The war with doubt
“Remember what Amalek did to you on the road, on your way out of Egypt. That he encountered you on the way, and cut off those lagging to your rear, when you were tired and exhausted; he did not fear God. Therefore…you must obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget.” (Deuteronomy 25:17-19)
So what’s the message here? What is this nation of Amalek and what does it mean to us today? We’ve been at war with many nations throughout our history – what makes this nation so significant that we were commanded to “obliterate the memory” and “not forget” them?
When our physical desires and comforts are interrupted and challenged the body goes into a state of panic. We can start to worry about and doubt the future.
Our body is programmed to be concerned about its survival, protection and comfort – and when any of these are challenged the mind can start bugging out.
Here in the physical world we are operating in the dark. We don’t know exactly why we are here or why we are given our specific tests and challenges.
Sometimes we get to do our work in comfort, other times we need to operate from the depths of despair. We don’t know why. It’s hidden from us just like the Source is. All we can do is reign our perspective back from the temporary to the eternal – from anxieties about the past and future to the only thing that matters – this moment, a brand new reality.
When we live from the perspective of the present moment we are in synch with our soul. It doesn’t matter what we are going through physically. It really, really doesn’t. While it can become very challenging from a physical and emotional perspective, really we should be grateful for our most difficult challenges – because we need to be specifically going through them to work through our tikun (soul correction). And the bigger we are, the more faith we have, the greater the test required – to give us the opportunity to evolve to even greater heights.
What else do we really want? Human nature desires this experience to be peachy cream – comfy cozy, always. If that was what the Source wanted for us – if that’s what was best for our eternal soul, that’s what we would be experiencing.
The numerical value of the Hebrew word Amalek is 240, which by no coincidence is the same numerical value of the Hebrew word Safek (which, in Hebrew, means doubt). Doubt attacks us when and where we are most vulnerable.
In the bible, the nation of Amalek attacked the Israelites on the road, on the way out of Egypt, on their way to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai. We had just experienced the most incredible manifestation of Divine power in history including the ten plagues, the splitting of the sea, the miracles of the manna descending from the sky to nourish us.
And just then, we were attacked – at the rear of our camp, where the elderly and small children were – the slowest and most vulnerable of the pack.
Every year when the portion of the bible recounting the story of the attack of Amalek is read publicly in synagogue, it is a requirement that we bring our entire families to witness and hear this reading – “The Portion of Remembrance”. As this section is read, we focus on every word. Collectively, we don’t just remember Amalek, we remember the message of Amalek. We remember the power of doubt, its battle plans, and its ever devastating effects on us.
We received a commandment from the Source to completely annihilate the nation of Amalek, to completely kill off the nation of doubt – even to “murder its women and children and animals”. To brutally destroy every remnant of doubt. This commandment applies to us in full force – to this very day.
Doubt is a fascinating beast. Ferocious and wise. Able to maneuver through a crack and lurch within, coiled up producing venom, unnoticed. Deep within each one of us lies a force which is always one step ahead. It was created for the sole purpose of being overcome by us to advance to a higher level of perception and joy. The world was created for our never ending happiness and joy, and this force – through us constantly slaying it at its seed level – is what enables us to grow to higher levels of perception and joy. I often refer to this force as the adversary.
At all times we must stand guard on the lookout for any form of doubt. Fully prepared to slay it, so that at times when we are faint and weary, vulnerable to the crushing effects of the nation of doubt, we remember our commandment to not spare even a trace of them.
May we all be blessed with the courage to go to war with that which seeks to bring us down. To summon the strength to follow the wisdom of the commandment to fully remember to eradicate all traces of doubt. To remember that in order to grow, there must be an opponent to overcome. Be strong and courageous and battle with every ounce of energy you’ve got.