“It happened during those many days, that the king of Egypt died and the Children of Israel groaned because of the work and they cried out. Their cry for help from the oppression rose up to G-d.”
Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman zt”l, wrote in a letter: “Several times I heard from the holy Chofetz Chayim, that we can learn about the end of our exile from what happened at the end of our exile in Egypt…”
Rabbeinu Bachayei writes the following:
“Even though the time of the redemption had arrived, they weren’t worthy of being redeemed. However, once they all cried out in unison from the work that they were undergoing, their tefillos were accepted… This is to teach you that the tefillah of a person is only complete when one cries out from the pain and stress that are contained within one’s heart. This type of tefillah is more accepted by Hashem then mere lip service.”
He continues, “It is possible to say that this parsha is a hint to our future redemption which depends on returning to G-d and prayer. For we find that in Egypt they were redeemed because they returned to G-d and prayed to G-d who responds in time of distress and their prayers were accepted; then the Redeemer came to them immediately.”
Who was that? Moshe. As the Novi says, “It will be a sign and a witness to Hashem in the land of Egypt, that when they cry out to Him because of oppressors, He will send them a savior and a leader who will deliver them.” In fact, R’ Berachia said in the name of R’ Yitzchak that the last redeemer will be just as the first.
Believe it or not (and I’m not referring to Ripley), Rabbeinu Bachayei’s “possibility” is an actuality! What do I mean? The Gemara states that our nation was redeemed from Egypt due to distress, crying out and returning to G-d.
The Chofetz Chayim states: “All the many troubles that have fallen upon us, from which we have still not been saved, are because we don’t scream and increase our prayers in response to them. If we had prayed (properly), we would not have returned empty-handed. And it is not enough that (one) prays the Shemoneh Esrei prayer three times each day; several times daily he must pour out his requests in solitude, in his house, from the depths of his heart. The three regular prayers are so routine that one does not really concentrate during them – which is not the case if each person would contemplate in solitude his own plight… then he would pour out his heart like water to Hashem. Such a prayer would emerge with very deep intent with a broken heart and with great humility. Such a prayer will certainly not go unanswered…!”
Rav Yitzchok Hutner says, “The purpose of prayer is not to get us out of trouble. The purpose of trouble is to get us into prayer.” However from the day that the Beis HaMikdosh was destroyed, the ‘gates of tefillah’ was closed. Still, the ‘gates of tears’ were never closed.” In addition, crying out in prayer is beneficial for a person because it has the effect (i.e. power) to reverse a decree.
If that’s the case, why “don’t” we cry to Hashem? Because we are emotionally constipated.
Every morning we say, “He responds to His people at the time they cry out to Him.”
The Medrash states, “When Israel went out of Egypt, they looked back and saw the Egyptians chasing after them… When Israel saw, they were surrounded on all sides – the sea in front of them blocking their path, their enemy chasing after them, and wild animals on both sides in the desert – they lifted their eyes up to their Father in Heaven, and cried out to the Holy One Blessed be He, as it is written: ‘…and Bnei Yisroel cried out to Hashem.’ Why did Hashem do this to them? Because Hashem yearned for their tefillos.”
R’ Yitzchak said, “The salvation of Israel depends only on crying… as it is written, ‘…With crying, they will come.’” Rashi explains this to mean by tefillah and teshuvah.
When an infant wants his parents to give him attention, he cries. If they don’t hear him or choose to ignore him, he cries, screams even louder or throws a tantrum, until his parents come and attend to his needs.
The Chofeitz Chayim says the following:
“Even though we pray for the redemption several times every day, requesting by itself is not enough. One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker. Failure to do so shows that this matter is clearly not that urgent to us!”
In fact, R’ Shimon ben Menassia teaches that the redemption will not come until the Jewish people pray for the return of the three things it had rejected in the days of Yeravam: the rule of G-d, the kingship of Dovid and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdosh.
May we all merit to cry out to Hashem for the return of these three things and may He in return reveal Moshiach Tzidkeinu in the blink of an eye, who will make His Name Great Again!
Dedicated in memory of Miriam Liba bas R’ Aharon – a tzadeikes in our time; Dovid Tzvi ben Yosef Yochanan, Kayla Rus bas Bunim Tuvia, Chana Tziporah bas HaRav Nochum Yehuda HaKohein, Dovid ben Uri HaLevi, Sarah bas Henoch Avraham, Dovid Avraham ben Chiya Kehos, Rafael Chaim Yitzchak Yaakov ben Binyamin Yehudah, Berinah Z’latah bas Reuven Yitzchak, Yosef ben Moshe HaLevi, Rafael Shachar ben Aharon, Aliza bas Henreias, Moshe ben Aliza, Yitzchak Hillel ben Aliza, Henreias Leah bas Aliza, Altah Soshah Devorah bas Aryeh Leibush, Mashah Tzivyah bas R’ Shlomo Zalman, Shmuel Dovid HaLevi ben R’ Yosef Moshe HaLevi, Yehudah Ruvein ben Meir, and as a merit for a complete recovery of Chayah Malka bas Bas-Sheva, Menachem ben Rivka, Rivka bas Esther Rochel, Shilat bas Louza Aliza, Daniel ben Louza Aliza, Avraham ben Louza Aliza, Yosef ben Ahuva Masuda and among the other sick ones of our nation.
This article can also be found at https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/93786.