The mitzvah of remembering Amolek is not just to recall
historical incidents, but to remind us to hate all evil.
According to the Rambam: "The 189th [Mitzvas Asei] is
that He has commanded us to remember what Amolek did to us
when hastening to do evil to us. And we must hate him all the
time, and we must arouse all souls to fight him, and we
should encourage people to hate him -- to ensure that the
mitzvah is not forgotten and to ensure that the hatred of
[Amolek] is not weakened nor found lacking in people's souls
with the passage of time."
If there is one emotion that the modern Western sensitivity
abhors, it is hatred. There is no room for hatred. No one
should hate, according to modern "wisdom." Everything has its
place and time, and tolerance is imperative. Whatever you do,
do not hate.
If you cannot tolerate something, then just go away from it.
Let it be. Don't rock the boat. We are all in it together.
Everyone is "cool" even if sometimes it may take some effort
to feel that. Even if you do not agree with something, at
least try to understand it.
The legitimacy of understanding even what we oppose is one of
the most destructive ideas that has come out of the push for
tolerance. In its name people write books and make plays and
movies about the worst depravity that exists. In the hands of
a sensitive professional, the depiction of even crude and
warped deeds can be a profoundly moving experience. But this
is only because it arouses deep emotions that are present in
any soul that is connected to a body. These emotions are
extremely powerful but they are best left latent. Stirring
them up is certainly moving, but the direction of the motion
is strongly negative.
If we remember how to hate, we will certainly hate such low
emotions that are so destructive.
We must arouse hatred for all that is truly evil and
destructive. It is not a blind and unreasoning hatred that
strikes out in all directions. Rather it is a calculating and
targeted hatred that is directed at the true sources of evil
and at them alone.
If we do not properly and fully hate evil, we cannot love
good. Something is lacking in our love for parents or spouses
if we do not feel anything against those who threaten them or
who do them harm. Similarly, something is lacking in our love
for Hashem if we do not hate those who oppose Him and try to
drag others away from Him. As long as the bitter opponents of
Hashem have power, His own presence in the world is not as
full as it should be.
This brings us to one of the important distinguishing
features of Torah-mandated hate. It is not and can never
become an end in itself. The hatred of evil that the Torah
teaches is only the first stage -- an essential first step
but one whose importance in the Torah scheme of things is
such that it leads well beyond itself. Destroying Amolek is
the preface to simchas Purim.
Without eradicating Amolek, the simchah of Purim will
certainly be incomplete and worse, since it may easily become
tainted with the stain of Amolek's crude pleasures rather
than being the pure and spiritual orah, vesimchah,
vesossone vikor. The forces for evil in the world are so
strong and so ubiquitous that if they are not completely
erased they can thrust themselves anywhere.
If we do the work that we are supposed to do on parshas
Zochor -- to hate Amolek all the time, and to arouse all
souls to fight him, and to encourage people to hate him --
then we will be able to fully accept the Torah on Purim, and
we will truly merit orah, vesimchah, vesossone
May it be that way for us.