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One can learn a lot about God, the Creator of all things, from the Bible. It teaches - this will strike some readers as almost unbelievable - that He has friends and He also has enemies.*

* Michael Dallen is working on a book on the Amalek phenomenon ["The LORD (HaShem) shall have war with Amalek for all generations." Exodus 17:16].

He blesses those who bless the People of Israel and curses those who curse them (Genesis 12:3, 27:29).

Why such favoritism? Because the People of Israel represent all humankind - since Jews, as members of a people as well as a great spiritual, religious, and ethical movement, come from every race and nation; and because this people is "chosen," the Bible says (Isaiah 41:9), not for privilege but for service.

See "How Odd of God..." Of course Jews are just people, with all the good and bad that goes with that. But collectively they constitute an irresistible force for holiness.

As for the enemies of Israel, who seek to destroy the Jews, especially including women and children, that unholy spirit is represented in the Bible by Amalek (Exodus 17:16).

Not every enemy of Israel is Amalek, but Amalek, particularly, hates and envies Israel - and, in fact, anyone who has God's blessing. Amalek lives almost beside himself, feeling wronged and jealous.

Amalek had the audacity to attack Israel after all the stunning miracles of Egypt, just a few days after the parting of the Sea of Reeds ("Red Sea") for the benefit of Israel and the drowning of the Egyptian forces that were pursuing Israel. Amalek knew all about those things - every nation that ever traded with Egypt knew about them - but attacked nonetheless. Why? Because Amalek, looking down on Israel, hurrying through the wilderness, leaving its "stragglers" - the weak, the very old and very young, the pregnant women, the mothers with children - and "weaklings" to struggle along by themselves in the rear.

Amalek decided, these people are not so holy; these people do not deserve God's blessing; we are more worthy than they; we shall see who is more deserving in the eyes of God right now.

Amalek is part of a dynamic force in the world, but a negative force; a force that makes the good suffer because they aren't yet as good as they should be. See Pita for Pesach, Covenant Connection (June 2009)

In every generation, those who incarnate this spirit, which delights in harming women and children - the Nazis, not long ago; bin Laden's Al-Qaeda, the 9/11 hijackers, Hamas, Hezbollah and their ilk - make themselves God's enemies (See Deuteronomy 25:17-19). They have no pity and stop at nothing. They condemn themselves. They make the world more brutal.

Today the reborn State of Israel is perpetually in the news. That this tiny nation, with fewer people than many cities, should be so obsessively hated by so many hundreds of millions of people, shows God's hand in history. It's an old, old story, but those who hate Israel so intensely make themselves the enemies of God and man.

This phenomenon is explored in the articles in this section


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