What Do You Want — Freedom or Security?

“There is no freedom without responsibility!”


Rabbi Olan didn’t use exclamation marks often, but when speaking on December 17, 1961, he wanted his message to be absolutely clear: finding the balance between freedom and security was (and is) a crucial issue of our time.

“Our culture does not prepare people for freedom; on the contrary, it creates men and women who have an almost insatiable hunger for security.”

In our quest for security, what gets lost? Adventure, success, possibility? And if we pursue such freedoms, are we being foolish?

Rabbi Olan explores these questions on both a personal and national level, touching passionately on the fact that if people don’t want the involvement of the government in their lives (freedom), they have to find a way to create an environment that takes away the burden (security). For example: “It may be noble to vote against school lunches for poor children on the principle that the government is not our provider, but it is an immoral stance unless we make sure that the child is not allowed to go without food.”

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