Rabbi's Message

Freedom – Breaking Beyond Our Limitations by Using Our Limitations

It is only when we are prevented from being who we are that we are enslaved. Be true to your essence, to the core of who you are, a core which is deeper and truer than the momentary impulses and whims which tempt us daily. Live up to that which defines us as a being. Then, and only then, will we feel free. Then, and only then, can we be truthfully happy.

Humankind is unique in that there is a struggle within us which we all experience. Our dualistic nature, on the one hand 'G-dly' and on the other animalistic mean that we, as human beings, do not need another human being in order to experience the hardships of slavery. We experience "external restraints and compulsion" from within ourselves. (I call it external because it comes from the animalistic part of man, which is not his true essence, rather false and superficial.)

Of course, we are all plagued by our own inner personal limitations that constrain, bind and confine us. Like fear, anger, depression and selfishness, or the problems and tribulations of marital strife, dysfunctional families, financial instability, each of us on our own level.

By keeping to G-d's ways, these 'limitations' do not appear as limitations, but as challenges with which we become stronger, better people. By giving oneself over to G-d through doing His will, thereby putting aside ones pride and ego, a person can then tap into their Essence; which is a part of the Infinite G-d, giving us infinite powers to overcome and free ourselves from our human made obstacles.

This is not slavery. On the contrary! This is true freedom. To sit down, be yourself, and be happy with yourself.

The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim. The root of the word "Mitzrayim" is "meitzar" which means boundaries. When we talk about "Yetzias Mitzrayim", "Exodus from Egypt", and how it connects to you, we mean leaving your own limitations and the limitations prevalent in society today. Defeating our temptations, living a life which is true to the definition of who we are, this is the meaning of freedom.

This is the relevance of Passover to us today. Passover teaches, inspires, empowers and challenges us to leave 'Egypt', to leave the slavery of our own making, each and every day. It asks us to subdue the 'Pharaoh' within, the impulse to live a life which does not conform with who we truly are.

For a Jew, who possesses a soul which is an actual Part of G-d, freedom and being oneself, means simply keeping the Torah and Mitzvos, i.e. connecting to G-d.  This is what defines us, and makes us who we are. Until and unless we do so, we will not be content, we will not be free. This is the objective "you" who lies between the "externally imposed restraints" of slavery and unrestrained anarchy. It is our freedom from the restraints imposed by Pharaoh, who prevented us from connecting to G-d. This is what we celebrate.

The freedom to be who we are.

The freedom to be Jewish.



Wishing you a Kosher and Happy Pesach!

Rabbi Galperin

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