When reflecting upon the question of what “What enslaves (limits) us and/or liberates (frees) us?” the answer can be one and the same. For example, the walls of one’s house can limit us but also free us from the dangers of the outside elements.
Limitations are a necessity for our survival (like the walls of our house) and for the existence of a civil society. If we did not limit and make it illegal to steal, we would have a lawless society.
This concept applies as well to our spiritual life. We as humans can very easily get stuck in the obsession with self. What I want – I think –I enjoy, etc. Even when performing acts of kindness, we can get stuck in the “it feels so good when you help another” so that this, too, is just another way to make “me” feel good.
Hashem gave us a Torah and mitzvot so that we can be liberated from the obsession of self and realize that there is more to this world than doing what I want – I think – I enjoy.
On Pesach, we celebrate our exodus from these limitations of self. Hashem didn’t just take us out of slavery. Rather he gave us the Torah and mitzvot so that we can act as a people who are freed from the limitation and “slavery” to our personal desires.
May we all be blessed to appreciate this “freedom.”
Rabbi Michoel Druin is the head of school at Chaya Mushka Children’s House elementary and middle school.