[b-hebrew] RE: Amalek

Dora Smith villandra at austin.rr.com
Tue Jul 13 12:28:44 EDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 4:43 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] RE: Amalek

> Dear Chris,
> In the Jewish tradition, Amalek represents all those of Israel's enemies
> from Haman to Hitler, who act out of pure hate and malice.

I think you've got a point.   They definitely represented that principle -
but it was more specific than that.

 Israel obviously had more than one sort of enemy.   Amelekites were an
example of the sort of inter-tribal warfare that plagued the region from
time immemorable.   Israel had to deal with the sort of force the Amelekites
represented during its formative period.   It should not be forgotten that
the archaelogy of the region shows a clear pattern of Amelekites and Israel
predated on each other, following similar patterns of behavior, and Israel
happens to be who won, atleast to some degree, and Israel is definitely who
wrote the history.   Clearly, tribal animosities were still playing a role
when Persia ruled the entire region!

I really don't think the bad relations between Amelekites and Israelites
were confined to the Persian capital of Susa, do you?    Even though a
strong central power ruled the entire region, tribal entities in the region
were still slugging it out, whenever and however possible.  In fact, the
entire Esther story can be seen as an attempt by Amelekites to wipe out
their ancient competitor, and not all that illegitimate when you look at it
other than from Israelites' point of view.   It is a replay of the tribal
politics that have plaged the Middle East into the present time.

One reason why Amelekites aren't remembered is the same reason as that why
their side of the story wasn't told - they were Bedouins and couldn't write!
How many modern Arab or Afghani tribes have actually written their own
story?   This is the force the Amelekites represented, and at one time and
more recently in one sense,  Israelites were exactly the same thing.

Dora Smith
Austin, Texas
villandra at austin.rr.com

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