Freedom is such a colossal word with multiple branches attached to it. Freedom should be comprised of the liberty to think and speak without the apprehension of harsh criticism that can be jarring to oneself.
Freedom of vocation is just as significant. Many people feel so cocooned by fear to the extent of not showcasing their infinite ability. One should feel beyond worthy rather than limited by harsh criticism of society that can shut you down.
Freedom is the ability to make a reservation at a clamorous restaurant or bar, sit next to each other, meet strangers up-close, chat about life, laugh and shake hands without getting jittery about some preposterous pandemic.
Freedom is the privilege of setting my own standards as how far I wish to stand next to someone without ludicrous provisional guidelines, like wearing silly masks that hide half of your personality and facial expressions.
Why is it that I am more afraid to stretch my hand out my window and hand the homeless guy a $10 bill than to receive G-d’s blessing? It is part of my mitzvahs that I want to fulfill. This world has become entrenched in selfish people rather than selfless beings, as we should be. This year, I want to have the liberty to give without the fear of catching a disease while wearing a silly mask that hides my smile.
Freedom to me is being able to go out, wear my red lipstick and not worry about it smearing on my face because of a mask. Freedom to me is ordering tapas and sharing it with friends without the suspicion that one of us may be asymptomatic.
Freedom is the ability to walk next to someone who accidentally coughs or sneezes without feeling paranoid that I got sick. I don’t want to over sanitize my hands, wear a mask, make a stranger feel terrible for walking beside them. Freedom is the ability to hear the cashier or the waitress speaking without saying “what” four times.
Freedom to me is being together, happy, hug and kiss my friends, laugh out loud mask-less and taste the turkey at the deli stand before getting half a pound wrapped up.
When did we become too afraid of one another?
May this plague pass over us this Passover.
Stephanie Nissani is the AJT executive assistant.