From Slavery to Freedom - Are we Free?
Pesach is a perfect time to run a program on the concepts of freedom and slavery as Pesach commemorates the Jewish people's redemption from slavery in Egypt, and its liberation as an independent nation.
Brainstorm associations of the phrases "slavery" and "freedom". Note on 2 large pieces of paper (1 piece of paper for each of the 2 phrases) all the terms that the participants come up with. Divide these "brainstormed associations" into
At this point, the program can go in one of the following two directions:
An in-depth investigation of personal freedom or an analysis of universal freedoms.
A. Personal Freedom
The facilitator should introduce the topic as follows.
The Talmud says "Precious is the human being who was created in the image of G-d."
The fact that all people were created in G-d's image means that we all have free will - the ability to make meaningful and substantive decisions which directly impact our lives. These choices determine the ultimate moral and spiritual quality of every person's existence.
Most of us are free in a physical sense but are we free spiritually? Do we really live the lives we have chosen?
Divide a large piece of paper (or a board) into 3 categories of universal freedoms - physical, spiritual and national - and list countries, populations and cultures which do not have freedoms belonging to each of these categories.
Physical - disabled people in places where there are few facilities to cater to their needs; victims of domestic abuse etc.
Spiritual - Salman Rushdie; Iran etc.
National - Tibet; Kurdistan; West Papua; Kashmir etc.
As Jews, do we have a responsibility for others whose freedom is curtailed?
If the answer is yes - the participants should choose a population or group which they would like to help, plan a program of action and carry it out!
Also on the WUJS site:
A Brief introduction to Pesach
Pesach Sources: Historical, traditional, and contemporary.
Pesach Recipes: Yum!
10 Haggadah Companions to Enrich and Inspire your Seder
This year's dates for Pesach can be found in our WUJS Year Mapper.