The Cure to Hidden Pain

[First posted on The Times of Israel:]

Ibn Ezra Exodus: Shmot

The Cure to Hidden Pain

“If pain could have cured us we should long ago have been saved.” -George Santayana

Something gnaws at your mind. A pain dull, yet sometimes sharp. Specific and then amorphous. Catastrophic then minor. It is a pain you hesitate to admit to yourself, let alone another human being. But it is real. It hurts. And it doesn’t seem to go away.

The Jewish slaves of Egypt suffered a variety of torments; physical, mental, spiritual. They were demeaned every way possible. They cried out to God. Sometimes the cries were shrill calls of agony heard by fellow sufferers. Other times they were whimpering whispers of defeat heard by no human ears.

Ibn Ezra (on Exodus 3:7) explains that God heard both types of pain. He heard the visible, public pain, but He also saw the hidden private pain.

When God released the Jews from their bondage, He also cured them. He saved them from the direct physical torture and enslavement, but He also freed them from the spiritual anguish which they could not reveal.

God’s healing touch is something we strive to recall and recapture on a daily basis. Sometimes He’s the only one listening. Let’s take advantage.

Shabbat Shalom,



To Hadass and Ehud Ilan on their wedding. Mazal Tov!

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