Share a joke or two with a friend or family member going through a rough period, to lift their spirits and make them laugh!

While it’s certainly true that humor can help raise a person’s spirits, in certain instances, especially where there has been considerable suffering for a prolonged period of time, people become less receptive to efforts to engage them in a positive way. For the Jews suffering as slaves in Egypt, it was a more subtle admiration for Egyptian culture that had to be addressed when it was time, after 210 years of slavery, for the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt to begin. To appreciate this conundrum, read this enlightening analysis entitled “Mesmerized by the Subtle Slavery” from Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald’s Torah message for Va’eira 5781-2021. Out of respect for Shabbat, please consider printing it on Friday afternoon if you plan to read it on Shabbat.