Redeemed from All Evil

David Ben Moshe
2 min readApr 12, 2022

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How can I get her to stop crying?? I was exhausted, my wife was exhausted, and all we wanted was a few hours of sleep, but our newborn baby wouldn’t stop crying.

Music! The idea popped in my head, and I fumbled with my phone while continuing to rock and shush the newborn. “Maccabeats” popped into my head, and I hit the shuffle button on their Spotify page.

A more beautiful (and trained) voice than my own began singing, “hamalach hagoel oti mikol ra.” Translation: The Angel who redeemed me from all evil.”

The cries stopped, I hit the repeat button, and that song became part of the rotation of tricks to calm down our child.

The words are traditionally used as part of the nighttime Shema, the traditional Jewish bedtime ritual. They come from a verse in Genesis 38 as part of Yaacov’s blessing to his grandchildren Ephraim and Menashe.

It is an interesting way to bless children. According to Rashi, it is a reference to the Angel who was usually sent to Ya’aqov during his times of trouble, of which there were many.

We all want to avoid evil and protect ourselves, and our children. from it as much as possible. But just like Ya’aqov, the first to go by the name Israel, we should expect that evil will come for us — and our children.

He could have blessed his children hoping that they would avoid all evil, but that would have been foolish. Instead, he wisely blessed that they be redeemed from all the evil they encounter.

The words remind me of my limited ability to protect my children. And strengthen my faith that the G-d of Israel will redeem us all.

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