This essay examines Chaim Shapiro's 1913 essay, "Thoughts About Freedom," tracing the individuals and ideologies that influenced his ideals and the ways in which he acted upon them during his fifty years as an activist and organizer in Los Angeles. Shapiro's essay provides a compelling example of the dynamic, heterodox ways that Jewish immigrant radicals reimagined traditions and fashioned their own understandings of what it meant to be a modern Jew in the particular context of the American West.