As we begin this new year, there are millions like Hagar and Ishmael wandering their personal wildernesses in search of survival and needing aid. We learn from the Torah not to expect divine intervention to rescue them. We need to act ourselves, as did Hagar.
Human beings have long wondered about the extent to which we truly have free will, or whether the path we travel is pre-ordained.
“Freedom” is not a binary state – either we are free, or we are not. Rather, “freedom” is a matter of degree, but while we may not be completely “free,” we still are responsible.