Have a sense of humor for God's sake!

Our parasha states: “These are those who were counted of the people of Israel by the house of their fathers; all those who were counted of the camps throughout their armies were six hundred three thousand five hundred and fifty.” (Numbers 2:32)

In a discussion about the concept of counting Israelites, Midrash Rabbah brings a verse from Hoshea “And the number of the people of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor counted; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, there it shall be said to them, You are the sons of the living God.” (Hoshea 2:1)  Midrash Rabbah (Numbers II:13) teaches: 
Another interpretation of, “As the sand of the sea”:   What is the nature of sand?  If it is put into the fire it comes out as glass from which utensils can be made. So it is with Israel. They go into fire and come out alive; as it is said: “And the satraps, prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was a hair of their head singed, nor were their mantles damaged, nor had the smell of fire passed over them.” (Dan. III, 27).
This midrash recalls the a story from the book of Daniel about three righteous men who passed through fire unharmed in order to make a point about the Jewish people.  B’nai Yisrael (the people of Israel) are like sand which when heated, becomes stronger—it becomes glass, which is a useful item.  In other words, as Friedrich Nietzsche said, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Chazal (the sages) ask about the second part of the pasuk (verse) that compares the Jewish people to sand—the part of the verse that teaches that b’nai Yisrael who were once disowned by God will be redeemed by God.
This is a very nice sentiment, but how do we accomplish this?  How do we encounter the challenges in our lives with equanimity and come through the “fire” stronger and alive on the other side?  The answer lies just ahead in the midrash:
But when was such a thing [you are not my people] said to them? When they did what we all know, [made the golden calf] the Holy One, blessed be He, called them “the people of Moses”; as it is said: Go, you should go down; for your people... have dealt corruptly (Ex. XXXII, 7). Then Moses girded his loins for prayer; as it is said: And Moses pleaded with the Lord his God,” etc. (ib. 11). This may be illustrated by a parable. A king saw his wife kissing a eunuch. “I will divorce her,” he said to his best friend, “I will cast her out. Let her go home to her father!”  “But why?” his friend asked. “Because I have found her kissing a eunuch.” “But,” he responded, “she will now rear up for you fine sturdy sons who will follow you in battle!”  “There is no such hope from him,” replied the king, “he can beget no children!”  “So are you angry about a thing from which no good can come?” he asked.  So is Moses’ plea explained: Lord, why does Your anger burn hot against Your people,” etc. (loc. cit.). Moses suggested: “This calf which Israel made can now be of assistance to You.  He can send down rain while You produce the dew!” What follows in the text? And the Lord repented of the evil which He said He would do unto His people (ib. 14). “His people.” This has explained the text, “And it shall come to pass that, instead of that which was said to them,” etc. (Midrash Rabbah - Numbers II:15)
Am I the only one that finds this midrash funny?  It seems to me that Moshe is using a sense of humor with God when God is angry.  Chazal imagine Moshe telling God that He shouldn't be upset about the egel hazahav (golden calf) because the egel can help him out in His Godly duties of producing rain.  This is very chutzpadik of Moshe.  After all, God is angry already, isn't it a bit risky for Moshe to make light of the incident of the egel hazahav?  Is this a type of comment that should be modeled?  When a loved one is angry, should we mock their anger and minimize what s/he is going through?

The model in this midrash is not so much Moshe, but God.  While Moshe does take a leap of faith that God isn't just going to get angrier because of his comment, it is God who really deserves recognition for allowing Moshe’s sense of humor to calm him down.  The reality is that in order to get through our trials, we need to have a sense of humor.

I am not a big fan of drama.  Drama seems to follow me around however.  Just when I think my life is enough of a soap opera, something else happens that makes it even crazier.  How do I cope?  I try to remember not to give into all the drama.  Having a sense of humor helps tremendously when we are like sand passing through fire.  If we keep our chin up, we can find that we come out of our trials and drama with something useful, much as sand turns to glass.