The eradication of Amalek (one of the 613 Commandments), in the physical sense, is not possible today. Some Authorities hold that this mitzvah is binding only upon the Jewish King, and that he must enlist the Jewish people to wipe out Amalek’s kin.1 Today, however, we do not have a Jewish King.

Thus, Sefer Yereim states2 :

The mitzvah to eradicate Amalek is relegated only to the King and not to all Jews. This is seen in the verse,3G‑d swore by His throne” alluding to the throne of Kingship (i.e. when there will be a Jewish King) — then “G‑d will have war with Amalek.”

SMAG4 also concurs with this:

This mitzvah applies only in the days of Moshiach, after the full conquest of Israel. Hence, today, when we have no Jewish King, this mitzvah is not in effect.

Ramban, too, confirms this Halachic viewpoint3:

When there will be a Jewish King sitting upon G‑d’s throne, he will then battle against Amalek ... for every Jewish King is obligated to battle against Amalek’s kin until they are fully decimated. The Rambam also rules5 :

The King wages a mitzvah battle ... and the battle against Amalek.

Sefer HaChinuch,6 however, writes that this mitzvah is binding upon the entire Jewish community.

Yet, even according to those who opine that this mitzvah was given to all Jews, it is still not feasible today to eradicate Amalek in the physical sense, because:

1) This act is possible only when Jews are fully in control (and not dependent upon other nations — which is not the case today).

b) This mitzvah is effective only when we know for sure who belongs to, and descends from, Amalek’s kin. Since Sancherib of Babylon came and mixed up the world, causing massive confusion among all ethnic identities,7 therefore, we assume that no one comes from Amalek.

Only when Moshiach comes, at which time Jews will have full power and autonomy, and it will be clearly defined who descends from Amalek’s kin, Moshiach will then eradicate all aspects of Amalek en toto8 — “male and female.”

Eradicating The Spiritual Amalek

The aforesaid is only in the physical sense. In the spiritual realm, however, this endeavor is applicable even now, as is known that all Jews are obligated to remember the act of Amalek; even women who do not go into battle, are also required to participate in this remembrance. — This remembrance is included in the Six Daily Remembrances, recited after Shacharis (the daily Morning prayer).

The mitzvah to remember the brazen act of Amalek is not just once a lifetime or once a year but this is obligatory every day9 : Each one should bear this in mind when reciting before Shema — “You brought us near to Your Great Name”. This clearly shows how important the remembrance of Amalek’s act is, at least in the spiritual sense, in serving G‑d at all times.

The concept of Amalek in the spiritual sense is expressed in the verse,10 asher karcha — lit. “he — Amalek — met you by the way;” it also means “he cooled you off,” i.e. he cooled off your enthusiasm for Torah and mitzvos. Thus the Midrash relates11 :

Amalek cooled you off in the presence of others. This may be likened to a boiling hot bath, which no person could enter, for fear of being scalded. One roughneck came along and jumped into the steaming water. Although he became scalded, he cooled it off for others; now others will say that it’s possible to enter this hot bath. Likewise, when the Jews left Egypt, at the time of the Exodus, G‑d split the Sea for them and all the Egyptians were drowned in it. At that time, the fear of the Jews — and G‑d — fell upon all nations of the world, as is written,12 “Then were frightened the Dukes of Edom..”

But, as soon as Amalek came and attacked the Jews, although he was badly defeated, he cooled down their fearsome power in the eyes of the other nations (who now felt that the Jews were vulnerable and attackable).

The ‘cooling off’ of Amalek is also evident in one’s spiritual life, in Torah and mitzvos. In serving G‑d, one must wage a “battle” against this spiritual Amalek every day. It does not suffice that yesterday one was enthused with Torah study and davening (prayers); today one must rise up again and battle against the cooling effect of the spiritual ‘Amalek’.

One must begin with warmth and zeal in davening, which will enable him to face the outside world with proud identity as a Torah Jew.

This daily spiritual activity — never permitting ‘Amalek’ to cool off our hislahavus, our zeal for Torah and mitzvos — is the preparation for eradicating Amalek and his kin in the physical sense, with the speedy advent of the King Moshiach.