Many of us think of enslavement as coming from outside ourselves, from external forces, as the Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians. This Passover, I invite us to consider the limits we encounter inside of ourselves and how the Jewish community can support personal liberation. After all, within our authentic selves lie our greatest gifts to heal the world!
All of us are born into this world with curious minds, open hearts, and connection to life and humanity. As we grow, shame and praise mold our identities. We develop social selves that pursue socially-sanctioned rewards which, in 21st century America, are mostly about wealth, power, and material gain. As a result, our social self “enslaves” our authentic-self with a whole host of self-limiting beliefs, judgments, and stories that trap many of us. These self-limiting beliefs and patterns keep us small, prevent us from following our hearts, and make it difficult to reach our full potential or experience true connection with others.
There are many ways to wake up and begin the journey to freedom. A diverse, open and loving community can help by exposing people to different ideas, allowing questions about what is “true,” and welcoming authentic selves when they emerge!
As board chair of Limmud Atlanta & Southeast, it is my commitment to continue building a diverse, open and loving Jewish community that encourages exploration, creativity and journeying to the freedom of the authentic self.
Join us on the journey this Labor Day weekend at LimmudFest at Camp Ramah Darom, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.
Jennifer Rivlin is board chair of Limmud Atlanta & Southeast.