Most of us are familiar with the story of the flight of the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites. The Israelites are trapped – the Red Sea before them, the Egyptian army behind them. Moses strikes the water, the Sea opens and the Israelites pass through. Then when Pharaoh orders his chariots to pursue the sea collapses around them, drowning the Egyptian army. The slave people have finally been liberated from their oppressors! A dramatic story, in which justice triumphs over oppression, we can imagine the celebrations of the Israelites afterwards.

But what was happening in heaven? A Hasidic story tells of the angels cheering and dancing in joy – the Israelites are saved, the Egyptian army defeated. Then one of the angels notices God is not present. “Where’s God?” he asks the archangel Michael.

Michael tells him. “God is not here because he is off by himself weeping. You see, many thousands of His children were drowned today!”

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