"Next year in the land of Israel. Next year, free people."
"Leshana Haba'ah Be'arah De yisrael. Leshana haba'ah Benei Horeen"
This paragraph of the Haggadah seems to be structured out of order. It should first deal with attaining freedom, and then take care of moving to Israel! First one becomes able, then he acts.
In fact, the Haggadah is pointing out the first stages of freedom – Israel – is not just a physical plot of land, but rather an environment where Jews can fully express their Judaism. To be truly free, the place we live has to be conducive to genuine self expression.
Our environment affects and manipulates us in ways we cannot even imagine. Take something as simple as clothing. True, you make the final choice. But all clothing design is really someone else's taste and even the designer is building upon last year's fashions.
To be free, you have to create the environment that will guide you toward that goal. Freedom of speech and freedom of action may be "license," but they don't necessarily create guidance. Letting people say or do whatever they want is not "freedom". Guidance is not brainwashing. Guidance is showing and suggesting. Guidance is about helping others find fulfillment.
We think of American society as free because people have the "freedom" to find their own fulfillment. In practice, however, few find their meaningful path of purposeful living. This indicates that slavery, in one form or another, is alive and well in the 21st century.
Values are not restrictions on a person's nature; they are its building blocks. By consciously not telling a growing child what are good values, you are raising him in an environment that will leave him morally inept to eventually choose what's right.
Good values are a lot like good paintings. You don't teach people art by hiding them from the great works – but rather by exposing them to the best, so they may learn to do better. Can you imagine where science would be today if each new student had to rediscover everything?
The first step in freedom is to create a free environment – with all that Israel is supposed to stand for. We do that not by removing all values, but only by removing the bad values. Within that environment, we can perfect ourselves to be truly free.