Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sensing "Amalek" -Continuation of Yin Yang Jerusalem and America

In continued reflection on the last post I was pondering the concept of Amalek* and the fact that the descriptions of what "Amalek" tries to impose on a Jewish soul was very similar to my feelings of disconnectedness, challenge to spiritual passion, etc., that I experienced recently while in America.

Rabbi Winston, in his book Geulah B'rachamim says that Amalek comes to confuse us to create doubts in our minds as to the extent that G-d is involved in our every day affairs (p 109) .The name Amalek itself connotes a power of disconnection as it has the Gematria of the word 240 "safek" meaning doubt. In Devarim verse 17 אשר קרך בדרך (that he happened upon you on the way) the word קרך has been interpreted as "spiritual impurity", "coldness", and "chance. "

My own personal experiences seemed to reflect these descriptions of Amalek almost exactly, even to the point of feeling a subtle sense of "coldness" and "stuckness" in my being while experiencing a not so subtle environmental attitude of dispassion, lack of emunah, and infiltration of all types of impurity. The attempt to "cool off" my passion for Hashem and my connection to Israel ( Amalek's forte) always challenges me and is a reminder of how these subtle forces seem to dominate outside of the Land of Israel, and how on guard one needs to be so as to not fall into them.

*Amalek is the source and root of the seven evil nations, yet he is seperate from them (Reishis Goyim Amalek)

After I wrote this I opened up Rav Kook's Orot and found his words expressing similar ideas.

It is impossible for a Jew to be faithful to his thoughts and visions outside of the land in the same way that his is faithful in the Land of Israel.
Manifestations of holiness of whatever level tend to be pure in the land and outside mixed with dross. Howevere in relation to the longing and attachment of a person to the land of Israel, his thoughts become purified by the virtue of the air of the land.
(Rav Kook, Orot p 91)

The imagination of the Land of Israel is pure and clear and suited for the appearance of divine truth...ready for the explication of prophecy and and its lights for the shining of divine inspiration and its brightness. The imagination that is in the Lands of the Nations is murky, mixed with darkness, with the shadows of impurity and pollution. It cannot ascend to the heights of holinessand cannot be the basis for the influx of the divine light that transcends the lowness of worlds and their straits. (Rav Kook, Orot p 92)

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