Monday, September 11, 2006
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 7 Comments
Deuteronomy 25:17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 25:19 Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.
The foundation of all morality begins with a rejection of evil. There can be no morality without a rejection of evil, only vapid self-righteousness. Without rejecting evil there is no good, there is only lip service and rhetoric because without separating good from evil, good becomes contaminated by evil. Becomes contaminated by moral equivalence, by excusing evil, by tolerating evil and in the end defending it.
To secularists, liberals and an entire generation raised in the shadow of the cultural values they have erected, this entire passage seems vicious, genocidal, nationalistic and otherwise repugnant.
"So," they will argue, "Amalek attacked the Jews and killed some people. The thing to do was to reach an understanding with them and find a way to live in peace with them. Why hang on to a grudge let alone blot out a people. That's not the way civilized people behave."
The greatest plague of our time is an inability to comprehend and confront evil. We live in an era that styles itself as the most moral, yet has no clue about the very basic nature of morality.
All morality begins with a rejection of evil. The modern West cannot reject evil and has become infected by it and the more we tolerate evil the more degraded our societies become. The more our political and religious leaders lose an ability to distinguish between good and evil, the more they collaborate with evil in our foreign policy, our culture, our values, our policies and our basic concepts of right and wrong.
Zachor. Remember. This is the basis of rejecting evil. To remember that it is evil. When we forget that it is evil, we no longer know what to reject. How do we remember that it is evil, by remembering the evil it has done. How do we remember that fire burns. We remember because we were burned by it or we saw others burned by it. How do we remember evil, the same way. Trying to remember evil as abstract formulas doesn't work, it isn't strong or enduring enough. Abstract formulas quickly grow hazy, morality based on abstract theorizing is easily susceptible to manipulation and equivocation. Only a remembrance based on the evil deeds themselves endures.
Remember what Amalek did to you. Only when you have done that are you equipped to blot out every part of evil, at the last even the remembrance itself. Remember every aspect of evil. Remember that he attacked the weak, that he cowardly attacked those who lagged behind. Remember because this is his nature and because he will do it again.
On 9/11 Muslim Terrorists murdered more than 3000 Americans. It was neither their first attack nor their last. It succeeded because we had forgotten that we had enemies and we had forgotten to blot them out.
We are still forgetting. 5 years later the eradicators of memory have been hard at work. The liberals have never stopped crying that the war on terror is brutal and misguided. The 9/11 Skeptics, their name itself derived from Holocaust deniers, are gaining prominence arguing that it never really happened, that the Muslims never did it. To all of them we answer, Zachor, we remember. We remember what happened and who did it.
Zachor. We remember those who danced and cheered. We remember those who killed. We remember our enemies and remembering them is the first and foremost line to fighting them. As has been proven in Iraq and at home, we cannot properly fight the enemy if we do not remember who they are. If we forget that they are Arabs and Muslims, not a few extremists, but multitudes who hate us and seek our destruction.
After the Holocaust the Jews swore to remember, they swore Never Again, but we forgot. We let the Holocaust be diluted, Hollywoodized, universalized, turned into a history lesson about right wing tyrants and finally a weapon for the very butchers of the Holocaust in Germany and across Europe to use against us as we fight off the next generation of Amaleks seeking to destroy us. We gave in to the tributes and the Hollywood premieres. Schindler's List, Life is Beautiful, Paper Clips. While we watched the reels of the past, we forgot that remembrance is not for the past but for the future. Remembrance is not a cemetery but a door. The past becomes the future again when the cycle isn't broken. The evils of yesterday quickly return to haunt tomorrow in another shape.
Zachor. On July 4th, on September 11th, on December 7th, on the 27th of Nissan, the 14th of Adar, we do not merely remember the past, we fight a war. A war of memory. We fight a war against the destroyers of memory, against the erosion and entropy of remembrance by the passing generations. On the days of remembrance we rise up to defy these forces, we rise to defy evil and grant to our children a legacy of remembrance and a commandment to continue the fight for us when we are no longer here.
The war is fought not only on those days. It is fought every day, fought against denial and deception, against propaganda and deceit. Today we fight against those who claim that the terrorists had just claims to kill us, against those who claim the best way to fight terrorism is to give in to their demands, we fight those who claim the attacks never happened, that the terrorists never carried them, we fight against those who claim it is counterproductive to remember what happened, that the best way is to move on. We fight against all these and many, many more. Zachor.
May God, our Father in Heaven, Commander of the Hosts, lead us in these and all the other wars we fight daily so that good may one day prevail on this earth.