Zachor: Banishing Doubt



One of our most formidable psychological adversaries is invisible. It is called doubt. Plaguing doubts, fears and uncertainties paralyze and demoralize us. “There is no joy,” our sages tell us, “as the resolution of doubts.” What can we do about this debilitating force in our lives?

We must obliterate it.

In the Torah, the archetype of doubt is represented by the Nation of Amalek. And we are commanded to obliterate Amalek from under the heavens. Why? What has Amalek done?

In the first terrorist attack of recorded history, Amalek exploited the shaky confidence of the Israelites, attacking them from behind, undermining the nascent self-confidence of the newly liberated slaves and their fragile reliance on G-d, causing them to wonder “Is G-d with us or not?”

Amalek thus sowed doubt in the cosmic fabric of human psyche. So it is no accident that Amalek represents doubt and uncertainty, and this is what we are meant to obliterate from under the heavens.

In today’s accelerated world, we are particularly plagued by many doubts. The volatile Middle East, rising oil prices, a shaky economy, personal instability – these and many other factors, all amplified by the media, are eroding our sense of security and confidence in our old “reliable systems.” People everywhere are wondering what will be tomorrow, let alone in a month or year from now.

All doubts begin with the first cosmic doubt – “Is G-d with us or not?” This is the source of all maladies.


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