The days of Purim fall right after the week we read
Parshas Tetzaveh. There is a solid connection between
the weekly portion that deals with the priestly garments and
the central content of Purim -- the eradication of Amolek.
One a counterpoint against the other. The priestly garments,
which are designed for honor and glory, versus their complete
antithesis -- the figure of Amolek in disgrace, stripped of
Ovadia refers to him in his vision, "Behold, I have made you
small among the nations, you are greatly despised"
(Ovadia 1,2). Kohanim perform their service
with majesty and splendor. "`And the majesty' (hohod)
is the Beis Hamikdosh" (Brochos 58), in contrast to
the seed of Eisov, who abused the holy service -- "And Eisov
despised the birthright."
This abuse of their forbear, Eisov, became the fulcrum in the
personality makeup of his seed, Amolek. Eisov lacks all
appreciation for the service of the firstborn because his
world outlook stands in diametric opposition to it. For what,
after all, is the service of the holy and sanctified? What is
the offering of sacrifices, a total sacrifice to Heaven, to
A transformation of everything with a material externality
into a purely holy spiritual fire.
The kohanim in their service reestablish the entire
world upon its proper program and plan, as vessels for
spirituality, to fulfill the will of Hashem. By the act of
sacrificing and offering up the animal and vegetable
kingdoms, they draw them closer to their source, their
primary purpose in this world: hakrovoh with the dual
meaning of sacrifice and drawing near. They thus prove that
there exists no physical reality divorced from the will of
the Creator. His glory fills the entire world and everything
in this world has a spiritual purpose.
Eisov sees no value in this. He despises it. In his sight,
the world is exactly as he sees it with his physical eyes.
Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die. "Lo, I am
about to die, so wherefore do I need the birthright?" This is
the seed-attitude from which Amolek, the very antithesis of
He has no real cause to hate his brother. You were "weary and
exhausted" and posed no threat to him. "Who met you on the
way" -- you did not trespass upon his land; he went out of
his way to intercept you. There is no territorial battle
between him and you, nor is religious zeal the issue. Only
pure hatred for the sake of hatred.
"And the House of Yaakov will be fire and the House of Yosef
a flame and the House of Eisov straw and they will consume
them" (Ovadia 1,18). "A mere spark shall emit from
Yosef and consume Eisov entirely" (Rashi, Parshas
Vayeishev). Along will come Yosef who withstood all
physical temptation in the very midst of the contamination of
Egypt, and who thus proved to the entire world that the body
is not the master of the soul, but rather the soul rules the
physical body and steers it to become a vessel in the service
He shall burn up Amolek, who regards this world as the be-
all, an end-purpose, and not a means.
The House of Eisov is straw. Just like straw is already
stripped of the kernels of grain that grew upon it and
retains no more value than a hollow stalk, mere animal
fodder, so is Amolek stripped of all content and spiritual
value, and has no purpose.
The House of Yosef shall be a flame. Every little dry twig or
stalk thrown into the fire rises heavenward. The flames
shall reach out to burn and devour them completely.
It is seemly and fitting for the kohanim who perform
the holy service to be distinguished with raiment of splendor
and glory. They bear the Divine image upon their face. Their
bodies are sanctified and purified and far removed from
physicality and materialism; they are holy vessels. Their
bodies have been conquered, sublimated and directed towards
fulfilling the will of Hashem. They rightly deserve to wear
the holy garments.
Amolek, on the other hand, is completely animal-like, lacking
any vestige of the sanctity of the Divine image reflected in
man. This is why we must efface the memory of Amolek, to
obscure and deface him, as it is written concerning the
Flood, "And it destroyed every living substance upon the
Amolek has no substance and no form. "And there shall be no
remaining vestige to the House of Eisov" (Ovadia
1,18). He possesses not one iota of spirituality and
therefore, nothing shall remain of him in the future. Not
like the other nations of the world who, after they are
purified many times over, will retain a residue of goodness
and value which shall be put to the service of Jewry, as it
is written, "And kings shall be your tutors." (Yeshaya
49,23) "For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you
shall perish." (Yeshaya 60,12)
"And Homon and his sons were hanged upon the tree."
(Esther 9,25) This was the very act of hanging of
which the Torah warned, "You shall not leave his corpse upon
the tree, for this is the curse of Hashem." (Devorim
21,23) But Amolek has long since forfeited his Divine image.
He is despised, then and ever. He is eradicated, then and
forever after. And may we speedily see this, in our days.
(According to Neos Hadesheh)