Rabbi Binny Freedman
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Editor’s note: With a double parsha this week and the calendar edging closer towards Rosh Hashana, we present a second Torah column. Rabbi Etengoff is dedicating the following dvar Torah in memory of his sister-in-law, Ruchama Rivka Sondra, and the refuah shlaimah of Yosef Shmuel ben Miriam. more
There is a mystical idea, which suggests, that hidden within every fire of destruction is the spark of redemption. Such, for example, was the case on Aug. 3, 1492, which was also the Ninth of Av, the anniversary of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem. On that day, the Inquisition was imposed on the 250,000 Spanish Jews, faced with the choice of expulsion, conversion or death. more
Teaching in the old city of Jerusalem, one develops awareness for the different types of people that can wander in off the street. Many of the people who frequent the old alleyways of Jerusalem are incredible people with incredible stories. We once had a fellow wander in who was absolutely convinced that he was King David. more
When you are up high on top of the mountain, it becomes much easier to see where you are going; everything seems so clear, and often the view is breathtaking. In the valley, on the other hand, the high walls of the mountains obscure where you really are, and it is much easier to get lost. more
Two words; two chilling words, that have haunted a generation of Israelis, Jews, and innocents around the world, were heard yet again, piercing the peaceful quiet of the Negev desert this past week, as all too suddenly, a quiet peaceful afternoon suddenly filled with the screams of the dying and the wounded as Arab Hamas-sponsored terrorists once again targeted the innocent in a horrific series of attacks. more
One of the most important moments before a mission, in which the right commander can make all the difference actually has very little to do with the actual mission. After all the training is done, and all the preparations are in order, the unit is ready to go, and the waiting game begins. And there is a moment, a last opportunity, for the commander to inspire his men. more
Dedicated to the memory of my cousin Binyamin ben Daniel ve’Yehudit, Benji Hillman, hy”d, of blessed memory, a Company Commander in Golani’s elite Egoz unit who fell leading his men into battle in the Second Lebanon War on the 24th of Tammuz in the summer of 2006. more
This week on the Jewish calendar, we commemorated the breaching of the Old City walls of Jerusalem by the Roman Tenth Legion on the 17th day of Tammuz in the year 70 C.E., heralding the beginning of the end of the Jewish Second Commonwealth, and the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash. As we gaze upon the ruins of those walls, we will fast, and some of us will even cry, remembering how 2000 years ago, the peaceful streets were filled with the triumphant cheers of Roman legionnaires bent on our destruction. more
The festival of Sukkot was around the corner, and I realized I had no way to get a set of four species (arbah minim) in time for the festival. We were actually in Lebanon at the time, and as the only kippah-wearing soldier on the base, I knew I was on my own, and the thought of having no set of ‘arbah minim’ was really depressing. more
I remember it like it was yesterday. While millions of Americans celebrated their nation’s independence, we were all glued to our radios and television sets waiting for news of the fate of the Israeli hostages hijacked on an Air France jet and being held captive in Uganda. more
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