Simcha's Torah Stories
Here I am in Egypt, facing another day of slavery. I did not even sleep in my house last night. Paroh made me sleep in the field so I could begin to work gathering the straw as soon as I woke up. No matter how much straw I gather I still cannot make enough bricks. One of my own fellow Jews watches over me, counting the bricks I make. If there are not enough bricks, they hit me. Ouch, stop beating me, it really hurts. Worse than that, I have seen them put a baby in the wall that we are building in place of the missing bricks. We do not even have any satisfaction from our work. As soon as we build something, it falls down. I am so tired; I need to take a break. However, I am a slave, and a slave never gets a break. I want to be home tending to the children, instead of out here making bricks. My husband is taking care of the home. Yesterday, my friend gave birth to a baby boy and they threw him in the Nile River. They say that Paroh has a skin disease and needs to bathe in blood twice each day. They kill 150 of our children to make a bath of blood for him. This slavery is terrible. How can we ever escape?
Those cruel Egyptians have no water to drink. The entire Nile River turned to blood. They are so thirsty. I saw them trying to draw water from a barrel. It had also turned to blood. We, the Jews, are the only ones who have water here in Egypt. An Egyptian tried to take water from my barrel. For me it was water but for him it was blood. They have no power over us. We control all of the water. If they buy water from us, it does not turn to blood. We can ask whatever price we want for the water. They have no choice but to pay it. They are at our mercy.
There they are, washed up on the shores of the Red Sea. All of those Egyptians who oppressed us are now dead. I see the one who used to beat me so cruelly. He died a terrible death. He was tossed up and down in the water many times before he drowned. We are free from their oppression at last.
How can I ever thank you enough, G-d? I was hopelessly enslaved in a land from which no slave ever escaped. I was beaten, tortured, and my children were taken from me and killed. You punished my oppressors, then freed our entire nation. You did something which has never been done before or since. You took an entire nation out from the midst of another nation. You did it so fast, that our dough did not even have a chance to rise. You destroyed their land, made a mockery of their idols. We came to the Red Sea, faced with destruction on all sides. You saved us, by taking us through the sea on dry land. I am speechless, in awe of this miracle. We are now in a desert, what will we eat? What will we drink? What will shelter us from the sun? Miracle food appears at our doors each morning. A miracle well travels with us. You surround us with Your Clouds of Glory. G-d, how can we adequately praise You for all of the kindness You have done for us? Before, we were slaves to Paroh. You freed us. Now we want to serve you. Let us all sing Hallel, songs of praise to You.
The owner of the local bank found a $50 bill lying in the gutter; he picked it up and made a note of its serial number. Later that day his wife mentioned that they owed the butcher $50, so the banker used the bill he'd found to settle up with the butcher. The butcher used it to pay a farmer; the farmer in turned used it to pay his feedstock supplier; and the feedstock supplier used it to pay his laundry bill. The laundryman used it to pay off his $50 overdraft at the local bank. The banker recognized the bill as being the one he had found in the gutter, but als noticed, on closer examination, that it was a fake. By now, it had been used to settle $250 worth of debts. What was lost?
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