Rabbi Binny Freedman
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This week’s article is dedicated in honor of the marriage of Carly Rothenberg to Marc Friedman: May they always be blessed, and may they always appreciate all their blessings…. Some time ago I had the privilege of meeting a World War II veteran with a fascinating story to share: more
I always look forward to. For eight days, I get more and more excited as the day continues and the next night of Chanukah approaches. While life will always have its share of dark moments, the opportunity to spend a week surrounded by close family and friends, re-telling the story of the miracle of the Jewish people’s survival, against all odds, in their battle against the mighty Greek empire, is always uplifting. more
Sometimes, things seem so obvious you start to wonder why you are the only one who seems to get it. Last week, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich got it, and it was nice to realize we are not alone. more
Very few stories in the Torah are more tragic than the story of Joseph and his brothers. It begins, seemingly, with an innocent gift, a demonstration of a father’s love for his beloved child. But when Yaakov bestows the magnificent striped coat on his son Joseph, the ten brothers aren’t so filled with love. Favoritism, jealousy, behaviors far from ideal are brewing, resulting in a moment of tragedy 4,000 years ago that the Jewish people are still struggling to undo. more
Prince Charming doesn’t always find Cinderella, and stories do not always have ‘happy’ endings, as most of us learn the hard way. I remember once, after a harried chase, catching a masked Arab who had been heaving rocks and cinderblocks at an IDF position in Hebron. more
Rav Saadiah Gaon was one of the greatest of the Babylonian gaonim. His approach to Torah study was direct and to the point: Analyze the verse on its own terms based upon the actual language presented therein. In other words, instead of approaching the verse with pre-conceived ideas that will most likely determine its interpretative outcome, examine it in its most pristine form. more
There is war, and then there is madness. In war, one often has to fight, but when madness sets in, sometimes, perhaps one simply has to run. Such was the question on that dark October afternoon in 1973, when the quiet beauty and desolation of the Suez Canal was ruptured by the roar of an entire army crossing the water, bent on bloodshed. more
Once, in the midst of a class, I noticed a student’s eyes begin to water. We were having a discussion about identity, and how we tap in to who we really are. In tears, he explained how he had arrived at Isralight in Jerusalem. He had been a concert violinist with enormous potential, until in a tragic freak accident; he got his hand caught in a car door. After all the hospital care and operations, his hand was left partially paralyzed, and his career in music was over. And he realized, with panic, that he had no idea who he was any more. Whenever anyone would ask ‘what do you do?’ his response had always been: “I’m a violinist.” But that was no longer true. So who was he? more
The land of Egypt has always loomed large in the history of our nation. In fact, the word “Mitzraim” appears 680 times in Tanach. In the main, our people’s relationship with this land has been a negative one. more
His eyes haunt me; looking out as they do from a picture taken over seventy years ago. Just one drop of one story from amongst a sea of pain. more
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