Freedom can mean many things to many people. For some, freedom is strictly political. Others see it as a financial, physical or interpersonal concern. The poets on the #JArtsLiberty jury, however, embraced freedom in an artistic and spiritual context by selecting “Poem Without an End” by Yehuda Amichai for National Poetry Month, an unexpected but thought-provoking selection. After all, what do museums, synagogues and hearts have to do with freedom?

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The purpose of this project is to inspire people to think about and share their thoughts on liberty. Discuss or debate—online or face to face—with friends or strangers. Dig in to what freedom really means to you.

Using “Poem Without an End,” published below, ask these questions at your seder:

What do you think this poem is trying to say?

 

Do traditions help you feel free? Why?

 

What types of things make you feel free?

 

What’s the difference between personal freedom and political freedom?

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The number four plays an important role in the Passover meal. We toast freedom four times during dinner. The youngest person at the meal asks four questions about why this night is different from all other nights. And the answers are given in four different ways to respond to four different types of people.

Here are the questions each might ask about the poem. Which question would you want to ask?

The Wise One

Do history and traditions shape my ideas about freedom?

The Rebellious One

Can people ever be free? Why should I care about freedom?

The Simple One

What type of places can I go to feel free?

The One Who Does Not Know How to Ask

Could I draw a picture about freedom instead?

“Poem Without an End” by Yehuda Amichai

Inside the brand-new museum
there’s an old synagogue.
Inside the synagogue
is me.
Inside me
my heart.
Inside my heart
a museum.
Inside the museum
a synagogue,
inside it
me,
inside me
my heart,
inside my heart
a museum.

Continue the conversation by downloading the #JArtsLiberty toolkit here, and share your thoughts on social media using #JArtsLiberty.

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