Rabbi Binny Freedman
287 results total, viewing 251 - 260
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
There are very few feelings in life that leave us more challenged, hurt, and insecure, than the feeling we get from being ignored. Part of this may stem from the fact that we need to feel we have what to contribute, to give back to society and the world. Indeed our ability to be in touch with what we have to give is the essence of connecting with our purpose in this world. So when someone completely ignores us, perhaps we wonder whether we really have as much to offer as we think we do. more
Sometimes, you can’t change the world, and in order to make sure the world doesn’t change you, difficult and often painful decisions are necessary. I still remember joining the Israeli army, full of motivation and inspired to make a difference, only to discover that the reality of army life often had its own set of rules. more
I can still see his eyes and his twinkling smile as I walked him to the bus, with his rucksack over his back and a pair of ‘kafkafim’ (shower shoes) tied on and dangling from a piece of string. more
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