During Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, a group of his highly trained soldiers got stuck in a snowstorm and had to spend the night in the home of a pious Jew. Although Napoleon’s cavalry was the best of their kind, the heavy winter snow would not allow them to journey on any further.

As they were getting accustomed to their new surroundings, one of the soldiers gazed out the window and saw an extraordinary sight. An old man was sitting in a carriage being led by two very old horses. They were trekking through the evening snowstorm with ease. Puzzled, a soldier turned to his new host and asked: “How is it possible that our highly trained horses could not make it through the snowstorm, while these two very old horses seem to be moving along without a problem?”

The host took a look outside and smiled as he recognized his neighbor enjoying his evening ride.

“You see,” said the man, “I know this man for many years. He has owned these horses since they were born. They both grew up on the same farm and have always been inseparable. What is unique about them is that they feel each other’s pain. When the man whips one horse, the other horse feels the pain of his friend and therefore pushes harder as well. It’s the effort of both horses working in tandem that allows them to weather any storm.”

The Torah tells us that it was during the difficult exile in Egypt that G‑d saw the unity that the Jewish people displayed. When one slave finished his daily backbreaking quota, he would help his neighbor complete his workload. The unity inspired G‑d to deliver them from the mighty Egyptian empire.