Off the Pulpit

Freedom In Captivity

The great Rabbi, the Maharal of Prague in the 16th century wrote that Passover changed the nature of the Jewish people, making them free even throughout the captivities of history. This theme was expressed in the twentieth century by Rabbi Aryeh Levin, the Tzaddik of Jerusalem who used to visit prisons and tell prisoners that genuine freedom began not from without, but from within. In our own time, luminaries such as Nelson Mandela and Natan Sharansky, although in prison, testified that they felt freedom in their souls.
For many of us this will be the first Pesach when we are uncomfortable leaving our own homes, almost as if captives. But restrictions without can create space within. There are universes to be explored in each one of us, and the ocean is no less a world than the sky. Be prepared to dive; in exploration and discovery is freedom. All over the world on the seder night Israel will be singing. The collective chorus proves that thousands of years later, we are still free.