Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
A large portion of the Jewish community in New Rochelle, New York, is under quarantine. On Friday I spoke with members of the community in a live broadcast, sharing with them a Torah commentary that Amir Eigerman had sent to me from Israel:
Last Shabbat we read about Amalek in parashat Zachor and what he did to us after we had crossed the Red Sea: And he cut off all the stragglers at your rear, when you were faint and weary, and he did not fear G-d. Amalek always attacks our soft underbelly. This is his ideology – to attack the weak, the sick, the old people. In contrast to this ideology, we are doing the opposite in the current health crisis. All of us feel compelled to change our daily routine and to risk our financial security by isolating ourselves in our homes. Yet we are making these sacrifices not for ourselves but, first and foremost, for the weak and the sick and the old among us. Is this not the antithesis of Amalek’s world view? All those who have gone into quarantine, all those who wash their hands and are diligent in following the safety measures, all those who must stay at home this morning to watch their children demonstrate mutual responsibility and commitment to one another, solidarity and real concern and, in so doing, play a small part in vanquising Amalek.