Monday, April 13, 2009

Liberating Oneself

Part 4 of 4...

I. When people are slaves, they do what they’re told. Doing more than what you’re told to do may result in punishment; doing less that what you’re told will certainly result in punishment. Compare and contrast that behavior to the behaviors free people exhibit.

II. When you find yourself in a new situation (for example, in a new class or on a new team)
  • do you find yourself worried about what the teacher or the coach expects of you?
  • How do you figure out what those expectations are?
  • If the limits seem too narrowly drawn, how do you respond?
  • If the limits are very broad, how do you respond?
  • Are you more comfortable when you know EXACTLY what the teacher wants; or do you prefer more flexibility the work you are able to do?

What insights do these questions provide for you in recognizing the challenges the Israelites faced in becoming “free” thinkers and do-ers?

III. Looking back over some experiences you’ve had, do you value more the things that you learned to do that came easily to you, or the things that you had to work at? What if all your experiences came so easily that you didn’t have to exert any effort at all? What if all of them seemed so difficult as to be insurmountable?

IV. Do you have a vision of the type of Jewish adult you'd like to become?

  • What values will you adopt as core values -- those that will guide your decision-making?
  • In order to reach that definition of self, what shackles will you need to liberate yourself from or what barriers will you need to overcome?
  • How will you know when you're on your way towards becoming the person you want to be?
  • What milestones along the way might you acknowledge or celebrate?

In the Haggadah, we read "B'chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et atzmo k'ilu yatza mi'Mitzrayim / In each generation, everyone must think of himself or herself as having personally left Egypt."

Many time, I believe that the questions we push ourselves to ask are more important than the answers we reach.

Chag Sameach. Happy Holiday.

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