Elul 12, 5768/September 12, 2008
The story of Amalek was first related in the book of Exodus at the chronologically correct time of its occurrence, soon after the crossing of the Sea of Reeds. Why then, is it repeated, albeit with new information, now, as we are reading the book of Deuteronomy? What can we learn from the retelling of the Amalek incident, which appears at the conclusion of this Shabbat's Torah reading of Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)?
The timing, in fact, couldn't be more propitious as we find ourselves in the thick of the spiritual odyssey of the month of Elul. Often referred to as the season of repentance, Elul may more accurately be described as the season of return, (the Hebrew word for both being identical: teshuvah). For in the month of Elul we embark upon a journey of return: a return to ourselves, a return to
"Remember what Amalek did to you along the way as you came out of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 25:19)
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