Toras Purim 5776

Toras Purim 5776

Toras Purim 5776

תורת פורים תשע”ו

So this year we decided to focus on a hot topic, specifically immigration. Well, actually, a topic similar to immigration, called conversion. And more specifically, Amalekite conversion. You may be wondering what kind of Amalekite would want to convert to Judaism, and what kind of Jew would accept an Amalekite’s conversion. Well, to tell the truth, and most Amalekites don’t tell the truth, and that’s where the problems start, Amalekite conversion has been kind of murky throughout history. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, kinda like Amalek who were the first to attack the Jewish People upon the Exodus from Egypt. You know, if I was sorta an etymologian (yes, I know there’s no such word, but I haven’t studied etymology lately to know how to describe a person who studies etymology) I would question the word Exodus with regard to the Jewish People leaving Egypt, because Exodus sounds like ex (o) dus, like they used to be religious (ya know, like דת in Hebrew), and that certainly wasn’t the case with most Jews, who in fact had just become religious. Anyway, we’d have to study the Egyptian hieroglyphics to determine and evaluate the whole Exodus matzav, but since we’re focused currently at the present moment on the Amalekite conversion and not the Jewish conversion, we’ll let that one slide. And now back to our program. So what’s up with Amalek and their conversions? So truth be told (not by an Amalekite of course) the first Amalekite conversion attempt in history was actually before Amalek came into existence, which is sorta an oxymoron but remember, in Toras Purim, anything goes, so here goes the story. So, Timna, a lady from the time period of Esav and Seir and all those evil guys, decided that she wanted to join the Hebrew clan, more specifically the family of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. However, this Holy Tribunal rejected her conversion application, and then, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 99b) states, Timna turned around and became a פילגש, concubine to Eliphaz, the son of Esav, and from that union was born Amalek. So we see that the birth of Amalek was catalyzed (love that word) by an attempted conversion process. Now, was that the reason why Amalek hated the Jewish People? It’s unclear if that was the reason, especially since Timna said, “if I can’t be a main player amongst the Jewish People, I will at least be a concubine,” and this sounds like she wasn’t spewing hatred against the Jews. However, Amalek may have picked up on the rejection of Timna as a bona fide Jewess, and he set out on his war against the Jews (sound familiar?). So we all know what happened next. Well actually, the Baal HaTurim (Bereishis 31:22) informs us that Amalek was the one who told Lavan that Yaakov ran away, and, guess what, the same Amalek informed Pharaoh that the Jews had escaped Egypt. And, adds the Baal HaTurim, the words כי ברח, that he ran away, equals in gematria the word עמלק. So really Amalek is the chicken, always running away from his inferiority and blaming things on us. Anyway, Amalek was involved even before the BIG BATTLE at Rephidim, which we already know has a lot to do with Purim because, see, רפידים, and פורים are almost identical. But, רפידים equals in gematria 344 and פורים equals 336, so we have a little discrepancy, but not to worry, because the Gemara tells us that the word רפידים is a contraction for the words רפו ידיהם, that in Rephidim the Jewish People became weakened in Torah and Mitzvos, so that’s what brought Amalek (as if he needed an excuse). And the gematria of the words רפיון ידים equal the words ונגדו הפורים, “and corresponding to it is Purim.” Anyway (I think I’ve said the word anyway a few times already, but it’s kind of like Amalek who attacked us ANY WAY they can), so where was I? Oh right, I was on any way (OK OK no more puns or funs) describing the genesis of Amalek and their conversion process, or at least their attempt to convert. So, Timna didn’t convert, Amalek sensed this, and now hates us forever. Which brings us to the famous (or so I thought, but every time I tell this Avnei Nezer to someone, they say, “oh, that makes a lot of sense,” i.e. they don’t get where he’s coming from) Avnei Nezer who writes in teshuvos that yes, Amalek can’t convert, and we don’t like him for what he did to us, but, and this must be qualified very carefully and judiciously (another big word) if, and really if, Amalek shows remorse and lack of hatred for the Jewish People, then there’s no problem with them converting. So, based on this huge Chiddush, although the Mechilta states that when Dovid confronted the Ger Amaleki (Amalekite convert) regarding Shaul’s death, he was reminded that HaShem told Moshe way back when, not to accept converts from Amalek, that’s only because Amalek hates us so much, but if they don’t demonstrate that hatred, then welcome aboard! So that would explain why the Gemara (Gittin 57b) states that Haman’s descendants studied Torah in Bnei Brak. Kinda difficult to hate the Jews and study in Ponevezh! Now, what about other conversions? So I heard from Rav Moshe Rosenman, Shlita (Brooklyn, NY) that whenever there’s a battle with Amalek, we have conversion. After the first battle upon leaving Egypt (I would say Mitzrayim, but, u know) the Jews whipped the Amalekites and then Yisro arrived and converted. Then, after Shaul almost annihilated the Amalekites, an Amalekite convert showed up to inform Dovid of Shaul’s death (who converted him at that juncture is beyond me). Then we have the Purim story, where Mordechai and Esther get the upper hand on Haman and his cohorts and it is said (Esther 8:17) וְרַבִּים מֵעַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ מִתְיַהֲדִים כִּי נָפַל פַּחַד הַיְּהוּדִים עֲלֵיהֶם, moreover (love Artscroll), many from among the people of the land professed themselves Jews, for the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them. Now, simply put, people, whoever they were, converted to Judaism. But we can interpret this verse homiletically (I know you’ve seen that expression before) to mean that the Amalekites trying to convert were ignorant, as they forgot that they are prohibited from converting (ok that was a joke). So what else is on the agenda? Ah yes, I almost forgot (not a good thing when it comes to Amalek) that there a few gematriyos relevant to said topic, so here goes:

