Z’man cheirusenu, the “time of our freedom,” is finally upon us.
Freedom—a word which is used often but not always understood.
Freedom for children means being able to stay up and eat treats. For a teenager it might mean no rules. And for an adult, an unlimited credit card.
The seder shel Pesach celebrates our being free through specific actions and customs. We eat this amount of onion dipped into salt water; we lean to our left while drinking cups of wine; and we ask specific questions. Apparently, freedom in Yiddishkeit means freedom to do. Staying up late, having no rules, or possessing a full line of credit can just as easily be a form of bondage, and discussing the haggadah for a couple hours before even beginning the meal can be the perfect expression of freedom.
This helps explain why even a crumb of chametz is suddenly treated worse even than non-kosher meat is the rest of the year. For at the point of our freedom and the birth of our nation, there is no room for the ego and the selfish “I” symbolized by chametz. Matzah, which symbolizes service in a selfless way, is the call of the hour.
“Let my people go so they may serve me,” is the rallying cry of the Jewish people. We are an eternal people for we are connected to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
This is also why we speak of redemption in all of our tefillos. True freedom, and indeed the true expression of our Judaism, will only be complete when the inner soul of all creation will be revealed. It’ll be the same world, just with the lights on. And that is the truest freedom of all.
L’shanah haba’ah b’irushalayim.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a kasher un freilichen Pesach,