Enacting freedom, earning freedom, choosing freedom--that's both the inspirational and painful message of the Exodus that we are commemorating at Passover. The freedom from slavery wasn't something that just dropped down upon the Jewish people suddenly from above. Certainly the Promised Land was never something, and will never be something that just falls into our laps. Freedom is not a privilege, it's not even a right--we can't just wait for those hindrances or constraints in life to go away, nor can we assume that bad relationships or negative attitudes will just vanish in order to clear the way to help us feel freedom.
Freedom demands taking bold action and taking risks. Explaining how freedom emerges into our world requires active, transitive verbs. Freedom is an all-out jump into the realm of purpose and responsibility. There are so many examples of how Ann & Nate Levine Academy is evolving and growing this year because we are taking bold steps into the freedom be an excellent school anchored in pride and spirit. The video of our Eighth Graders we all watched together last Friday morning at Kabbalat Shabbat was as uplifting as it ever gets--seeing our students spontaneously dancing and singing with a street musician, seeing our students joining the simcha of a family's bar mitzvah, or seeing them greeting us individually with well-wishes for Shabbat. These are active choices, these are enactments of our freedom to be the school and the community we truly want to be: inclusive, dynamic, evolving, advancing.
Writing our narratives in the classroom, producing amazing things in the Makerspace, chipping in to help with mitzvot or community service or student council activities, ECC students presenting the Passover story, Lower School students performing at haggigot, Middle School students creating persuasive essays and taking a stance for a debate--there are so many examples every day of enacting what it takes to be part of a school that is moving forward and maturing toward excellence. The journey can sometimes feel arduous and lengthy, like the desert that exists between Egypt and the Promised Land, but a school in motion takes energy and resolve, and that's what our teachers and students are exhibiting in abundance. Happily, at Levine, so much of what our students are striving to accomplish is wrapped in tremendous school spirit, togetherness, and mutual support.
It is the quest for a better tomorrow that keeps us moving forward and looking out the window for a better way. At Passover this year, consider freedom as an active, continuous process of envisioning, determination, and bold action. The freedom to get to a better place--that's not something to take for granted, but it's something that is earned. That's the Passover lesson for our children.
Wishing you a meaningful Passover