How do you vanquish a lucky person; a person on an incredible hot streak? Well no one is completely invincible. Everyone has their unlucky days. Can't pinpoint your foe's unlucky day? Duel him on your luckiest day.
That was precisely the strategy employed by Amalek. It was apparent to them that the Israelites had all the stars on their side. How else could they have defeated the mighty Egyptians? How else could a nation of millions survive in a desert?
What would Amalek do? They would send to battle people on the day of their birthday; saying: not quickly will a person fall on his birthday [the constellations are advantageously aligned on a person's birthday]. What did Moses do? He shuffled the constellations. (Jerusalem Talmud, tractate Rosh Hashanah 3:8)
It's nice to be lucky. It's even nicer to be connected to G‑d.
This time though, he faced a nation that was a shell of its former selfThose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Fast forward nearly one thousand years. Again our nation was threatened by Amalek—Haman, the scion of that hateful nation.
This time though, he faced a nation that was a shell of its former self. They weren't the winning bandwagon. They were an oppressed exiled nation.
But Haman wanted to be absolutely certain of his success. So he threw a lottery to determine a lucky date. He was absolutely thrilled when the lottery pointed to the month of Adar. His knowledge of Jewish history told him – correctly so – that this was their unluckiest month. Furthermore, it was the month when their greatest leader and protector, Moses, passed away.
But once again, connection to G‑d scored a victory over luck.
This Shabbat we remember Amalek – both the ancient and the modern-day varieties – and strengthen our resolve to eradicate such evil. Let us also remember the time-tested secret weapon at our disposal.