Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Mount Meron tragedy shows need for bolstering religious Jewish unity

May 6, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

For a few fleeting days this past week, some much-needed Jewish unity was in the air. As Israel reeled from the Meron disaster on Lag Ba'omer that claimed 45 precious souls, the highly rare yet immensely valuable commodity of Jewish communal solidarity was readily on display.

Over and over again, the same refrains were uttered: "We must unite," "We all share the same fate" and "We must learn to live together with one another despite our differences."

As refreshing as it is to hear such sentiments, we all need to ask ourselves a blunt yet pressing question: Why does it take a catastrophe, war or a pandemic to bring us together?

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Why it's time to face the grim facts on rising antisemitism in the US

April 22, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

If you look ever so carefully, after taking a step or two back to gain some distance and perspective, you will see it. It might appear blurry at first, somewhat amorphous and not readily identifiable, like a dot on a screen that hardly seems to warrant much attention.But instead of going away, it grows ever larger and more threatening, as more blips join the fray, suddenly transforming that tiny speck into a mass that cannot be ignored and must surely be reckoned with.

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Why are so many North American Orthodox rabbis silent on aliyah?

April 15, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

Over the years, as I take part in the annual festive celebration of Yom Ha'atzma'ut and the Divine restoration of Jewish sovereignty that Independence Day embodies, I have found myself increasingly troubled by a question that may be simple yet is anything but simplistic.

To put it bluntly: why are so many North American Orthodox rabbis silent on the issue of immigrating to Israel?

In light of rising antisemitism in the US, the growing political divide, and mounting social unrest that seems to be sweeping the continent, this query only takes on added urgency.

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Passover: the sanctity of the question mark

March 25, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

As Jews around the world gather together to celebrate the onset of Passover, we will all sit down to participate in one of the most intriguing religious rituals ever conceived.

Whereas many of the other acts that have come to define Jewishness center around certainty, the Seder is at its core an exercise in questioning, probing the extent of our knowledge and inspiring ourselves and others to explore the unknown.

From the Four Questions posed by the youngest at the table to various other elements of the Haggadah, such as dipping parsley in salt water or repeatedly covering and uncovering the matzah, we strive to pique the interest of young and old alike, hoping to arouse the participants' curiosity.

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Bnei Menashe and a marriage made in Zion

March 11, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

This past Sunday, as the sun began its daily descent into the horizon, illuminating the sky in a brilliant swath of passionate colors, the couples – young, old and somewhere in-between – made their way in silent dignity and delight toward the wedding canopy.

Decked out in their finest suits, the grooms beamed with pride as they took their places alongside their brides, all of whom were enveloped in white, signifying purity as well as the new chapter they were about to embark upon together in their lives.

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