Fresh off the heels of another fantastic Passover, I began thinking about Judaism’s companion religion, and how Passover and Easter are inextricably linked — both in the time of year when they occur and in their underlying messages of liberation and hope.
Judaism celebrates the Israelites’ liberation in Egypt, and Christianity celebrates the liberation of Jesus Christ from his earthly body. And both religions acknowledge that freedom is part of our divine plan.
Meanwhile, in 2018, I think that we as a society have started to take a lot of our freedoms for granted:
- Freedom to live wherever we want
- Freedom of self-expression, whether it be hair, makeup, body art, etc.
- Freedom to travel
- Freedom to worship however we want
At the same time, there are people who don’t enjoy our freedoms. At home here in the United States, people are constrained by prejudice against them, as we find out every other month or so. For example, there was a painfully brilliant article on the satirical website The Onion titled “Black Father Gives Son The Talk About Holding Literally Any Object,” which drew on the two most-recent fatal police shootings.
Abroad, there are many leaders who curtail human rights through bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, starvation, and imprisonment. My heart weeps for those people, and I pray that “people power” will eventually lead to their release from being controlled by others.
Our faiths demand that we honor and spread the freedom bestowed upon us by nature. I chose a profession where I can help people attain financial freedom, and I have helped people from all walks of life lift themselves up by the bootstraps and live fuller lives — in the present and the future. But honestly, that’s not enough.
I want to help more people.
What does freedom mean to you?