Rivkah is an Administrator and English instructor at Assemble-Together eCampus. She has homeschooled her five children for the past fifteen years while providing a home on the run with her husband a veteran of the US Army. Her passion has always been creative writing; from a young age creating stories and poems. This passion for English led her to pursue her degree in English Single Subject with a speciality in Creative Writing at Humboldt State University. Aware of the need for accessible Day Schools and seeing a future where she may one day run or open such a school she received a Masters in Education Administration. Rivkah knows that providing a quality education affordably will allow the next generation to take their place as leaders in our communities.
The 187th mitzvah is that we are commanded to kill and destroy the seven nations [of Canaan]1 because they are the prime worshippers and original source of idolatry.
The source of this commandment is G‑d's statement2 (exalted be He), "You must wipe them out completely." [Scripture3] explains the reason for this commandment is to keep us from learning from their heresy. Many verses encourage and urge that they be killed, and waging war against them is a milchemet mitzvah [mandatory war].
Since these seven nations no longer exist4 a person could think that this commandment is not noheg l'dorot [for all generations5]. But only someone who does not understand the concept of noheg l'dorot would think such a thing. A command that can be fulfilled without being limited to a certain time is considered noheg l'dorot, because if the act would become possible in any generation, the mitzvah would apply. When G‑d will totally destroy the descendants of Amalek and remove them for all time — as will be speedily in our days, as G‑d (exalted be He) promised,6 "I will wipe out the memory of Amalek" — will we say that the mitzvah to wipe out the memory of Amalek7 was not noheg l'dorot? This is not true, for in any generation when one finds a descendant of Amalek, he must be killed. The same applies to this mitzvah of killing all descendants of the seven nations, which is a milchemet mitzvah. In every generation we are required to uproot them and search after them down to the last individual. We did this until King David destroyed them completely, with the survivors being scattered and assimilated among the nations until they disappeared.
But although they no longer exist, the mitzvah to kill them is still considered noheg l'dorot, just as the mitzvah to wage war against Amalek is considered noheg l'dorot even after their destruction. This is because it is not dependent on a certain time or place, such as in Egypt8 or in the desert.9 The mitzvah is dependent solely upon the object of the mitzvah: whenever they are found, the mitzvah must be fulfilled.
The general rule is that you must understand and contemplate upon the difference between the commandment itself10 and this that the commandment deals with.11 There are mitzvot where the object of the commandment has ceased to exist in a certain generation,12 but this does not render the mitzvah not noheg l'dorot, since the commandment itself applies forever.
For a commandment to be considered not noheg l'dorot, the opposite would be true. The specific object in the specific state does exist; but the obligation to perform the specific act or follow the certain law only applies at a certain time. Today, even though the object exists, the commandment does not. An example of this would be an elderly Levite, who was not allowed to serve [in the Mishkan (Sanctuary)] in the desert, but is allowed today, as we explained in the proper place.13 Be sure you understand this and keep it in mind.
@talitha-holland I have been trying to figure out how to make a playlist and I must be too old to figure out. Can you help me? When I go to playlist it says empty but I don't see a way to add anything. What am I missing?
Likutey Moharan I, 34:7). Rebbe Nachman thus teaches: The prophet foretells (Isaiah 11:9), “They shall neither destroy nor harm in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with Daat [Knowledge] of God as the waters cover the sea.” The attributes of compassion and kindness depend wholly on Daat, and in the Messianic Future, Daat will be very great. For this reason, when Mashiach comes, there will be no cruelty or desire to harm others. Compassion will spread far and wide. Nowadays, however, there are times when the forces of evil can suck nourishment from compassion... Then compassion becomes distorted. When compassion is distorted, it turns into cruelty, and Daat itself is blemished... When Daat is blemished, passions for illicit relations [such as adultery] are aroused. This is in keeping with what the Sages said (Sotah 3a): “No man sins unless a spirit of folly enters him [and distorts his Daat].” When, on the other hand, Daat is perfected, one is protected from these passions (Likutey Moharan II, 8:2).
Rebbe Nachman’s fourth daughter was born, he didn’t follow the common custom and name her at the next Torah-reading opportunity. Instead, days and days went by, and he had yet to provide his newest child with a name. T he Chassidim were confused by Rebbe Nachman’s strange practice, and people around Breslov began to whisper that something seemed to be wrong – the Rebbe was withholding his own daughter’s name! Reb Chaikel, one of Rebbe Nachman’s closest students, couldn’t hold back any longer. He went to visit his mentor at home to speak openly about people’s concerns. “Rebbe, if you don’t do something, people will begin to say that the Breslovers no longer name their children!” Reb Chaikel added that Rebbe Nachman already had a number of opponents who were looking for excuses to vilify his followers. Would the Rebbe himself provide his enemies with ammunition? In later years, Reb Noson would say that Rebbe Nachman never made a fuss about something unless it was extremely important to him. Generally, if someone wanted him to do something and it didn’t violate a principle of his, he would accommodate himself to their will. Rebbe Nachman shrugged. “Nu, if you think so ... Let her name among the Jewish people be Chayah!” Reb Chaikel ran out to the synagogue to spread the news. But later that day, unexpected news arrived from Mezhibuzh. Rebbe Nachman’s mother, Feiga, had passed away. Now it all was clear! The Rebbe had only been waiting for the news to reach Breslov before he named his daughter after his beloved mother. Even if he knew by ruach hakodesh (Divine inspiration) that his mother was gone, he couldn’t possibly give the name until the news reached Breslov by natural means. Reb Chaikel was beside himself. What had he done? After a time, Rebbe Nachman had another daughter, and this time he gave the name Feiga right away. But the girl died in infancy. The Chassidim would say, “Perhaps had it been reversed, and had the first girl been named Feiga and the second one Chayah [literally, ‘life’], the second daughter might have lived, too.” Afterward Reb Chaikel lamented, “When, oh when, will I stop mixing into the Rebbe’s business?!” Based on Or HaOrot I, pp. 220-221