The road to freedom is paved by personal behavior

Throughout history people have been placed in bondage. Tonight, at this seder, we celebrate one instance of our ancestors escape to freedom.

I would like to think that on balance humankind moves toward ever increasing freedom. However, this is not the case. Freedom, and the community's collective demands on fixed resources have connections which produce less freedom.

Consider this simple example. When a traffic intersection gets congested and injuries occur, society puts up a traffic signal with a red, gold, and green light. It changes an intersection that was dangerous into one that is safe.

However, to achieve these benefits each individual must give up his right to speed through the intersection at any time. The traffic signal creates safety at the expense of freedom.

Which leads us to ask, "What caused the increase in congestion," "What changed the small number of farmers driving their horse drawn milk wagons to the dairy to a larger number of people driving fast cars.

This change was caused by normal seemly benign behaviors like having and providing for one's family. These benign acts, when collected across all individuals, caused the congestion, injurious conditions, the street light, and the loss of freedom.

During the seder let us not loose sight that the exodus (people gaining more freedom) is the anomaly in human history. We Jews, along with the rest of humankind, are on a self determined journey to lose our freedoms.

So tonight please let us try and discover the difference between acts that produce peace at the expense of freedom and acts that produce "both" peace and freedom.


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