A group of sixth graders were busy preparing their plans for Purim. "Let's do something different this year," someone said. "I have an idea! Let's make a Purim party for the people at the old age home."
"Great idea, we can prepare a play!"
"And a choir!"
"We can pack shalach monos baskets for them!"
Suddenly one doubtful voice piped up from behind: "Aw come on, we can't really put on a good play, and we have no one who can lead a choir. They'll just laugh at us."
That did it. The rest of the group was no longer so sure of themselves. "Maybe we really can't do it," they thought.
That one meek voice planted doubt in everyone's minds. He succeeded in cooling everyone's enthusiasm and excitement.
Inside of us, we all have a Mr. Doubt. In Hebrew, it's called safek and when we count its letters like numbers, they add up to the same number as the name Amalek.
Amalek? How did he get into the picture?
Let's start from the beginning. When the Jewish people came out of Egypt, the entire world stood in awe. Rulers trembled at the very mention of the Jewish people and HaShem. No nation dared stand in our way.
No one, that is, until the nation of Amalek came along. "Who do they think they are anyway?" taunted the Amalek people. With foolish chutzpah, they declared war on the Jewish people. To be sure, they lost, but their chutzpah made the other nations doubt the strength of HaShem and the Jewish people. After Amalek's attack, the other nations no longer trembled with fear.
Our Rabbis compare what happened to a bathtub full of boiling water.
No one would dare dip his finger in for fear of getting scalded. Suddenly, a fool jumps in. He is severely burnt, but he cools the water slightly. Afterwards, others aren't as afraid of getting hurt. This is Amalek.
He cools people's enthusiasm. He plants doubt in people's minds. He causes people with good intentions to hesitate. He is the Mr. Doubt who holds people back from doing good things.
We read about him this Shabbos in shul. On Shabbos Zachor, we read how Amalek cooled all the nations' fear and admiration for HaShem and the Jewish people.
Hashem commands us to wipe out the nation of Amalek. Today we can fulfill this obligation by wiping out everything Amalek stands for - especially Mr. Doubt.
Feel proud and confident about the good things we do as Jews!
Never let Mr. Doubt creep in and cool your determination to study Torah and fulfill mitzvos!
(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. III, Parshas Zachor)