‘Tis the season in Israel and worldwide – that Jews are preparing for Passover. This is the holiday commemorating the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt to freedom. We have been preserving this freedom every day since the State of Israel was established in 1948. Maintaining our freedom is an integral part of who we are as Israelis and of the values that have been guiding our decisions and actions throughout the years.
Anyone wishing to understand another culture must first understand their own, and which principles and influences bear weight on the society in which he lives. In other words, knowing who you are and the roots of your culture’s main values is critical for good communication with people from other cultures. The Passover holiday is a good opportunity to examine ourselves and the concept of freedom vis-à-vis Israeli culture in general and our own lives in particular:
Freedom means the liberty to be myself, without fear of other people’s reactions when I express my own truth.
Freedom is also of thought and of expression, making it possible for me to be creative and to think outside the box.
Freedom enables dynamics and movement, as opposed to a fixed, unchanging pattern.
Freedom allows for risk-taking to fulfill ambitions.
Freedom is related to many of the traits prominent in Israeli culture, such as being informal, hot-tempered and argumentative, as well as innovative and improvising.
Freedom is actually what has allowed us to become a unique nation that has chalked up so many successes despite the countless obstacles in our way. Perhaps it was the obstacles that taught us not to give up and always find a new, original means of pushing forth to a better future.
Happy Pesach to all the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora and to all our friends!