Two enemies attack Israel — Pharaoh and Amalek. Though Israel was armed they did not fight Pharaoh — "G‑d will do battle for you and you be silent."1 When Amalek attacked, Moses sent out troops to fight.

Pharaoh and Amalek represent different threats to our people, and Moses' tactics symbolize the defense against these enemies. Pharaoh was the material enemy, the slave-master. Pharaoh seeks mastery over the body of the Jew; he would literally kill the infant boys.

When Judaism is the target, then the Jew alone is the guarantor of tomorrowAmalek, the spiritual foe, stands between the Jews and Sinai, blocking the path toward the Torah, disparaging the faith of the Jew, deprecating his religion, impeding his observance of Torah precepts. His is a "war against G‑d through the generations." He wants to extinguish the spirit of Israel.

Our people seldom had the material means to defend and perpetuate themselves. Mighty empires and powerful legions were (are?) pledged to destroy Israel, and for centuries our ancestors didn't even have the swords to raise in their defense. Our very existence today is fulfillment of Moses' assurance that "G‑d will do battle for you" against those who seek Israel's destruction.

When however, it is not Jewry directly but Judaism that is the target, then the Jew regards himself alone as the guarantor of tomorrow. Nothing may stand between the Jew and Torah. Forced conversion, "painless" gradual assimilation, prison for observing mitzvot, minority status — these are some of the potent forces attempting to keep the Jew from Sinai. In this struggle we must create our own miracles.

G‑d's power protects the Jew. The Jew's heroic devotion protects the Torah.