This Shabbos we read Parshas Bo. The Parsha talks about the last three plagues, and of the actual Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. When the Jews actually left Egypt, the Torah tells us that “To all the Jews no dog barked” (Exodus 11:7). An amazing and beautiful point in this verse is brought out by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his classic work “Growth Through Torah”. He asks a simple question: Would it really have mattered to the Jews if a dog had barked as they left Egypt? Just imagine the pain and torment they had endured for all these years in Egypt, the indescribable torture of having baby boys thrown into the Nile, the suffering at the hands of merciless taskmasters and slave drivers. After so many years of this, they were now liberated and able to leave Egypt together with their families. What indescribable feelings of relief and exuberance that they must have felt!!! Would it really have been of any significance to them now if a dog would have barked at them or not?
The Torah is teaching us a beautiful lesson. True, it may not have been a major distraction from their joy if the Jews would have heard a dog barking. However, it would have taken away a slight part of their happiness. The Torah tells us that Hashem made the joy of the redemption totally complete, to the degree that they did not have even the slightest distraction.
The practical lesson we learn from here can apply every day of our life: Pay attention to the pain and anguish that “small” things we say can cause. If someone bought a new dress and is rejoicing with it, don’t point out that they overpaid for it. If someone bought a new car, don’t point out a defect in that model. If someone painted their house, let them enjoy the feelings of pride with their work; don’t let them even notice any mistakes in their work. The sensitivity that we display in helping someone enjoy their moment of success, not distracting from it even in the slightest way, is emulating the ways of Hashem, Who made sure that the joy of the moment of the Jewish peoples’ Exodus from Egypt was so complete that not even a dog barked to diminish it.