Examine Your Life
Question  19:  Am I truly free?

   Grant :
One is never truly free, in this life, in this world. As much as you may think you are free, you are not. You will only truly be free in the next life, but that will depend on your mitzvot in this world and your correction, on the path of you and your soul. We are all at different levels trying to reach the same goal and destination.

   Rabbi Schwartz :
To be free is not always good. We want to be bound and obligated to family and friends. We want to be bound and obligated to integrity and higher goals. We want to be bound and obligated to Torah living and Hashem - "For you who are attached to Hashem, live all of you this day"* i.e. live for eternity."

What then is so great about being free? This is because we do want to be free of the forces of evil - evil deeds, words and thoughts in others, and also evil deeds, words and thoughts within ourselves. We do want to be free of our lowest inclinations, jealousy, lust, attention-seeking, pettiness, irritation, anger, indolence, sorrow, etc. - all those traits that destroy us. And we do want to escape negative influences and choices, the pitfalls and traps that again and again we stumble into.

To free ourselves from evil and attach ourselves to goodness and beauty is in our hands. It is up to us. To reach this best type of freedom, we must make it our goal, and pursue it with focus, joy and a prayer to Hashem.

* Devarim 4.4

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