The famed chassid Reb Binyamin Kletzker used to relate that his first interaction with Chassidim was watching Reb Zalman Zezmer during Parshas Zachor. He was awestruck by the visible expression of hatred toward the accursed nation of Amalek and what they represent.
What’s so important about hating Amalek? It’s understandable that we need to be rid of that terrible nation, but why the need to bring up the hate on a daily basis?
Rashi on Chumash tells us that Amalek wasn’t looking for personal gain. They knew they would lose. They just wanted to cool off the awesome respect the nations of the world had toward the Yidden. The example Rashi brings is of a boiling bath that no one would enter. Until someone came along, went inside, got burned but cooled it off for the rest.
Same with Amalek. The red sea had miraculously split to let the Yidden through. Before that the most advanced nation in the world had been punished in a supernatural way. The Jewish people were practically untouchable. Along comes Amalek and wages war. Although defeated, the damage was done.
In avodas Hashem, Amalek is the cold feeling of apathy we have when we get passionate about Torah and Mitzvos. The thought that prompts us to do sit back and do nothing. It’s that initial splash of cold water that needs to be rooted out.
The Rambam writes that one who believes in the coming of Moshiach but doesn’t await his coming is still considered to be denying the truth of Torah shel baalpeh. Reb Chaim Brisker explains that a real belief in the coming of Moshiach automatically leads to a constant yearning for his coming. There’s a thin separation between indifference and denial.
The complete destruction of Amalek will happen when Moshiach comes and the truth of Hashem’s existence will be seen by all.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos, and a joyous month of Adar,