I cannot imagine grappling with the enormity of That! I mean, really - first the fleeing, then the Sea, finally on dry land - but with, as I do imagine it (and I'm OK with my own contradictions, thank you) a thousand questions of who and what and where and why. And the kids being kids, and there are animals to be calmed and cared for, and tents to be set up and thank God for the manna - that's one load off the plate! There are creaky joints and calloused feet and tired bodies that really just want to plop down on some ground and sleep for a year or two.
A couple of years ago, someone sent me a video - the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. It was April 20, erev Shabbat. The dead had not all been buried. There were still people dying "in broad daylight" says the narrator. But shabbos was nearing. The British chaplain organized a kabbalat Shabbat service - and for the first time, in perhaps a decade, it could be celebrated without fear.
At the end of the service, the people there sang Hatikva - The Hope. After all they had been through, all they had suffered and lost, even they could sing about hope and celebrate Shabbat. Amidst all of the horrors of the camp, they could stop - even for a moment, even for a day - to find space within themselves to welcome the Bride. Even then, they could sing.
Once we were slaves. Now we are free.
And so we count four. Shabbat shalom.
If you'd like to hear this amazing recording, follow this link. https://youtu.be/syUSmEbGLs4