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The pasuk says (Devarim 25:18): תמחה את זכר עמלק- wipe the memory of Amalek. Does this mean to wipe all of their memories, or only enough to make them ‘non- Amaleki’?
Also, how do we wipe their memories-hypnosis seems pretty close to the prohibition of magic, so are there alternatives?


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  • Wouldn’t a good klap on the head do the trick? – DonielF Mar 11 at 20:12
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You only need to wipe their local memory storage. Memory in the Cloud need not be wiped, as the verse ends

מתחת השמים

The best approach is really just to overwrite all of the memory with binary zeros, as the Spies themselves recommended (Bamidbar 13:29-30):

אפס כי עז העם היושב בארץ... עמלק יושב בארץ

Zero out the nation that lives in the Land ... Amalek lives in the Land

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    One of the best answers this season! +1 – רבות מחשבות Mar 11 at 20:18
  • @רבותמחשבות Thanks! And I posted it right before tanking my daily rep cap, so it was לשמה! – Y     e     z Mar 11 at 20:22
  • Wouldn’t taking out their memory cards be simpler? – Lo ani Mar 11 at 20:49
  • @Loani You think they’d let you anywhere near the port those cards are in? Much easier to do it remotely. All you’d have to do is hack their servers. – DonielF Mar 11 at 22:02
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    Whatever you do, don't forget the RAM. Shaul Hamelech made that mistake. – Isaac Moses Mar 12 at 13:12
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I've always interpreted that pasuk to mean the wiping out of the memories of Jews(and Noahites) of any memory of Amalek.

As is usual in a lot of cases, I learned this by watching lots of Star Trek.

Starting with the original series' first season's "Dagger of the Mind" - not so coincidentally written by a 1930's Germany-fleeing Shimon Wincelberg writing under the pen name S. Bar-David - there is memory erasing "neural neutralizer" as a central plot point. Evidently, when they started using it for other things besides wiping out the memory of Amalek, that's when the trouble started. But all turned out well for the mitzvah-observing characters in the end.

Later on, in the Next Generation/DeepSpace Nine's times, Dr Bashir used a memory eraser in the episode "Sons of Mogh" to wipe out the memory of Amalek(and a bunch of other stuff) from Worf's brother's mind for a successful conclusion to the episode.

Btw, it's obvious that Worf was raised in a Jewish household - in the Next Generation episode "Family", his adoptive parents were obviously Jewish, even being played by Theodore Bikel and Georgia Brown(!!).

Even out in the Delta Quadrant, in the episode "Unforgettable", Voyager runs into a race of people that emit an automatic Amalek(and everything else)-forgetting pheromone. Perhaps one of the lost tribes made it out there by then and it became a genetic adaptation after so much Torah study?

So, in conclusion, at least according to Gene Roddenberry and his successors, even 500 years from now, the memory of Amalek will still be busy being wiped out.

  • If you read to the end of the posuk, it clarifies how we are to erase that memory. The Etnachtah under the word השמים serves like a semicolon. The 2nd phrase is, “לא תשכח”, you will forget (the word) לא in the paragraph where it speaks about Amalek. That was the phrase, “ולא ירא אלקים”. So by forgetting the לא, the Torah will say that Amalek feared G-d. In that case, they wouldn’t have attacked the Jewish people. It is using the principle of “Kri v’Kativ”, it’s written one way but read another. – Yaacov Deane Mar 11 at 23:09
  • @YaacovDeane - Okay. I was just going by the Jewish English (Sefaria, Chabad) translations. Didn't see or read any of your info there. Thanks! – Gary Mar 12 at 0:34
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    I understand. That’s the disadvantage of not being able to read and comprehend in the original language. One is dependent upon what level of reading comprehension your translator has in both the original and in the language they are translating into. Good reading comprehension of Hebrew is literally the keys to G-d’s Kingdom. It is truly what makes you free of Mitzrayim. – Yaacov Deane Mar 12 at 4:06

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