‘Feast of Freedom’ (and, Why Freedom Isn’t Free)


You hear a lot as a VC. Often, conversations turn to family backgrounds. Very often, founders talk about their families’ past journeys for, and towards, freedom:

“My father’s family bribed their way out of Poland when the borders closed. They eventually made it out of Europe. My Dad returned to fight as a member of the Polish Free Army.”

“I’m one of eight children. We left Vietnam and our family separated into two groups when we got to America.”

“I grew up in a prisoner camp in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.”

These are stories to which I can relate. We’re an ethnic Chinese family from Indonesia. There is a lot of discrimination and violence there. So, it was one reason we left for the U.S.

So, as we approach Passover, which really is a “feast of freedom,” I think of all those who risk everything to get out. I think about Israel, thousands of years ago. I think of Haitians, trying to leave crushing poverty. Sudanese, who are shot at, on their way to Church.

I’m making a brisket this morning for dinner (see above photo). We’re not Jewish and I know that the feasting doesn’t start until Monday night. But, I want to do something to tell my children about their own family’s journey towards freedom, and how in that same quest for liberty, we are united with our Jewish friends and all immigrants.

I also want to tell my children that freedom is not free. Someone, at some time, sacrificed a great deal to achieve freedom for his/her family. To me, liberty truly is precious.

Chag Pesach Same’ach!

2 thoughts on “‘Feast of Freedom’ (and, Why Freedom Isn’t Free)

  1. What a fabulous idea. I’m good friends with many members of the tribe, so to speak, but I never thought to celebrate this holiday with my own family. My parents are from China, and fled to Taiwan in ’49. We moved here when I was 5. I will cook my own little feast and (try) to tell my own daughters, ages 7 and 9, about this. They may be a bit young to comprehend, but this may be the start of a new tradition. Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you for the note! Yes, in the end, many of us are immigrants in America and have much in common.

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