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Set Me Free

Leah Brachfeld

I longed for a reprieve from my little siblings’ constant nagging. Most of all I dreamed of the day when I’d be free, truly free

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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E rev Pesach, 2011

Pesach is just ten days away and here I am cleaning my room, halfway through the fourth shelf, while pondering yesterday’s Yahadus class.

It was a beautiful spring morning. How I wished to sit outside and breathe in the fresh air!

Miss Muller’s voice woke me from my sweet reverie. “Can anyone tell me why we celebrate the Yom Tov of Pesach?”

Fraidy raised her hand.

“Yes?” Miss Muller nodded.

“We thank Hashem for the nissim that He did when he liberated the Yidden from Mitzrayim.”

“Good,” Miss Muller commented, then repeated Fraidy’s statement for emphasis.

I spaced out. Miss Muller had a reputation of being the most boring teacher in the entire school.

My thoughts drifted to my friends. I was a popular girl in school. I had the greatest group of friends and loved to spend every spare moment in their company. But at home, well, that was a different story. At home I sometimes felt deprived and controlled, as if I were a tortoise pushed forcibly into its shell. I had little time to socialize with my friends outside of school, as I was the oldest girl of a large family and had to help a lot. I craved privacy and solitude. I longed for a reprieve from my little siblings’ constant nagging. Most of all I dreamed of the day when I’d be free, truly free.

Miss Muller’s voice was loud over the whispering of the restless girls. “It is a Yom Tov of cheirus, freedom.”

Now, that caught my attention! Freedom, how I yearned to be free, how I longed to free myself from the shackles of authority, of the chains that bound me to a life of structure and routine, and prevented me from acting according to my heart’s desire. Oh, how I wished to spread my wings and fly, above the world of troubles, to a place of serenity!

I was sick and tired of boundaries and limits. I needed to break free, be free to do what I want, go wherever I wish, and befriend whomever I wanted.

It’s my life after all, isn’t it?! (Originally featured in Issue 654)

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