(no time for translation of these, but if you need translation, please send email to

  1. מבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק = אלו נתגיירו ולא שנאו ישראל‎
  2. עמלק, באותיות מתחלפות, קרי ביה א, מ, ל, ג אין מקבלים להם גרים‎
  3. בראשית ר”ת יש שנאה אל תגייר בני רשעים‎
  4. גרים בא”ת ב”ש רגמי = זה עמלק
  5. וזכרם לא יסוף מזרעם ר”ת וס”ת = מהגר, שרישא דקרא, לא יעברו מתוך היהודים קאי איהודים מלידה, וסיפא קאי אגרים‎
  6. אם נאמר ששאול החיה את אגג בכוונה לגיירו, י”ל שאול = בכוון לגייר‎
  7. הגרים = זהו עמלק, מבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק‎
  8. הצדיקים = זהו עמלק, שמבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק‎
  9. מעמלקים מילוי מ”ם עיי”ן מ”ם למ”ד קו”ף יו”ד מ”ם = יגייר אם לא שנאה, לפי האבני נזר בתשובה שכתב שכל האיסור לקבל גרים מעמלק משום השנאה שיש בהם עיי”ש, ובזה א”ש משחז”ל שמבני בניו של המן למדו תורה בבני ברק ודו”ק‎
  10. עמלק מילוי עיי”ן מ”ם למ”ד קו”ף = אין לקבל הגרים‎
  11. עמלק = לא הגר, שאין מקבלים גרים עמלק‎
  12. בראשית ר”ת תמנע אינה ישראל, בנה (עמלק) רצה שמד
  13. מגילה מילוי מ”ם גימ”ל יו”ד למ”ד ה”א = זהו לא הרג אגג
  14. ‎פורים = שאול = לא הרג מלך אגג, ע”פ הגמרא מגילה י”ב:-י”ג. בזה”ל רבא אמר כנסת ישראל אמרה לאידך גיסא ראו מה עשה לי יהודי ומה שילם לי ימיני מה עשה לי יהודי דלא קטליה דוד לשמעי דאתיליד מיניה מרדכי דמיקני ביה המן ומה שילם לי ימיני דלא קטליה שאול לאגג דאתיליד מיניה המן דמצער לישראל ‎
  15. עמלק מילוי עיי”ן מ”ם למ”ד קו”ף = חיוב תמחה‎
  16. במכילתא איתא שאין מקבלים גרים מעמלק, אגג ר”ת אין גירותן גירות‎
  17. בראשית ר”ת אגגי בקש שמד, תלו י (בניו) רוב (בניו)‎
  18. המן בן המדתא האגגי מילוי ה”א מ”ם נו”ן בי”ת נו”ן ה”א מ”ם דל”ת תי”ו אל”ף ה”א אל”ף גימ”ל גימ”ל יו”ד = תלו אותו ועשרת בניו בהעץ‎
  19. פורים = זה אז מכים ומוחים המן‎
  20. רפיון ידים = ונגדו הפורים

Ok that’s all for now. So if you meet this blond haired German with a big yarmulke and payos and tzitzis and a gartel, I mean, you just never know, you never know. (and that is the mitzvah of Purim, you never know, you never know.)

Kol Tuv and watch out for any Amalekite sneaking up on you to attempt a conversion.

A Freilichen Purim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

®©Rabbi Binyomin Ezriel Adler, aka BEA Promo LLC!!!! Making Amalekite Converts Great Again!

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