Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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In a small Italian town, the first Jewish wedding since Talmudic times

July 11, 2019  •  The Jerusalem Post

Located along Italy's southern coastline in the region of Calabria, near the very tip of the boot-shaped Italian peninsula, the village of Bova Marina appears an unlikely place to witness Jewish history unfold.

The small town, home to just over 4,000 people, lies nestled between quiet beaches with stunning views of the Ionian Sea and rugged, untamed hills stretching out amid large tracts of agricultural farmland.

Quaint and rustic, like countless other diminutive Italian settlements in the area, there is little on the surface to suggest even the remotest connection with the people of Israel.

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Time to rebuild northern Samaria

May 30, 2019  •  The Jerusalem Post

In recent weeks, a growing chorus of voices has emerged calling attention to a painful episode that took place 14 years ago in the hills and plains of northern Samaria, when four Jewish communities were pointlessly uprooted and destroyed as part of Ariel Sharon's so-called Disengagement Plan.

Sensing that the time may finally be right to correct this grievous wrong, prominent members of parliament, including Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, have spoken out in favor of the passage of a bill that would undo the injustice that was wrought. Such a move is long overdue and should be a top priority for the next government.

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Don't let Ladino die

April 24, 2019  •  The Jerusalem Post

By any rational yardstick, the legacy of medieval Spanish Jewry should long ago have met its demise. The community, Europe's largest and most influential at the time, was expelled in 1492 and scattered to the wind, spreading throughout the Middle East, the Balkans and North Africa. Few cultures could possibly hope to survive such a catastrophic and collective trauma, as its adherents were forced to rebuild their lives in foreign lands.

Nonetheless, defying all the odds, Spanish Jewry's unique cultural, linguistic and religious traditions continue to live on – and it behooves Israel and the Jewish people to do more to cultivate and nourish this critical part of our people's heritage.

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Matzah as a symbol of Jewish heroism

April 19, 2019  •  The Jerusalem Post

Passover is upon us, and for the next week, Jewish homes throughout the world will be filled with the familiar and unmistakable sound of crunching matzah, as a virtual symphony of consumption of unleavened bread is performed with gusto.

Flakes will fly, as small pieces of matzah flutter through the air, showering our dishes, cutlery and glassware with a thin layer of crumbs, each one unique as a snowflake, perhaps to remind us somewhat vividly of our own individuality.

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A Personal Passover: A journey to liberation from Tehran

April 18, 2019

Passover has always served as a symbol of redemption, a festival that inspires Jews everywhere to commemorate freedom and yearn for deliverance. For Neda Amin, an Iranian writer who was raised as a Jew in Tehran, the holiday and its themes have particular resonance.

Though just 34 years old, she has lived through a series of harrowing experiences, which have included being put on trial by an Iranian Revolutionary Court, detention and interrogation by Turkish intelligence officers and narrowly escaping deportation back into the clutches of the ayatollahs.

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