March 11, 2017 · Resent
Most significantly, Maimonides contends that the Jewish nation can never launch a war with any nation (uniquely including Amalek and the seven Canaanite nations together) without first offering “a call to peace”(keri’a l’shalom). If, in this call to peace, the seven Noahide laws are accepted, and peace is made, then no war is required (Hilkhot Melachim 6:1).
In the Guide for the Perplexed, Maimonides explains further that the command to wipe out Amalek isn’t based on hatred but on removing Amalek-like behaviour from the world (3:41). For Maimonides, then, the commandment is not necessarily fulfilled through killing; it can be fulfilled through moral influence and education.