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What is freedom?

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The Pesach holiday is called "the time of our freedom." Rabbi Ayal Vered has attempted to translate the imposing concept of "freedom" into terms relevant to our daily lives.


"Freedom - is to become familiar with that little round, red button that shuts off our phones and to use it every now and then.

Freedom - is to take only what we need from a giant wedding buffet, when there is enough food for a herd of elephants and way too much for ordinary people.

Freedom - is the capacity not to hear and not to read lashon hara (derogatory speech); even though everyone disparages it, it still bubbles up on every website.

Freedom - is the ability to tell your employer that you have a wife and children, and therefore you cannot work around the clock, that you cannot leave the house in the morning while the children are still asleep and return at night after they have gone to sleep again. You have other things to do in life. And before you tell this to your employer, you need to tell this to yourself.

Freedom - is to know how to live from the money you have, and not from the money you don't have (not to be perpetually in overdraft, that is).

Freedom - is the capacity to remain silent. Not to react to everything. To shut our mouths during an argument.

Freedom - is the ability to strive to find the good where no one else sees it. And also to articulate it, with passion. To look positively at reality and not to fall into the pit of grumbling complaint and discontent, rather to be joyful and to give thanks and to know how to make things better.

Freedom - is not to honk in anger at the driver in front of us who delays a bit when the stoplight turns green, but rather to signal to him gently with our headlights.

Freedom - is the ability to see each individual not as a means, as someone to exploit, but rather as an end in himself.

Rabbi Yehuda Halevi wrote: 'Slaves to time are abject slaves; only the slaves of Hashem are free.' The Statue of Liberty has its place, yet freedom is not just a symbol, but the essence of who we are. It is the complete expression of our personality, both as individuals and as a nation. Happy holiday of freedom".


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