The taste of freedom

What is freedom? Asked themselves Jews the day in which they left Egypt. What are we going to be? Went on saying those who did not dare to ask themselves such questions little before. What is the taste of getting up in the morning not being forced by anybody to do things you don’t want to? Dared to think people who were still bearing on their bodies the signs of a cruel slavery. Freedom is to sacrifice the god of your oppressors to the true G- d answered Moses explaining the rules about the Passover lamb. You are going to stop being the slaves of men. In order to be free to be the slaves of G-d, went on to explain Moses. You will taste the real freedom since the exact instant in which you will be commanded to observe the sanctity of shabat, when you will not enjoy anymore the opportunity to eat any kind of meat you might like, with the duty to eat only unleavened food during the days of Passover. Time went by. New generations arrived. People who did not find satisfying answers for the questions they had. Is this real freedom? Ask themselves Jews everyday when coming back from an uninterrupted seven days of work. Is this my true identity? Go on saying people who are not used to ask themselves what is the real purpose for which G-d put them in this world. Is this the true taste of freedom? Dare to think some Jews challenging a world that thinks Divine rules are a limitation for human expression. Freedom is to be able to think as a Jew. And not as the world wants you to, answers Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe, whose main purpose in life was to save his brothers and sisters from having similar thoughts and life approach to all other nations on this earth. Freedom has the taste of kosher food. Of matzah, maror and charoset. Freedom lies her. In the daily strenght to eat unleavened food when all the world around you eats chocolate eggs. Freedom is to be able to sit at a seder table and to tell without shame and fear the story of the Exodus from Egypt for the hundredth and thousandth time to your children. Freedom is this. To raise your head when the world would like you to stay down and cry. And shout with all the air you have in your lounges: am Israel is still chai. We are still here, thanks to all Moses of each generation. And no evil, no assimilation will ever have the power to erase matzah from our seder table.

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How much do you depend from external world?

In year 2012 there is still somebody who disconnects himself from the web. In order to be able to remind himself there is another life dimension. In which it is possible to live without wires, net, and electromagnetic waves. In  year 2012 there are still people who, deliberately, take out the breath from their cellphones. Though that important call should arrive a few seconds after they oushed off. In year 2012 there are those who assign to a timer the task of switching off their dining room lights. And the most interesting article of the week, will not have any chnace to be read. When the timer declares it’s time to go to bed. In year  2012, believe it or not,  there are houses where food must be enough for supper and the next lunch. In which fires will not be used for 25 hours. And rice, lasagna, meat and fish will be kept at the rigt temperature on a food warmer. Making you think they  forgot to tell you time machine was invented. And it works well, indeed. In year 2012 there are some people who, deliberately, look at their children’s eyes. Listening to them, concentrating on thoer words. Being able to attach to Maslow’s pyramid of primary  needs and values the label ‘family’In year 2012 there are people who, without having being fired, stop to work. They don’t look for new customers, they stopo being obsessed by statystics and sales. And they are able to see G-d’s hand as the starting point of everything they own. In year 2012 there is Joseph Cedar a film maker whose movie was nominated to Oscars, who walks for 2 miles to get to Salomon Goldwin Theatre. Because during that day nature cannot be modified. Though you could win the most desired prize in the world. In year 2012 there is an American senator,Joe Lieberman, who ran for the presidentials a few years ago, who writes 230 pages on that wonderful invention called shabat.  The gift of rest. A story about his true self. That is able to come out again every seventh day. A magic island in the routine life, that helped him getting new energies in serving his country. In year 2012 there is Beppe Severgnini, an Italian journalist, who sees in seven days of disconnection from the wb, the biggest challenge ever happend on earth. A journalist who three different television channels are fighting to have. In order for him to tell his unbelievable adventure. based on a brave week lived without internet (but with cellphone, fax and television). Internet addiction test.  From tomorrow offline for a whole week. He declares in 140 characters on Twitter. Maybe ignoring that in year  2012 there is a whole nation who challenges technology and itself once a week. To try and outride the world addiction test. A bunch of people who disconnects for twentyfive hours of shabat, the Jewish holy day, declaring weekly the right of living without any incursion from the external world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYQ30D0eppc&feature=related

back to the past…

Mum, if you could go back in time, would you get married so young again?
I pour the coffee on my skirt while the bride, after having thrown as a stone in the sea her philosophical question, is sitting in front of me writing on her bbm to a destination that is across the Ocean.
Well…I start thinking. This is a trap. Pay attention, I say to myself. Be calm, don’t answer too quickly. I breath deeply. I relax. And memories come back to me as birds going back to their nests. My first child as a baby, with her giant brown eyes, while pronouncing her first word, learning to read, hugging me on her way back from camp. My second neverstopping hunger, his haircut at the age of three, fighting with the sister. My third child opening her blue eyes for the first time, being defined ‘the sun of the class’ at the age of 5. My fourth child preferred video, his allergy to the detergent. My fifth child ceasarian, his being so small compared to my prevoius babies. My sixth child being the copy of the third one, her way of jumping while singing the Chanuka song about the doughnuts. My seventh child sleepless nights, his unique way of saying ‘amen!’ to every good thing we wish.
The coffee has dried on my skirt. The bride is still writing bbms maybe having forgotten the quetion she made some minutes ago. I wake up from my journey in the past. I take her hand and I tell her: You know what? I would never change one thing of my life. If I had the opportunity to start everything again, I would do all exactly the same. I would get married at 19, have you at the age of 20, go on studying in university, having your brothers and sisters, working, writing, sitting with you here in our kitchen trying to come out from this mad plan of getting married in five weeks…I would never change anything, believe me. Though it was hard, sometimes very tough. Becuase the amount of love I received every day in my life is the most precious thing I will ever own. And I would never give up to it for all the freedom in the world….

No reminders for 25 hours…

G-d, I just wanted to thank You. For giving us the opportunity to detach the wire from our daily runs. For offering us a weekly chance to breath deeply without feeling guilty. For having us cooking for something that goes beyond our hunger. For closing our ears to the daily news for 25 hours. For letting us sleeping during the night without the nightmare of forgetting to set the morning alarm. For giving us time for smiles and laughs with our kids without looking at our dictator-watch. For offering us a weekly fine tuning on the real values of life. For having chance to meet our friends without being called 200 times per hour by our children on the cellphone. For letting us close the file with the guest list of the wedding without feeling the heart rythm increasing dramaticaly. For giving us the opportunity to go around without reminders ringing during the way. For forcing us to switch off our cellphones, our computers, our wifi’s, our ipads, ipods and iphones, fearless to loose the most important phone call of the day, the coolest news of the week, the top song of the month, the most important Facebook history. G-d, I just wanted to thank You. Because when I cannot use anything, when the only creative activity I can do is to sit down and listen to my kids, I realize that it is only thanks to You, that I finally get to dedicate them some calm time after 144 hours of crazy run. And now that it’s over since 5 hours and I had already time to fight with the elecrticity company, update the wedding guest list, choose the right wines for that special night, write 157 new reminders for the next 144 hours of the week, feeling the accelerated heartbeats for the fear of having forgotten an important detail for the wedding night, I am already making the countdown for the hours that separate me from the next shabat….