Dear Rabbi: A student came to me the other day with the following question in reference to Genesis 15:13: "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them 400 years." The young man is a Russian Jew who has become very interested in Judaism and is trying very hard to understand things from a Jewish perspective. Perhaps you would be willing to send me an opinion on this passage? He was very disturbed by it, commenting that he could not understand how G-d would willingly allow his people to be enslaved for 400 years. I would very much appreciate an answer from one of your rabbis on this. Many thanks.