What does Freedom actually mean to you (each person)? Free to do what you actually want without someone preventing you, pharaoh – physically enslaving our bodies to do his work (it was the Jews built the pyramids, not the Egyptians) and also enslaving the very essence of each person – we were not free to practice our religion or even to choose not to practice our religion – we had no choice, we just did what we were told. It is interesting to note that Egypt at the time was the epitemy of physicality, there were mass orgies, the commentators mention the death of the first born where often more than one Egyptian child died per family (as the child that the mother thought was the 1st born died but also another child died who was the first born of the father and another woman , so all these secrets were revealed amongst many Egyptian families – secrets that only G-d could have known).

Embarrassment – It is worthwhile to explain the concept of Loshon Horah – literally bad speech; bad speech about someone may change your opinion of them for the worse before you even meet them e.g. if your friend tells you that Johnny is very snobby and rude and is a rich kid who’s never known how to be grateful for something, when you meet him it is possible that you might have him placed in a certain category amongst other snobby people you’ve met (you think you already know him and don’t like him) and never judge him based for who he actually is and the deeds he does.

It is our job when someone tells us Loshon horah, to not listen, but if we can’t help listening then to forget it as soon as they’ve told us. But its hard also to not speak Loshon horah yourself, if you have a secret or something you know about someone that you’re dying to tell to your best friend – its very difficult to not say it. Your yetze horah (evil inclination) keeps telling you why you should go on, it wont do any harm its such a small thing. It even tricks you and makes up excuses why you should - - “its healthy to talk about things” – When actually, if you think about the concept of Loshon horah (bad speech) deep down you know its wrong and the right thing to do would be to hold your tongue. Also apologising to someone you have wronged --> Yetze Horah tricks this time include: its been too long, it means admitting a flaw in your character, they've probably forgotten it by now and its that “un-named feeling” that stops everyone saying what they actually want to say – Im sorry for causing you pain, I admit I was wrong. When actually, beyond all the excuses, you know that the right thing to do is to apologise and that the person will appreciate it, and you’re correcting a mistake, and that it can never have been too long to do the right thing. Freedom is the ability to do the right thing, what you actually want to do, without being restricted or enslaved to your yetze horah and its excuses.

Do you think we are actually free today? – yes we’re free from physical slavery, but are we free to do what want, what we know is right – another example is fashion. The commercial world dictates to us what we look good in and what looks bad. If I buy a pair of new trainers but my old one are fine, just a little dirty or a newer trainer is out – do I actually need to spend money on these trainers or am I doing it because society is telling me to? The Haggadah says we are still enslaved today – can you see what it might mean by this now? Do you think we are still slaves to society or can we do whatever we truly want, like apologising when it is necessary? Adapted from the teachings of M.K

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