The War Against Amalek – Part I, The Elections

The war against Amalek – Part I

This shiur from the Rav is totally awesome….

So I decided to translate almost all of it. As it’s so long, I have split it into 3-4 parts.

If you only read one of them, it should be the Midrash about ‘Shimon Kaifa’, who became the first ‘pope’ in order to split the notzrim away from the Jewish people. Mind-blowing stuff.



Excerpts of a shiur given on Sunday, Adar Alef 9th, 5784 to the people working on behalf of ‘Shuvu Banim – Agudat Yisrael’.

(Ed. Note: This was given over before the Municipal Elections that were held in Jerusalem shorlty afterwards. The issue of stopping the light rail operating on Shabbat in Jerusalem, incuding in the haredi communities it passes through, appears to be one of the primary concerns of the Rav, when it came to encouraging others to vote ‘Gimmel’.)


Now, we need to know that [the elections] are pikuach nefesh.

It’s the war against Amalek, it’s a milchemet mitzvah.

We read in Beshalach who Amalek was. Every single day, we are in the war against Amalek, every single day there is a war here.

Yud-Alef is the gematria of ‘Satan’….[1]

[Skipping some]


…Agudah could be the Mayor [of Jerusalem]. Agudah could be the majority in the Knesset.

Because Am Yisrael is a traditional people, everyone wants Shabbat, everyone wants Succot. Even in Be’eri, one person recounted that he did Succot for his children, who were four years old – so he was saved.

He said that for 12 hours, the terrorists passed right next to him, and didn’t see him. In that same tree that he cut the branches from [to make his succah], there was a niche. He went into the niche with two children and his wife, everyone inside like that.

And the terrorists stood mamash 10 cm away from him, and they didn’t see that he was in the niche.

So, from this same tree that he cut the branches from [for his succah, he was saved,]


They told him, put up a ready-made succah!

He said, no! I want to show [my children] how to do a succah! Children need to know how to make a succah, what’s all this with ‘ready-made succahs’?! We need to make it.

So, he cut the branches from that same tree. He was from Kibbutz Be’eri.


It needs to be known that this is the war against Amalek.

The Midrash says that if Moshe had gone to war[2], if Moshe had gone out to war, so then he would have totally destroyed Amalek. And then, there wouldn’t have been any more ‘Amalek’ in the world.

Hamas is Amalek.

No matter how many [terrorists] are killed, it never ends.

Now, another [Israeli soldier] was seriously wounded, an hour ago. ‘Seriously wounded’ means he lost a hand, he lost a leg. Or in a coma for half a year.

We need to know, we are in the war against Amalek, the war against Amalek, mamash.

And today, the war is with the voting slips, instead of one person killing another.


Two hundred years ago, one person just used to kill the other.

They would shoot, and this one would fire on that one, and that one would fire on this onw. Now, they decided to use ballot papers. And these ballot papers are like a bomb, they are like missiles, when you vote.

And the whole of Am Yisrael wants Agudah – the whole of Am Yisrael wants Shabbat.

He doesn’t care if it’s Agudah or not Agudah. People don’t want public transportation on Shabbat, they don’t agree to this.


They closed Sokolov Street[3].

The person who didn’t want to let them close it, so he’s gone – [killed in] the Gulf War. He ‘moved’ from there. Because he didn’t let them close the road [on Shabbat].

He said, if they close the road, he’s going to move apartment to Sderot Chen.

I was there a few times, in Sderot Chen. There, he went to get his packet of cigarettes… So he went. He forget his cigarettes, so he left the bomb shelter to get the cigarettes.

The missile fell on his head, at the entrance to the bomb shelter.

Now, one young woman in Tsfat, she ran. So the rocket fell on here.

[If she] would have said the Tikkun HaKlali, nothing would have happened!


We need to know, it’s the war against Amalek.

And now, the whole of Am Yisrael wants Shabbat, and wants that there won’t be travelling on Shabbat.

Yvette Liberman made it that people would travel on Shabbat. He organised cars, coaches, from the North to the sea. The coaches were empty. Nobody came!

People want to relax on Shabbat.


They aren’t ‘parasites’, like us.

We get up at one, the next person wakes up at two. There, they get up at 5am, and they go to sleep at 10pm, and then wake up at five.

On Shabbat night, they play cards until 3am. I was in Ramat Elchanan, doing hitbodedut. There were gardens there, so we used to go there. And then we saw in the windows that everyone was playing cards, until 3am.

They would go to sleep at 3am, until 3pm.

At 3pm, they would wake up, eat something, some chocolate, and then sleep more until 5pm. And then, they’d go and visit a few relatives, and that’s it.

This is the ‘order of the day’ [on Shabbat] for a secular person.


Chilonim aren’t ‘parasites’, like we are.

We can get up whenever we want… At one, at two, at three – whenever the desire takes us. By them, there is no such thing.

