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The God Squad: We've seen enemy in Boston before

April 19, 2013|By Rabbi Marc Gellman

Only once in the Bible does God command us to remember one of our enemies. His name was Amalek. In Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (KJV), we read:

"Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it."

Amalek attacked the weak ones at the rear of the march. By choosing to attack the elderly and the young, the vulnerable and slow in the rear of the great Exodus, he guaranteed that he would be able to kill the maximum number of people with the least risk to his soldiers.

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After the attack by Amalek in the Bible, God commands Moses, "Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven...the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation" (Exodus 17:14,16).

The enemy we must never forget is also the enemy of God in every generation. Amalek is more than a man; he is a symbol, a symbol of terrorism, or radical evil in every generation where the Messiah has still not come or come again. Amalek was the first terrorist and, on Monday, Amalek visited Boston.

As I sat transfixed, sorrowful and angry before the television screen bringing me no news but revelatory images, one image caught my eye, as I'm sure it did yours. It was the picture of the first moments after the first explosion, and it showed an older runner going wobbly kneed and collapsing in the street. In a brief report in the New Republic, Marc Tracy wrote of him:

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