The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - CHIEF RABBI AT PESACH we are en­cour­aged to grap­ple with one of the most pro-

What Passover has to tell us about free­dom Five Jewish lead­ers re­flect on the Ex­o­dus story and its theme of lib­erty from slav­ery, and con­sider the mes­sage it has for the world to­day found ques­tions to con­front hu­man civil­i­sa­tion: What is free­dom?

In the bib­li­cal ac­count of the Ex­o­dus, the Is­raelites cel­e­brated their free­dom while still slaves to their Egyp­tian over­lords. How can one ex­plain this?

The an­swer is both pow­er­ful and life af­firm­ing. On April 19 1943, the res­i­dents of the War­saw Ghetto held a makeshift Passover meal, cel­e­brat­ing their free­dom. The Ghetto, how­ever, was any­thing but free and Nazi sol­diers were in the process of liq­ui­dat­ing it.

Free­dom is not just the ab­sence of op­pres­sion, but the pres­ence of a mean­ing­ful route to self-ful­fil­ment. The Is­raelites and the res­i­dents of the War­saw Ghetto found spir­i­tual free­dom even in the midst of the most ex­treme hard­ship.

In Jewish tra­di­tion we dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween yi’ud, which means fate and goral, which means des­tiny. My fate is the hand of cards that I am dealt. My des­tiny is how I choose to play them.

Re­gard­less of the hand we are dealt, ev­ery one of us is free to shape our own des­tiny even in the most chal­leng­ing of times.

This is an abridged ver­sion of a talk given by the Chief Rabbi on Ra­dio 4’s Thought for the Day

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