Rav Avigdor Miller on Parshas Zachor and the Nazis


Q: What’s the difference between a Nazi who kills a Jew, and a Jew who kills an Amaleki? 

I want you to hear the lomdus of this question. Listen to me: When a Nazi kills a Jew, chalilah, does he have a Torah that’s telling him he should kill Jews?! First of all, the Nazis were not loyal Christians. And even the loyal Christians, they have no place where it says that they should kill Jews. Even the worst Pope, never said you should kill Jews. They insult Jews, they speak all kinds of calumnies and lies against Jews, but there was a principle in the church, never to kill Jews. Therefore, if a Christian kills a Jew, he is going against the principles of his church. So why did he do it? He did it because he’s a shofechdamim, a murderer. It has nothing to do with his god, his scriptures. He’s just a plain murderer.

There’s no reason why a Nazi had to kill a Jew. Not the slightest reason at all. The fact that they allowed Hitler to inflame them against the Jews – any criminal who allows himself to be inflamed against a person who is innocent, deserves his punishment. Therefore, all the Nazis are in Gehenim right now. They’re burning and they’re getting what they deserve to get.

If a Jew kills an Amaleki – today we don’t know, but in the olden days when a Navi said, “This is Amalek. לך והכיתה את עמלק – “Go and destroy him,” (Shmuel l 15:3) – the Jew didn’t want to do it. You see how reluctant Shaul was. When Shaul, according to the command of Shmuel, went to destroy Amalek it says וירב בנחל  (ibid. 4). It means that he fought them in the valley. But Chazal tell us (Yoma 22b) another meaning as well. וירב בנחל means that he quarreled with Hashem about the nachal, about the stream. וירב על עסקי נחל. He quarreled with Hakodosh Boruch Hu and said: ומה נפש אחת אמרה תורה הבא עגלה ערופה, כל הנפשות הללו על אחת כמה וכמה – The Torah says that you have to take the eglah arufah down to the down to the nachal, the stream, to kill the calf, all because they found one man who was murdered. You don’t know who killed him, and so for that one nefesh we make this whole procedure in the nachal. “And now,” said Shaul, “You want me to go and kill all the Amalekim?!” So וירב בנחל, here he quarreled with Hashem על עיסקי נחל.

Now, it doesn’t mean that he actually quarreled with Hashem. He didn’t quarrel with Hashem. It means that in the pnimiyus, the inside of his heart, he had sfeikos, he had doubts – why should he kill people?! He went and he did it, because he was obeying the Navi, but it wasn’t easy for him.

Our forefathers, when they came into Eretz Canaan, and they were told they had to destroy people, it was very difficult for them to do it. And many didn’t. They are kindhearted people. But those Jews who did it, were obeying the word of Hashem. You can’t help it, it’s the word of Hashem. And you’re going to have to follow His command. So how can you compare somebody who is a shofechdamim, a Nazi who is a bloodthirsty man, to to somebody who reluctantly does a mitzvah. He can’t help himself, because Hakodosh Boruch Hu has commanded him.
TAPE # 624 (December 1986)


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