Haftarah Zachor: Background II
Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: The next point, before you can wipe out an entire nation, as you recall every nation has their own angel. And as long as the angel is still alive, not in the same way as is a human being, but as long as the angel is still alive, you won’t be able to wipe out every descendant of that tribe. Therefore there has to be a battle against the angel at the same time that there is a battle against its children, the two are intertwined.
Although there is an angel over the Jewish people, god deals directly why the Jewish people, there is an angel Michael, who always going out of his way to protect the Jewish people, but the fact is, that god deals with us directly not only through an angel. Therefore the angel of Amalek understands that Amalek is going to be totally wiped out by king Saul in this Haftarah. Not only will it mean the death of Amalek, but the death of the angel. But who is the angel of Amalek? Satan.
Now Satan has been faced with this kind of desperate situation other times. For example in the Garden of Eden. He understood that unless he took care of Adam then he would be destroyed. Because if Adam made the proper choice that would be the end of Satan, it would be the end of yetzar hara– the end of evil inclination.
Therefore he had to introduce himself, and that is called nachash– that is the snake that came to attack. What’s interesting is that in the midrash and kabalistic literature Amalek is always symbolized by a snake.