By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, April 24, 2008
Herut is freedom and what we celebrate on Passover. Herut is a rabbinic term linked to the biblical horim, which commentators translate as “ministers” (See I Kings, 21:8), people with power. Herut is the opposite of powerlessness, slavery.
Bnei Horin (ben horin in the singular) means free people. In this case, bnei means “those who have acquired”, not “sons of”.
Significantly, the Hebrew word for freedom derives from the word for minister, someone who is expected to use his or her power responsibly and for the benefit of others (or am I just being naive?).