Amalek

Be warned; this is not pretty.

First, some context:

This nomadic nation was, in ancient times, Israel’s eternal foe. Shortly after the Israelites left Egypt and were wondering the desert, the Amalekites attacked the weary nation, slaughtering the weak and elderly. The Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, later avenged the attack and defeated the Amalekites, but failed to completely eradicate the nation. Israel was then plagued with raids Amalekite raids. Today, the name Amalek is a symbol for evil and hatred against Jews, and Haman, the Persian leader who vowed to destroy all Jews, is considered a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites.

Source: the Jewish Virtual Library.

And in modern Jewish orthodoxy:

We are meant to remember Amalek’s cowardly assault both mentally and verbally. This is one of the “six remembrances” that we should recall daily. We fulfill this mitzvah through the reading of parshas Zachor in the Torah. (The custom is to read it close to Purim, as Haman was an Amalekite.)

Source: Orthodox Union.

And now, the lunacy (from Ynet):

Rabbi Shteinman: Yair Lapid – ‘Amalek’

Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, leader of haredi public, instructs pupils to think about Lapid, Piron when saying prayer against enemies of Israel

Finance Minister Yair Lapid has long been known as an enemy of the haredi public, but now, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, a prominent leader in the haredi world, says that Lapid is Amalek, the archetypical enemy of Israel from biblical times. This Saturday, when the parasha of Amalek is read, Shteinman instructed his disciples to have Lapid on their minds as they utter the words telling of the great enemy of the Israelites.

Twice a year, synagogues read the three verses that command to remember Amalek and destroy his descendants; once as part of the Ki Teitzei parasha, which will be read this Saturday, and once as a separate reading that in itself fulfilled the mitvah of memorial.

The next Hebrew year, 5774, is a leap year and longer than usual, which means there will be 13 months between this reading and the next; certain interpretations in the halacha claim that the second reading must also be done as a mitzvah, to continue the tradition of reading the important Amalek verse every 12 months.

Like any ‘enemy of Israel’

Towards the upcoming Shabbat, in which synagogues will read the Ki Teitzei parasha will be read, Rabbi Shteinman has instructed his pupils to keep the finance minister in mind while reading the parasha, in order to illustrate the historic Amalek.

Sources close to Shteinman also said that he tells pupils to think of Lapid and of Education Minister Shai Piron when saying Birkat haMinim, which is said three times every day other than Shabat, and that is read with the purpose of destroying the enemies of Israel: “And let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the noẓerim and the minim be destroyed in a moment. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the righteous.”

On the basis of this report, the good rabbi – and at least one of these three words is said in jest – seems to have lost the plot. What he is spouting is not Judaism; it’s the political posturing of a cult, determined to hold onto power, influence, and all that material stuff that truly spiritual people have less interest in.

His contemporaries should have a word in his ear; they won’t. His fellow leaders should put him right; they won’t. His followers should stop and ask themselves some serious questions; they won’t. His hate is a dead end that should be put to an end.

Which truly holy, spiritual man, will stand up and stand out and sort him out?

Calling the Chief Rabbi. Calling the Chief Rabbi. Calling the Chief Rabbi. Where are you? (Repeat, ad nauseam.)