In Egypt, the Torah suggests, the Israelites were so abused and exploited under Pharaoh's brutal reign that they were reduced to beasts of burden. In freeing the slaves, God removed the yoke that had so oppressed them, enabling them to stand tall again for the first time in centuries. Subtly the Torah indicates that to serve God and to stand upright are not mutually contradictory. On the contrary, one cannot really serve God without a robust sense of one's own dignity. True divine service depends on those who serve standing tall.