1)

Why did Amalek attack Yisrael at this juncture? What had Yisrael done wrong?

1.

Rashi: Hashem is always close to You, to help you in time of need, and you turn round and ask "ha'Yesh Hashem b'Kirbeinu Im Ayin"?! By your life, the dog will come and bite you and you will cry out to Me. Then you will know where I am". 1

2.

Seforno: He came because there was strife, and he took advantage of the fact that they were thirsty.

3.

Targum Yonasan: He attacked the B'nei Dan, whom the Cloud had expelled from the camp on account of the Avodah Zarah that they were carrying with them. 2

4.

Mechilta: Because they slackened from learning Torah. 3


1

Rashi: This can be compared to a father traveling along the road with his son on his shoulders (corresponding to "Al Kanfei Neharim" - Lev Eliyahu p.108). When the boy saw something lying on the street and his father to give it to him his father complied. This a second time and a third time. Then as a man came towards them, the son asked him whether he had seen his father. 'What, his father exclaimed angrily, you don't know where I am?' He threw him down and a dog came and bit him.

3. 2

This refers to the image of Michah - See Peirush Yonasan.

3

Refidim is an acronym for 'Rafu Yadayim' (they were lax). See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

2)

Why did Amalek not attack Yisrael on their way down to Egypt, when they numbered only seventy souls?

1.

Da'as Zekeinim: Because he realized that, once Yitzchak died, the fulfillment of the prophecy "va'Avadum ve'Inu osam Arba Me'os Shanah" would fall upon Yakov, Esav and their children. If he were to kill Yakov and his descendents, it would fall upon him [to a larger extent] to fulfill. So he waited until Ya'akov's children had 'paid the debt' before attacking. 1


1

Amalek's grandfather Eisav, did a similar thing (Refer to Bereishis 36:6:3:2* [See also Chizkuni]).

3)

Yisrael were surrounded by Anenei Kavod. How could Amalek attack?

1.

Mechilta, Shemos Rabah 26:3: Amalek entered under the corners of the clouds 1 , and kidnapped Yisraelim and killed them - "va'Yzanev Becha Kol ha'Necheshalim Acharecha" (Devarim 25:18).

2.

Pesikta Rabsi 12: Amalek had a list of the names of those who left Egypt. They called out 'Ploni, leave - I want to do business with you!' He left, and Amalek killed him. We read "Asher Karcha" (Devarim 25:18) like 'Asher Kar'acha' (he called you).

3.

Pirkei d'R. Eliezer 44: Amalek killed "ha'Necheshalim Acharecha" outside of the cloud.


1

Since they could enter and fight, later, why did they attack only after the clouds departed after Aharon's death (refer to 21:1:1:1)? This looked like Divine permission to fight Yisrael (Rosh Hashanah 3a).

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