In a new essay, Sarah Rudolph, Director of TorahTutors, shares the perspectives of four different commentators on whether the Israelites in Egypt prayed for redemption – and why God answered even if they didn’t.
This was a people who had been enslaved for centuries, whose collective memory only just barely held on to the knowledge that God had promised their ancestors something better, who (according to midrashic traditions) maintained just a few remnants of their cultural heritage. Is it reasonable to think they had an active relationship with the God of their ancestors, that they would even think to cry out to Him over their suffering? Is it reasonable to think, after so long, that they would even know how? Perhaps – and that is the picture offered by Ibn Ezra and Ramban. But perhaps not. Perhaps they were simply too immersed in their physical suffering – yet God, in His mercy, heard them anyway.
…Ohr Hachaim’s read of the text offers a deeply comforting model of the relationship between human and divine, reminding us that God can hear us even when we’re unable to talk to Him.
See the link below for more, and have a happy and healthy rest-of-Passover!