By Zak Kraus
Once free from the oppression laid unto us by another man, it is then the responsibility of the individual to relieve themself from the mindset that allowed them to become captive in the first place.
Slavery is usually represented through the act of entrapment from master to servant. Although this element of slavery is evident in the story of Passover, I don’t necessarily think it is the element of slavery that was most detrimental to the Jewish people. The bondage of self, the inability to see one’s own worth is far more oppressive to the spirit than any physical entrapment. We become our own worst enemies when we succumb ourselves to the lies we tell our self.
Sobriety for me is a by-product of living well. Complacency and comfort acted as slave drivers for my entrapment. Similar to the Jews in the decades prior to exodus, self-bondage had never allowed me to envision a change in my life. It was easier to maintain a way of life I was familiar with, rather than forge new roads to a greater destiny.
Freedom is a funny thing though, with freedom comes responsibility and choices. Much is the same with the story of Passover. It wasn’t long till the Israelites found themselves in the desert, daunted by giant sky and open sands. The journey the Israelites were about to embark upon would become their education in freedom.
Passover today is celebrated as a reminder of what our ancestors went through to gain their freedom. Through prayer, food, and family we can rejoice in the freedom that we have today to become whatever we envision in our lives.
This year, Beit T’Shuvah will be holding a Passover Seder for 3 nights in a row–April 6, 2012 through April 8, 2012, with all nights starting at 6:30 pm. The final evening will include a performance of the original Beit T’Shuvah musical, Freedom Song. All are welcome to attend and eat with us in this remembrance of our freedom from bondage. You can get all the info including ways to sponsor a resident’s Seder meal at http://www.beittshuvah.org/Public-Calendar?id=247 .