The Undercity That Remained Above – Question

Apr 4th, 2012 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays
Whether it is Katherine Boo’s, “behind beautiful forevers,” Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s, “Secret Daughter,” or Lloyd Jones’ “Hand Me Down Forever,” stories of the poor in Asia describe people striving for a better life in the midst of unimaginable cruelty to each other, to their children, to themselves; lives filled with crime just to survive.

I wonder how the Children of Israel survived their slavery in Egypt.  Did they strive to escape their makeshift settlements to live near the skyscraping Pyramids? Did they dream of lounging at moonlight cocktail parties under the Sphinx? Did they form a hierarchy of people with connections who could help them get access to the Cairo Utilities Department? Did fathers murder babies who would drain the family’s finances? Did they steal from each other? Did they fight each other for scraps of food?

We know that this is what desperately poor people are doing in the 21st century; what happened in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago? I wonder.

The Sages are convinced that the Egyptian slaves never fell this low; but how do they know? Is there a hint in the text to indicate that they maintained their humanity?

Do we mention this aspect of their dignity in the Haggadah?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share