one's spouse, health or recovery, livelihood, a safe journey, or whatever it may be. If one wants to be saved from suffering or hardship, if one wants G-d to provide needs and answer prayers; attach to the Torah, grab strongly to the Torah and do tshuva (repent in all areas that need spiritual correction). It is the opposite of the weakening of grip on the Torah which brought Amalek to attack the Jews in the desert. When Moshe held his hands up, the Jewish people looked up to G-d. By looking to G-d, we strengthen our grip on the Torah and are saved by G-d. By being strong and devoted to the Torah, that's the way to increase merit, that G-d should deem it justice to provide what one needs and to help and to save.
The adjacency-relationship between the story of Amalek and the provision of the food in the desert teaches us that the way to have G-d provide one's needs is to have a strong grip on the Torah: what it stands for and requires from you.
And remember that the trip from Egypt to Sinai corresponds to and parallels the journey from singlehood to marriage. If the road from singlehood is travelled with a strong grip on the Torah, and looking up to G-d along the way, G-d is more inclined to supply the needs of that journey.
Sinai was the revelation of the Torah. G-d entered into a commitment bond with the Jewish people, which is analogous to a husband and wife entering into a commitment bond (marriage). Strengthening one's grip on the Torah also, then (in the mate-seeking context), has the characteristic of being ready for commitment bond, the way the Jews were ready for commitment bond when they stood at Mount Sinai.