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To cry out

רוחמה בן יוסף

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Several days ago, several thousand women gathered at Biyanei HaUma (International Convention Center) in Jerusalem for the annual "Azamrah" (I Will Sing) event. Singers Yuval Dayan, Din Din Aviv, Rika Razel, and Ruchama Ben Yosef sang their most beautiful songs. But then Ruchama suddenly interrupted the singing. "Let's cry out," she said. "Let's just shout."
She explained that before the Exodus from Egypt, when everything seemed stuck, when no solution had yet appeared on the horizon, the redemption began when the nation of Israel simply lifted its eyes towards heaven and cried out to God. This was a shout that went beyond words. A shout whose meaning was: Enough already, we can't take it any more, bring us out of this impossible situation.
And indeed, this shout was heard, as we will read next week in the Pesach Haggadah: "And we cried out to the God of our fathers -- and the Lord heard our voice." Rebbe Nachman of Breslov writes that this is one of the most important messages of the Haggadah: to know how to cry out.
So we shouted. Initially, this was very awkward, and then a little less awkward until, after around half a minute, 3,000 women were crying out together with all their hearts. For themselves, for the entire nation of Israel, for the whole world. It was a shout that, even now, still echoes in my mind.


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