Have you ever wondered what freedom is?
As I prepare for Pessach (aka – Passover) the answer to this question is felt in my soul.
I spent the last week in the Netherlands. I was officially there to teach for 2 and a half days, but the reality is while being there I learned two important things. One which I will share with you today because it pertains to this upcoming holiday, the other one I hope to share with you in a month or so.
I arrived on Wednesday morning. My plane came in 40 minutes before the scheduled time. I turned my phone on, to no avail, I could not get a signal. I tried everything until I finally gave up and walked over to a payphone, but I could not get a dial tone, even after putting in my credit card. And then it hit me, I did not have to be anywhere, no one was waiting for me, I had nothing to do all day but spend time with my dear friend and I would see her when she arrived.
I sat down on my luggage and waited. When she arrived I told her that my phone wasn’t working. She too played with my phone for a while and tried whatever she could think of to get it to work.
5 hours later, after running errands and taking care of what we needed to take care of, we finally arrived in the village in which I was stay for the duration of my stay. My friend asked if I wanted to walk over to T-Mobile and have them fix my phone…
I heard my voice responding, “No, thank you, I think that God has a plan for me here. I will be skyping with my family every night, perhaps it is good for me to have no phone for a week.”
I listened to myself say these words, and wondered what had possessed me to do so. But I knew that I needed to do that – and I trusted that voice.
That week without a phone, without my leash tied to my waist was the greatest gift I have ever given myself. The peace that I received from simply being where I was and not having to tell anyone anything or be interrupted while doing something was extremely powerful.
The truth is that every Shabbat I disconnect my phone, my computer, and anything that takes me away from where I am. But, I think that doing it every week has almost made it automatic, and I have forgotten what a gift I it is.
This pessach – as we celebrate from slavery to freedom I ask myself. What are the shackles that I have put on myself? How can I free myself from them?
One of my greatest shackles is the phone. Although I need it and it is a wonderful tool, it can sometimes make me feel that I am chained to it, and have become a slave to it.
Perhaps I need to do something, like take an hour a week and just walk in the woods while leaving my phone in the car. There is also the possibility that I need to do nothing more than what I am already doing. What I need to do is consciously step into the magic that I create by observing Shabbat. I need to fully accept that I am entering a different space, give myself permission to breathe, to smell the flowers and forget for a little while my responsibilities.
How would you like to join me in creating your own freedom? What do you need to do to find the silence inside of you and guard it?
Chag Kosher V’samayach
A Kosher and Happy Passover
Passover begins at sunset on Monday April 18th, 2011