The Defeat of Amalek

While the Jews were still in Rephidim, the Amalekites, a mightily and fierce people, descendants of Esau, and well-trained in the art of warfare, suddenly attacked the people of Israel. It was an unprovoked and cowardly attack upon a tired and weary people, just liberated from slavery, on the way to their homeland.

Moses put his disciple Joshua in charge of the troops who were to fight against the Amalekites. Then Moses, together with his brother Aaron and nephew Hur, went up to a hill, to pray for G‑d's help in the battle. The battle lasted a whole day until the Amalekites were finally defeated and routed. G‑d ordered Moses to record the treacherous attack of the Amalekites for everlasting memory. Together with this memory went an oath to wipe the Amalekites — the incarnation of all evil — off the face of the earth. There could be no peace between Israel and Amalek for all time to come.