Getting The Freedom You Want: A Passover Haggadah Power Talk [18 mins]

REDEMPTION, PRAYER, TALMUD TORAH~Rav J. B. Soloveitchik The slave lives in silence …In contrast with the slave, the free man bears a message, has a good deal to tell, and is eager to convey his life story to anyone who cares to listen…Moreover, he [he slave] is not merely a speechless being, but a mute being, devoid not only of the word, but of the meaningful sound as well. …..Former inmates of concentration camps have told me that they had, with the passage of time, become inured to any pain or torture, as if they had been totally anesthetized. They were dumb beings. They not only stopped speaking, but ceased to emit coherent sounds, as well. …And it came to pass in the course of the many days that the king of Egypt died and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage and they cried and their cry came up unto God…. Why hadn’t they cried before Moses acted? Why were they silent during the many years of slavery that preceded Moses’ appearance? They had lacked the need-awareness, and experienced no need, whether for freedom, for dignity, or for painless existence. …the Zohar’s three stages [to freedom]: 1) We are silent- there is complete intellectual insensitivity and total unconcern. 2) Voice is restored, but speech is lacking; sounds, not words, are audible – cognitive curiosity and amazement awaken. We begin to be annoyed because we do not understand. We are perturbed by something which is a part of ourselves but which we are unable to define. 3) The word breaks through: there is clear and distinct cognition. Our intellect begins to speak. By sensitizing and logicizing the awareness of need, man delivers himself from the silence and from non-being and becomes an I, a complete being who belongs to himself.

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