December 15, 2017 ~ Shabbat MIQES. Maqam SIGAH.

Shabbat Bo

Freedom

שלח עמי ויעבדני - Throughout history, humanity has fought hard for the ideal of freedom. But what exactly does "freedom" mean? One definition is "the state of not being enslaved," while another definition is "the power to act as one wishes without restraint." One lesson that most civilizations learned over time is that "there is no freedom without the law." Part of living in a functioning society is that everyone is subject to a common set of rules. When Moses requests to "free" the Israelites, he relays God's message to release the nation "to worship Me" (שלח עמי ויעבדני). The primary intention for Israel's liberation is not to grant them more free time to do whatever they please, but rather, to change their status from Pharaoh's slaves to God's servants. Meaning, instead of constantly being distracted by the will of a human king, now Israel is "free" to focus on service to God alone and observe the laws of the Torah (Beth Torah Bulletin, 2/4/17).

 


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