Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Rallying Hispanics for Israel

October 1, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

This summer's bruising and ultimately failed effort to torpedo US President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran has provided pro-Israel activists in the United States with an important and timely lesson.

Despite spending tens of millions of dollars, organizing advertising campaigns in the print and electronic media and lighting up switchboards on Capitol Hill, they did not succeed in preventing the White House from putting together the votes needed to stymie opposition to the atrocious atomic accord.

Clearly, Israel's defenders in the US are in dire need of some reinforcements, and I believe that Hispanic Americans may just provide the key to ensuring long-term support for the Jewish state.

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A country held hostage by lawyers

September 24, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

An important constitutional drama played out this past week behind closed doors, one that may prove pivotal in safeguarding Israel's democratic system.

According to various media reports, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein brazenly sought to undermine the government's initiative to implement a firmer hand against Palestinians hurling stones and firebombs.

Fortunately for all of us, it appears that Weinstein was put in his place by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reminded him that it is the government, and not the lawyers, who make policy.

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Yom Kippur: Sandy Koufax's "Sermon on the Mound"

September 22, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

This Yom Kippur marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most seminal moments in post-war American Jewish life, an event that occurred – or, to be more precise, one that didn't – which had a profound impact on how US Jewry came to feel about itself and its place in society.

In 1965, the Day of Atonement coincided with October 6, the date on which the Los Angeles Dodgers were going up against the Minnesota Twins in the first game of baseball's World Series.

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Take that, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella!
The return of Spain's Bnei Anusim

September 18, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

Earlier this year, on a bright and sunny Jerusalem day, a young boy and his family celebrated a rousing – if somewhat belated – victory over the Spanish Inquisition and its henchmen.

As his mother and grandmother looked on, 13-year-old Baruch Israel donned tefillin for the first time at the Western Wall in advance of his bar mitzva, carefully wrapping the leather straps around his arm just as Jews have done for generations prior to reciting weekday morning prayers.

Only this was no ordinary rite of passage for Israel and his relatives: It marked the first time in more than 500 years that someone in his family was able to celebrate a Jewish male's entry to manhood and acceptance of the yoke of the commandments.

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A Bnei Menashe lesson: What Rosh Hashana and making aliya have in common

September 16, 2015  •  Jerusalem Post

It is shortly before 6 a.m. The exhaustion on Benji Tungnung's face is palpable as he makes his way through the quiet streets of the northern Galilee town of Ma'alot. With Rosh Hashana rapidly approaching, the 21-year-old yeshiva student wants to be sure to arrive on time for Slihot, the penitential supplications recited prior to the Shaharit morning prayer service.

Quickening his pace, Benji reaches his destination. His previous bout of fatigue quickly dissolves into a contented smile when he pries open the door of the yeshiva with a few minutes to spare before the poetic entreaties to the Creator commence.

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