The first time Amalek attacks us, moments, practically, after we have left Egypt, who stands up to him? Joshua bin Nun, from the tribe of Ephraim (Ex. 17:8-10).
When King Eglon of Moab gathers Amalekites to defeat the Israelites, the judge who is picked to assassinate him is Ehud ben Gera of Benjamin (Judges 3:13-15).
When the Midyanites and Amalekites repress the Israelites, the judge picked to lead the campaign against them is the youth Gideon from the tribe of Menashe (Judges 6:3,15).
And it is King Shaul from the tribe of Benjamin who is called to fight Agag, King of Amalek, followed by his great grandson, hero of the Megillah story, Mordechai the Benjaminite, who is called on to bring about the defeat of Agag’s great grandson Haman.
All of which leads me to the Purim Torah portion of this entry: as we’re hearing about the new Hamans over in Persia hastening their murderous labor, increasing the number and speed of their centrifuges, getting ever nearer the point where the attack on them is inevitable, we have two candidates whose names, at least, correspond to the requirement that they be of the children of Rachel: Benjamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz.
Purim is a day rife with hints and shadows, whispers, dreams and heavy curtains, and on such a day, amidst all that ominous head space, this curious fact, that one is a natural candidate for Prime Minister and the other a strong possibility for Minister of Defense, might be the point of light we ought to embrace.