Martin Buber

"Freedom (its name, in ancient German, roughly means "free throat"), how much I love its dazzling face; it sparkles in the darkness and then goes out, but it has rendered your heart invulnerable. I am devoted to it, ever ready to join the fight to defend it. For the love of that spark that shines without lasting longer than the eye can bear its brightness. For the love of the little tongue that has remained too long inert and motionless. I outstretch my left hand to the rebel and my right hand to the heretic: forward! They know how to die, but that is not enough. I love freedom, but I don’t believe in it. How can you when you have looked it straight in the eye! Like a flash in which everything is understood and everything is possible. It is for freedom that we have been fighting, relentlessly, since the beginning of time, both successfully and in vain.

Some engage, alone or as a community; let them take the leap, let them throw themselves into the abyss where the senses and all sense perish, let them touch bottom beyond the abyss; but let them not make of freedom a theorem or a program. To free oneself of a bond is a destiny we carry like a cross, not an emblem. Let us keep in mind the true meaning of freeing oneself from a bond: a truly personal responsibility replaces a responsibility shared with many generations. Living rooted in freedom must be the responsibility of the individual, otherwise it is a pitiful farce.

This fragile life between birth and death can nonetheless be an accomplishment on condition that it is a dialogue. When someone addresses us, we can experience this; insofar as we think, speak, act, produce, and influence, we are capable of becoming responsive beings. Most of the time, either we do not pay attention to the fact that we are being addressed, or we break the truth with our chatter. But when the truth reaches us and we respond, then human life, mishandled as it is, begins to exist in the world. The response that is inflamed by the contact with this "small spark" of the soul, the response that catches light each time that the truth unexpectedly assail us,
it is this response that is what we call responsibility."