Rabbi Binny Freedman
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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
Cold; so cold it cuts through the rags that were once clothes, straight to the bone.Cold; so cold it cuts through the rags that were once clothes, straight to the bone. There was a time this cold so occupied your very being you could concentrate on nothing else. But that was long ago. Darkness; so dark it sometimes seems more than the mere absence of light; it seems almost tangible. You vaguely recall a time when you were obsessed with determining exactly where you were, pacing in the darkness to examine your environs. You figured out you were in some sort of a concrete cell, perhaps six feet square, but not much more than that. You used to wonder what color the walls were, never having been allowed to see them, but that curiosity has long ago been replaced with more basic needs. more
When I was studying in yeshiva, I asked one of the rabbis if there was a specific reason why the Torah occasionally refers to Yaakov by his name and other times as Yisrael. The rabbi was of the … more
August 6, 2010/ 26 Av, 5770Who is the most desperate, destitute member of the Jewish society? It’s a loaded question and there is no correct answer. Unless you specify from whose … more
Issue of May 21, 2010/ 8 Sivan 5770 I cherish the fact that the Torah does not hide from truths, and does not whitewash unpleasant situations. Biblical narratives in and beyond the Torah … more
Parshat Mishpatim Issue of February 12, 2010/ 18 Shvat 5770Concerning the treatment of those in need, the Torah tells us, “When you lend money to My people, to the poor man among you, do not … more
Parshat Bo Issue of January 22, 2010/ 7 Shvat 5770Before the instruction of “Hachodesh hazeh lachem” established the calendar for the Israelite nation, G-d told Moshe, “Now speak to the … more
Issue of September 11,  2009 / 22 Elul 5769 Defending Kennedy To the Editor: I am writing to comment on the Kosher Bookworm’s article: “The Kennedy legacy: American tragedy or … more
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