Passover – The Nature of Freedom

It’s been an incredibly busy couple of weeks and
so for the first time in months, I actually missed
a week of writing. What was I doing? Celebrating
mostly!!! And a lot of cooking and hosting for
Passover, and it’s given me some time to think
about the stories that we celebrate, the Passover
story is a great example!

I have met so many amazing people that have
undergone an exodus from slavery in their lives.
The slavery to a mismatched career and job that
they hate, the slavery of a loveless relationship,
the slavery of the search for the perfect person
that will fill the void, the slavery to money and
materialism that is empty of any meaning or
fulfillment. And they have gone on a journey to
freedom – it is one of the most inspiring stories
you can hear!

Often slavery is hard to indentify, it lies hidden
in the desires and dreams that we imagine, it
lurks in the lives we create when we forget our
values or get tricked into leading someone else’s
life.

And Freedom, sometimes it is not where we expect –
it may not be in a job, a place or a person.
Freedom must be within, from somewhere deep inside
of each and every one of us – definable only by
each person for themselves.

The weekend before Passover, we went to Eilat on
the Red Sea for the weekend. We traveled through
the desert by car to get there. The drive was
spectacular. It never ceases to amaze me how
colorful the desert terrain can be. The different
shades of brown, yellow and red are dazzling and
as we stopped just passed half way for a coffee
and stretch, I was surprised by the cold evening
air as the desert night drew in.
The boys shared hot chocolates, I had a nice
creamy cappuccino and we munched on the sandwiches
I had prepared for the journey. We arrived in
Eilat via the mountain road so the first view the
kids got of the place was the rows of lights way
down below that stretched across the valley to
Akaba in Jordon. They were so excited too
finally reach Eilat after the long journey!

Next morning we went to the Dolphin Reef. Its an
amazing place. Living there are 8 dolphins that
have experienced the ‘Open Sea Project’; the sea
enclosure, a netted area they live in was opened
up so that the dolphins could choose to come and
go as they please. The project was very
successful but ended a few years ago as the
ability to protect the dolphins in the open sea
area of the bay was becoming more and more
challenging and financial resources were short.
The interaction between the trainers and the
dolphins is one of mutual affection and respect.
When they feed the dolphins, they play with them,
and check that they are well and they explained to
us all about them, each one’s name and character
and answered any questions we had.

It is truly an awe-inspiring experience to be
close to these amazing creatures. I was lucky
enough to go diving in the dolphin enclosure. It
was the first time I had been diving in over 10
years so just getting back to the quiet and
weightless sensation of diving was wonderful.
But then, to be sharing this sea space with these
amazing creatures was a blessing.

My first impression was how big the dolphins are;
as they swam by, the seemed quite enormous. And
then I noticed the sounds they make and how
incredibly fast they swim. And of course, the
fact that they are smiling all the time! How can
you not love this playful, swift, elegant, smiling
giant as it glides by upside down clicking away!
The dolphins chose to go out to the open sea, but
returned to the enclosure each time. They have
formed relationships with the people at the
dolphin reef who feed them and take care of them.
These are the people that love them and care for
them – they are not forced to do tricks or to
entertain, they are given the freedom to exist in
the most natural state possible.

I received a great gift when I dived with the
dolphins; the gift that nature grants us when we
pay attention, the gift of freedom to enjoy the
beauty and wonder that is all around us.

Perhaps this is the best explanation of freedom. We are
free when we are encouraged to be our true selves,
when we have the right and the ability to choose where
we want to live. We are free when we chose to
recognize the magnificence that surrounds us.

We are free when we dare to venture out to the
open sea and then choose to come home!

Here’s to exodus from slavery and the journey to freedom –
Happy Easter and Passover!

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