Rav Soloveitchik on Amalek: Peshat or Derash? II

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In a previous post, I quoted R. Nachum Rabinovitch as disagreeing with R. Moshe Soloveichik’s inference from the Rambam that the mitzvah to completely destroy Amalek applies to any nation that acts like Amalek (link). I have since seen that R. Eliezer Melamed (Revivim: Am, Eretz, Tzava, p. 82) also explicitly rejects R. Soloveichik’s approach. However, he adds that we should still learn from the idea behind it:

Even though the law is not like him [R. Soloveichik], and the rules of Amalek do not apply to enemies in every generation, we still learn from this that there is a moral responsibility placed on the Jewish people to unconditionally win against its enemies.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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