Monday, March 17, 2008

Parshas Vayikra/Zachor:Milchemes Amaleik

This weeks' shiur was on the nature of Milchemes Amaleik

There is a machlokes rishonim what exactly is the geder of this mitzvah.

1) The Yeraim (435) holds it is a mitzvah on the king. His rayah is from the fact that there are 3 mitzvos that apply when B'nei Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel. 1) set up a king 2) wipe out Amaleik 3) buiild the Beis HaMikdash. From the fact that you need a king to defeat Amaleik we see it is a mitzvah on teh king

2) The Chinuch writes it is a mitzvah on the tzibbur as well as on each individual.

Rav Yitzchak Sorotzkin in his sefer Gevuras Yitzchak writes that the mekor for the Chinuch is the fact that there are 2 parshiyos. Beshalach discusses the idea of waging war on Amaleik. This is a miyzvah for the tzibbur. Parshas Ki Tzeitzei just says to destroy Amaleik. This is a mitzvah on the individual.

3) The Rambam seems to pasken that it is a chiyuv on the tzibbur. At the end of Sefer HaMitzvos the Rambam writes that the three mitzvos of 1) setting up a king 2) wiping out Amaleik 3) building the Beis HaMikdash are mitzvos on the tzibbur.

There is also a diyuk in the Rambam Hil Melachim Perek 5. The Rambam says by the 7 nations who inhabi ed Ertez Cana'an if an individual has the opportunity to kill one of the members of these 7 nations and you don't you are m'vateil an aseh. However, by Amaleik the Rambam doesn't say anything. This implies that Amaleik is only a mitzvah on the tzibbur.

However, there are some who learn the Rambam that it is also a mitzvah on the individual.

One nafka mina can be found in Kovetz Chiddushei Torah from Rav Soloveitchik zt"l in the piece on Milchemes Mitzvah. The Rambam says that even by a milchemes mitzvah (a war against Amaleik or the 7 nations) we tell people they don't have to fight. The question is that by a milchemes mitzvah everyone is obligated to fight. So why do we read the pesukim letting people know that they don't have to go. The answer is that there are 2 dinim to a milchemes mitzvah. There is a chiyuv m'din milchama but there is also an individual chiyuv that the king can force people to go. The reason we read these pesukim is because m'dinei milchama certain people don't have to go. They only have to go because of the individual chiyuv that comes from the king forcing them.

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