I was in Beit Meir. We were there for four or five weeks, and they were opposite my window.

Already, 5am, they were with their sandwiches in one hand, and with their cup of coffee in the other hand. How he used to grasp the steering wheel, I have no idea…

And they already started to drive. They need to fill up the gas and the oil in the car; and to open the office half an hour beforehand, and to get it organised, a little.

He couldn’t [wake up at one].

I did an hour of hitbodedut, and he was already inside his car.


So, we need to know this the war against Amalek.

And we can enlist the whole of Am Yisrael very easily.

When we were in Musrara,[4] Yossi Cohen said I am going to stand here with a hose full of boiling water!

Yossi Cohen lived exactly opposite (i.e. Opposite the entrance to the present Beit HaRav, on Ido HaNavi Street), opposite the stairs you go up, where the mirpeset (balcony) is.

He said, I am going to stand here!

He told us his plan, that he was going to stand with the pipe of boiling water. This story occurred in 1996.

He was going to spray boiling water all over us.


So, I went up [to see him] with Suri Getter, and we went up with Raphael ben Harush.

And he said there is nothing to talk about! There is nothing to say! I am going to stand here with a pipe of boiling water, [spraying on] anyone who comes up here.

[We said] to him, come, let’s read tehillim together!

He started to recite the tehillim with such weeping, halavai, I should be able to do the same. A totally chiloni man – [he recited] half a book of tehillim. Gomarnu.


He said [Yossi Cohen] now, you can stay already. After I merited to read such tehillim, my whole heart turned around.

So, in a single second, his heart was transformed – and for every chiloni! Even for the most secular, the most ‘anti’.

Really, this is nothing! Everyone is neshamot Elokiot (Godly souls).

And every chiloni wants to vote for Agudah. And every chilonii wants to vote [for the chareidim].


Now, I read from R’ Aryeh Levine that Teddy [Kollek, former mayor of Jerusalem] already wanted to lay tefillin.

Yes! There’s a whole section on this[5]! The mayor said that he was already not going to travel on Shabbat. He told him, [when] he was going to the assembly.

Begin used to park his car far away.


[It was written in the book about R Aryeh Levine], I am speaking here with the mayor. He is not going to travel on Shabbat any more. And he is going to go to the assembly on foot.

And he said, ‘I want to put tefillin on, already. But, I’m embarassed. I don’t want people to say that I made teshuva, or say that I went crazy. People shouldn’t say that I made teshuva, that I went mad.’

He wanted to lay tefillin, and to go to the synagogue in the morning.

This Teddy, he was called the most ‘anti’.

But in a second, people wake up. People will recite tehillim with you together. They suddenly realize.


Ben Gurion said about the Klausenberger Rebbe, if there is another one like this, I will make teshuva!

This is what he said. He said that the Klausenberger built a settlement.[6]

The whole complaint that we don’t ‘settle the land’, and we stay closed up in our cheiders, and we don’t move, and we don’t go out into the wilderness.

So, [the Klausenberger Rebbe] was the first person who built Netanya.

I was at the laying of the foundation stone – I was there. The first year that I was at the Volozhin [yeshiva], in 5719, they laid the foundation stone. We travelled with the whole of Volozhin.

Everything was just sand dunes, there wasn’t even a single house there.

Ben Gurion said, if there is another like him, I will make teshuva! I will wear a shtreimel and make teshuva!


The chilonim will agree to make teshuva in a second. In a second!

It’s even faster than the dati’im (religiously observant).

The Rebbe said the Moshiach is going to have his work cut out for him with the chassidim, not with the apikorsim (heretics).

The apikorsim will make teshuva in a second, just like that.

[But] the chassidim will say, he’s my Rebbe?! He’s not my Rebbe!…

He believes in his Rebbe.


By the chilonim, there is no ‘Rebbe’.

If you want to make teshuva, there is Hashem. You want Shabbat, you want to be a human being, and to stop being a behema (animal). This is what they want.

So, it’s possible to bring your brothers and sisters closer in a second, and also, the cousins.

Half of Musrara will vote for Agudah.


Today, Gimmel will fight.

Even if they are ‘against’ Shuvu Banim, and want to destroy Shuvu Banim, and want to uproot Shuvu Banim – this doesn’t interest us!

We are voting in favor of the Torah.



[1] Just to point out that on other occasions, the Rav told some members of Shuvu Banim privately to vote for Moshe Leon’s party. The Rav is operating at a level far above petty politics.

[2] Against Amalek himself, instead of observing and leaving the battle to Joshua….

[3] A street in Bnei Brak that is on the border with the neighboring, predominantly secular, Ramat Gan.

[4] The Rav is now describing what happened when the Shuvu Banim community first moved into the Musrara neighborhood bordering Meah Shearim, 30-40 years ago.

[5] In the book about R Aryeh Levine

[6] This was the beginning of the city of Netanya.

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