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Slaves to freedom

ריבוי ערוצים בטלויזיה

Translated by Yehoshua Siskin

"Are we enslaved?" asks Rabbi Nir Menussi. "We all assume that, long ago, we went out from slavery to freedom. The story of the Exodus from Egypt has convinced most people that they are free. Yet we are still enslaved; we are slaves to freedom. Here a paradox is created: In making freedom our supreme value, we have become enslaved to it.
The most important command in today's culture is: 'Don't miss out.' We are obligated to exploit every opportunity for adventure and personal pleasure. Accumulate experiences, try everything once. But there are so many possibilities that it's impossible to do it all. Try to choose cheese or shampoo at the supermarket and you discover that there are 20 options. And what about choosing a profession? Or a spouse? With so many options, we may become confused or frustrated and, even after we have chosen, we may continue to compare our choice to that of others, never certain that we made the right choice.
It's not pleasant to admit that ultimately we must limit our freedom and our choices. When the possibility of making choices is taken away, we are not free. But when we have too many choices, that can also be paralyzing.
The consequence of all this is that whoever wants to travel everywhere, to eat every food, and drink every type of alcohol, will never experience anything authentic, since authenticity depends on focus. To focus on my family, my home, my life. It may seem to me that I experience everything, yet I really have done nothing when I lack the devotion required to experience anything deeply. This is the result slavery in its modern form.
Freedom is an important value, but it needs to be our servant and not our master. Freedom is necessary in order to actualize other values. The most rewarding path in life is taken when I know my purpose, what I must do in this world, and how freedom serves this purpose. And so I can go out from limitless to authentic freedom."


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