Passover: The Festival of Freedom

As we celebrate the Festival of Freedom, remember those who have none.  Women trapped in abusive or controlling relationships.  This Passover, remember that freedom is to be cherished and we each have the ability to help others to find it.

 

Passover, observed from sundown April 22 to sundown April 30 in 2016, is the Festival of Freedom.

Freedom is perceived as the removal of all external constraints on a person’s development and self-expression. Freedom is the natural state of man, this line of reasoning implies; free him of all outside forces that limit and inhibit him, and you have a free human being.

When we think of freedom or the lack of it, we often think of people in faraway lands who are being besieged, forced out of their homes and jobs and often tortured or murdered.  We do not often stop to reflect on the freedoms that so many of us take for granted. The freedom to express our opinion to our partner, to be part of the family decision making process, the freedom to have access to the family finances, the freedom to come and go as we please, the freedom to dress as we please, the freedom to choose our friends, the freedom to have our own ideas and thoughts.

These freedoms are tenuous at best for women in abusive relationships. They are constrained by the unreasonable expectations of their partner, his control over every aspect of their life and that of their family.  It can include, but is not limited to, how the family money is spent and who has access to it (only him), who you invite to your home (if you are allowed to at all), what schools the children attend, what you are allowed to do in terms of any extracurricular activities (if any).  They live in fear of not following his rules carefully or completely enough and the consequences that will follow.

As we celebrate the Festival of Freedom, we encourage you to talk to your family and friends about what freedom means to them and remind them of all those in the world who do not have these freedoms. Above all, teach all those around you that freedom is to be cherished and we each have the ability to help others to enjoy freedom.