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14 votes

Why was King Shaul commanded to kill all the animals of Amalek?

Rashi to Shmuel Aleph 15:3 explains that the Amalekites were sorcerers and were capable of disguising themselves as animals - and for this reason Shaul was commanded to kill even the animals. In his ...
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13 votes

Can descendants of Amalek become Jewish?

We can see how the commandment to eradicate Amalek does not contradict the possibility of converting to Judaism, from Rambam's description of the eradication process (Hilchot Melachim 6:1-4, Touger ...
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12 votes
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Were Amalek offered a peaceful exit?

The Chidushei HaGriz (§ 161) comments that the narrative between Shmuel and Shaul is a basis for the Rambam's opinion in 6:4. In verse 18, Sh'mu'el says that Sha'ul was told to destroy אֶת-הַחַטָּאִים ...
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9 votes
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The Spies Mentioning Amalek

The impetus for the drasha in the medrash is specifically because the first nation the spies mentioned was amalek, and as the ikar sifsei chachamim explains why not mention the amori and chiti who ...
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9 votes

Source for how Agag had a child after being captured

Amalekites and magic: The Amalekites' ability to change into animals is brought by Rashi on Shmuel 1:15:3 and the Rid on the same verse, and mentioned as a midrash in the Kitzur Ba'al Haturim's ...
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8 votes
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Why does the gemarah use Amalek as a mnemonic siman?

Yaavetz address this. He suggests that the tipcha on the word לא in לא תשכח hints to an allowance to mention the name in order to remember Torah. In accordance to the Gemara 'to bring the disgusting ...
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7 votes

Is it said anywhere in the Jewish scriptures that 'Amalek' means "wrung, twisted neck"?

The Alter Rebbe (R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi) gives approximately this explanation in Torah Or (T'tzaveh, page פה). He breaks the name of the nation into component words "עם מלק" ("'am malak") meaning "...
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6 votes

When was the war with Amalek?

According to the Seder Olam Rabbah (Chapter 5) - it was during the week which started on the 23rd of Iyyar. There are other Rabbinic sources which indicate that the battle was on a Friday. Since the ...
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6 votes
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Who did Yehoshua weaken with the sword?

What's the difference between Amalek and his nation? On “Amalek and his nation” Seforno says “who were collected from another people to fight”. I understand him to mean that the “nation” were his ...
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5 votes
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Are the Jewish people commanded to commit genocide?

As seen in Rambam here, there is a peace process even when dealing with Amalek and the other seven nations. "A war is never waged against anyone before peace is offered. This applies both to an ...
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5 votes

Why didn't Moses fight Amalek himself?

The Chizkuni on this pasuk explains that during a war, it is common practice for a leader to just "watch" the other men fight, while being posisitioned on a hill or mountain, to encourage ...
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4 votes
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Is remembering Amalek, erasing the name of Amalek, or both, considered mitzvot?

R Eliezer Melamed (Peninei Halakha here) answers as follows Three mitzvot in the Torah relate to Amalek. The first is a positive commandment to remember what Amalek did to us, as the Torah ...
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4 votes
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Does the mitzvah of eradicating Amalek supersede Shabbos?

R. Avrohom Bornsztain has a responsum (Avnei Nezer O.C. #509) discussing women's obligation in this commandment. He wonders why the Sefer Hachinuch (cited in the question here) states that women are ...
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4 votes

Why didn't Moses fight Amalek himself?

The Be'er Yosef (Exodus 18:1) has a creative approach to this question: His explanation is based on understanding the true catalyst to the war with Amalek. Hashem caused the war to happen in order to ...
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3 votes
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Antoninus was an Amalakite?

Artscroll Sefer HaChinuch (vol. 7) to this mitzvah (note 8) quotes the Minchas Yitzchak who says that the Chinuch must have had a Midrash we don't. The footnote records "some editions" who leave the ...
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3 votes

The Amalekite youth's capital punishment

Prof. Yehudah Elitzur wrote an essay on the subject. In his view, the Amalekite wasn't the son of a convert or even a ger toshav, but an actual 100% Amalekite. What was he doing there? He was a spy. ...
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3 votes
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Why Can't Moshe's Hands Perform Miracles?

A simple answer would be that the effort to support Moshe's arms implies that his arms themselves were winning the war. If it was just an arbitrary medium through which Hashem would perform a miracle,...
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3 votes

Were Amalek offered a peaceful exit?

Please see the sources cited in this essay http://arikahn.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/amalek-question-of-race-updated-2014.html "Rambam outlines a Jewish etiquette of war: Before the military option is ...
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3 votes

How do we erase the memory of Amalek?

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch sees the "זכר" (translated in the question as "memory") that needs to be erased as not simply the memory of the historical fact of Amalek, but the ...
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2 votes

Why didn't Shaul kill Agag?

The Mishbtzos Zahav posits that Shaul may have made the mistake that non Jews follow lineage maternially(see Kidushin 67b). If one looks closely at the passuk ,Shmuel says to Agag that he is going to ...
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2 votes

Do Amalekites not have souls?

There are 2 souls, a Nefesh Elokis and Nefesh Habahamis, a G-dly soul and an animalistic soul. Goyim only have the animalistic soul. All physical desires and worldly pleasures come from the Nefesh ...
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2 votes
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Treating with Amalek

Kesef Mishnah Understands1 the RABaD to argue with Maimonides and say that even if the Seven Nations or Amalek treat, we must kill them. He clarifies in the next dissention that we did offer peace to ...
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2 votes

Why didn't Mordechai kill Haman?

I would connect that to Rambam's beginning of Melachim: שָׁלֹשׁ מִצְוֹת נִצְטַוּוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּשְׁעַת כְּנִיסָתָן לָאָרֶץ: לְמַנּוֹת לָהֶם מֶלֶךְ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז טו) "שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים ...
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2 votes

Yehoshua and the Destruction of Amalek

The Medrash Rabba at the end of Parshas Shemois (literally the last sentence) says on Perek 6 Possuk 1 that you Moshe will see the Milchamois of Paroh and is Medayek that you wont see he Milchamois of ...
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2 votes

Mordechay's decree: "kill women and children, AND/OR plunder their possessions"?

Politically, Mordechai's letters had to echo Haman's letters as closely as possible. Otherwise, Haman's letters would have seemed stronger, and the bureaucracy would have supported the enemies of the ...
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2 votes

Why are "Remember and don't forget Amalek" two separate commandments?

An Amalekite facilitated the assisted suicide of King Saul according to 2 Sam 1:4-10. According to tradition, that Amalekite was Edab, who was conceived just prior to the execution of his father, ...
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2 votes

Why are "Remember and don't forget Amalek" two separate commandments?

Note that there are three mitzvos according to the Rambam that have to do with Amalek. Destroy the remnant of Amalek (Positive #189) Remember what Amalek did (Positive #188) Don't forget what he did (...
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2 votes

Blot out the memory of Amalek or kill his descendants?

The prophet on his own cannot add or subtract from the torah. However, Hashem can tell the prophet to do a specific action for a problem that occurs at a specific time (הוראת שעה). Thus Shmuel was ...
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