Michael Freund
Michael Freund
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

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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One Nation, Many Faces

March 28, 2019  •  Jewish Journal

Around the world, an unprecedented awakening is taking place. Descendants of Jews from all walks of life are looking to return to their roots and embrace their heritage.

For the past 15 years, through Shavei Israel, the organization I chair, I have come to discern that there are multitudes of people whose forefathers were once part of us and who now seek a way back into the fold. It is a development that will further reshape the contours, character and even the color of Jewry.

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The Sinai withdrawal's dangerous legacy

March 22, 2019  •  Jerusalem Post

If you open Google Earth and search for "Yamit, Sinai," the globe on your screen will slowly spin its way to the Middle East before zooming in on a small area in the northern Sinai Peninsula, just west of Gaza (though it comes up as "Yammit").

There, amid the sand dunes, one can still see the bare and bulldozed ground where the town of Yamit, a thriving Jewish community of 2,500 people, once stood, until it was uprooted and destroyed in 1982 as part of the peace treaty with Egypt.

The contours of various structures are still visible, paying silent testimony to the traumatic removal of Jews from their homes that was carried out by a Jewish government.

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