If I were to add an item to the seder plate it would be a pocket diary. The traditional seder plate helps us to tell a sensory-story of Israelite liberation out of bondage in Egypt. This was not only a physical enslavement but a spiritual one as well. Today we enjoy many different types of freedom but we must also be aware that ‘freedom’ itself can be a barrier to enjoying the very rights for which the Israelites so desperately struggled. The 21st century, perhaps more than any other point in history, is a moment where we are afforded tremendous choice and control over our personal, professional and recreational pursuits. The difficulty in deciding what to do and when to do it is no longer a struggle based on limitations but on the immense control we have over our lives. I feel fortunate to have the freedom to make decisions about how I use my time based on my own needs, wants and desires. A pocket diary can act as a reminder that with the freedom to choose which tasks fill our calendars comes a responsibility to use our time wisely. This means making decisions that bring us closer to our fellow beings and empower us to maintain the spiritual freedom that the Israelites won so long ago.
Originally published in the Jewish News, ‘Progressive Jews page’s 2 voices feature’