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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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….