[ by Charles Cameron — is empathy really so very strange these days? ]
When I saw this in one of my feeds this morning ..
I was strongly reminded of a remark I’ve mentioned before, found in the Talmud, Megillah 10b.
R. Johanan is responding to the question “does the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoice in the downfall of the wicked” and his response references the drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea — “For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them” (Exodus 15.19) — as they pursued the people of Israel escaping on their way to the promised land:
The angels of heaven wanted to sing the usual song, and the Holy One, blessed be He, said to them: My creatures are drowning in the sea, and you want to sing songs!
I have, of course, cherry-picked this particular comment from 6,200 complex pages of Talmud, and while I’m not competent (British understatement) to offer you a rich context for this remark, I can at least offer you R. Elazar’s response:
He Himself does not rejoice, but He makes others rejoice.