Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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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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Purim miracles: From Saddam to corona and beyond

February 25, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

As Israel takes its first tentative steps back toward normalcy in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, this weekend's festival of Purim could not be more fortuitous.

After the death and despair, the lows and the lockdowns of the past year, when our lives were upended in ways we could not previously have imagined, this holiday of redemption resonates with an added sense of meaning. Indeed, maybe, just maybe, it will prove to be a turning point, as Purim so often does, signaling a turnabout in our own personal and collective fortunes.

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Joe Biden is just Barack Obama's third term in the White House

February 11, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than a month so it is perhaps too early to gauge what his comprehensive policy towards Israel will be. But if his initial moves are any indication, the Jewish state might want to grab a diplomatic sweater or two and begin bracing itself for a chilly wind reminiscent of the Obama era.

Indeed, after a remarkable four years of unprecedented closeness under the Trump administration, Jerusalem is now facing the prospect of what is beginning to look a lot like Obama's third term.

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Is COVID-19 mutating into antisemitism?

January 28, 2021  •  Jerusalem Post

It's a tale nearly as old as the Jewish people, one that stretches back to the dawn of our existence as a nation. Targeted by unimaginable hatred, singled out for bizarre and often self-contradictory conspiracy theories, Jews have time and again seen antisemitism flare up throughout history.

Sadly, in this regard, the coronavirus crisis is proving to be no different, as the dreaded illness wasted little time before mutating into yet another classical and deadly variant: the fear and loathing of Jews.

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