Passover: Can You Set Yourself Free?
Little else is more demoralizing
than being enslaved.
The stifling of the human spirit is a most frustrating experience.
History can be seen as an attempt by mankind to achieve freedom from any form of tyranny.
A timeless illustration of this struggle is commemorated each year by the Jewish people as the story of our exodus from Egypt is retold.
Indeed, an image of Moses raising his staff at the Red Sea was proposed by Benjamin Franklin to serve as the seal for the USA.
But why does freedom remain so elusive?
In an age of unprecedented material abundance and liberty why do so many feel so stifled?
The mystics offer a profound insight into this mystery, which might even sound counterintuitive.
Firstly, every human being has the capacity to be free. It is G-d’s gift to humanity.
External circumstances can make this challenging, sometimes extremely so.
However, our ability to choose how we react to the forces which seek to deprive us of our freedom, will always remain intact.
Second, and most importantly, we ourselves should not be our own oppressors.
The single greatest cause of the stifling of the human spirit, is narcissism.
This condition is the root of all our insecurities, which in turn are the source of all our negative energy.
When we focus on our own interests in isolation of the greater good, we are severing ourselves from the collective human spirit.
This in turn inhibits the expression of our personal individual spirits, as we are all interconnected.
The more we align ourselves with the interest of the community and our people, the more we allow for that human spirit to flow freely within us.
For true, individual freedom is the ability to operate in harmony with others. An organ cannot function independently from the body; only when it is completely aligned with a network of individual parts, can it achieve its unique role.
As we and our families gather together at the Passover Seder, let us unite in spirit with our people around the world.
Let us always remember that in order to achieve true freedom, we must strive to seek further alignment of interests with others.
Only then can we be truly liberated.