“God, who led His people from slavery to freedom, desires the free worship of free human beings”
“The Jewish people were, from the outset, called on to live out the truth that the free God desires the free worship of free human beings, and that therefore it must construct a society whose members never take freedom for granted.”
“Freedom is the political transformation that occurs only through personal transformation.”
“Of all the great religions, Judaism has the strongest conception of the freedom and dignity of the individual, beginning with the principle that the human person as such is the one bearer of the image of God.”
“When contracts displace covenants and means replace ends, we are left with freedom without meaning, which is certainly more pleasant but not necessarily more fulfilled than meaning without freedom.”
“Freedom begins with exodus but it reaches its fulfilment in the acceptance of a code of conduct, the Torah, freely offered by God, freely accepted by the people. The counting of the Omer is thus an act of retracing the steps from individual freedom to a free society.”
“True freedom – cherut – is the ability to control oneself without having to be controlled by others, accepting voluntarily the moral restraints without which liberty becomes licence and society itself a battle-ground of warring instincts and desires.”
“Freedom means more than losing your chains. It involves developing the capacity to think, feel and act for the benefit of others.”
“Freedom is lost when it is taken for granted. We have taken ours for granted for too long.”
“The history of the past three centuries has been the story of the progressive dethronement of the idea of human freedom.”
“The story of the Bible is the tangled tale of the consequences of God’s fateful gift of human freedom. Faith, or more precisely, faithfulness, is born where the freedom of human beings meets the freedom of God in an unconstrained act of mutual commitment.”
“Without compromising one iota of Jewish faith or identity, Jews must stand alongside their friends, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or secular humanist, in defence of freedom against the enemies of freedom, in affirmation of life against those who worship death and desecrate life.”
“It is no accident that freedom occupies a central place in the Hebrew Bible but only a tenuous place in the annals of science. The relationship of soul to body or mind to brain, is precisely analogous to the relationship of God to the physical universe. If there is only a physical universe, there is only brain, not mind, and there is only the universe, not God. The non-existence of God and the non-existence of human freedom go hand in hand.”