This Shabbos we read Parshas Tetzavah. We also have a special Maftir reading, known as Parshas Zachor. Parshas Zachor is the only Torah reading all year that is a Torah obligation, not Rabbinical. In it, we recall the mitzvah we are given to wipe out and eradicate every vestige of Amalek, the first nation that attacked the Jewish people when they left Egypt. Amalek was not threatened by the Jews. Their hatred was purly a war of evil against good. Indeed, when the Torah describes what Amalek did, it says “And Amalek did not fear G-d” (Deuteronomy 25:17). A most impotant point must be made here; The evil of Amalek that we are focusing on is not that he killed people, not that he was violent, and not that he was brazen. We focus on the fact that he did not fear Hashem.
Certainly as we read these words and focus and eradicating Amalek, we must make a quick check of ourselves. Are we ourselves behaving with a full level of fear of Heaven? Are our actions done with a full level of conciouss that G-d is watching our every deed?
The classic commentater Rav Tzadok of Lublin adds a beautiful point to this. The Torah tells us “Remember what Amalek did to you” (Deuteronomy ibid).. He explains that everyone may have a vestige of Amalek in themselves. We all have the times when our fear of G-d may fall short, when we fear more what a person who is watching us may say rather then worrying about what Hashem sees. We have a mitzvah to eradicate this vestige from within us. However, by nature we tend to find this fault of Amalek only in others. We may critisize our friend whose behavior is not up to par, we may point out a lack in therir conduct, but if we do this we have missed the boat. The Torah wants us to find what Amalek has done to you! The Torah wants us to take a mirror, take a deep look at ourselves, and find the vestige of Amalek, find the area where we lack fear of Heaven, and deal with that. If we can do that we will truly become better people, and will fulfill this concept of eradicating Amalek.