March 10, 2013
FREEDOM TO, NOT FROM:
In experiencing real freedom, the importance of boundaries (Dasee Berkowitz, March 10, 2013, JTA)
Posted by Orrin Judd at March 10, 2013 4:36 PMWe have a love-hate relationship with boundaries.We hate being confined or told what to do. Many adults don't like having a boss, and many schoolchildren get annoyed when the answer is "no." Boundaries limit our individuality, intrude upon what we want to do and sometimes feel like an arbitrary obstacle to getting what we want.For children, limits of time (bedtime), sources of enjoyment (how much ice cream for dessert) or behavior (being scolded for shooting a toy bow and arrow around the living room) can seem like arbitrary rules that stymie their ability to fully enjoy the activity at hand in favor of some far-off goal that only their parent understands. As a grown-up, when I see a sign that says "Keep off the grass," I want nothing more than to frolic in my bucolic surroundings.But we also love boundaries because we know that without them, life would be chaotic.As a parent, we know setting firm boundaries helps us raise our children and run our households. As a global citizen, we know that boundaries help us create civilized societies. And as Jews we know that boundaries help define who we are and what our purpose is.No holiday helps us understand this more than Passover.The form of the holiday is all about boundaries. [...][W]e are encouraged to reflect how liberation from Egypt is a process from physical subjugation to forging a new relationship with God.