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Newest articles written by Tzvi Freeman

Published: Mon, 01 Jan 0001 12:00:00 EST

Last Build Date: Mon, 01 Jan, 0001 12:00:00 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018, - Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, all rights reserved.

Why Now Is the Time for a Moment of Silence in Our Schools - What could be more valuable to a young mind than respite from the noise?

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 12:00:00 EST

The world has changed. Our needs have changed. Our vision of the future has changed. Schools haven’t been keeping up. If our children are our future, then the way we run our schools reflects our dreams for the future. There was an era when American parents dreamed of their children going to college, earning a good degree and supporting a family with all the good things America could provide. For that, all that was needed was a school that gave your kids that entry pass to college. Principally, your children needed information and the skills to access that information. Today our dreams are different. WeToday, our dreams are different. We want healthy kids, in body, in mind and in spirit. want healthy kids, in body, in mind and in spirit. The facts of this century have taught us that both the success of our economy and of our personal sense of wellbeing is not based on smarts alone, but on human integrity, a sense of ethics and a

Purim Is Not Normal - ..and neither are the people that celebrate it

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:00:00 EST

Purim is nuts. A rational person cannot celebrate Purim, nor can those who believe they know who they are. Because the joy of PurimA rational person cannot celebrate Purim. means leaving all reason and sense of self behind. Purim is the ultimate joy, and the only way to experience that joy is to break out of yourself. Not by making yourself happy, not by doing those things you enjoy, not by sticking to your life, your friends, your family and remaining the person you are so comfortable being. No. By playing the clown, by taking the risk of making yourself look like a total idiot, acting insane, or better put: allowing the insanity within you to burst out—in a way that brings smiles to strangers on the street, uplifting all around, even those who had lost all hope for joy. The light of Purim knows no bounds. What, Me Jewish? Why Purim? What happened in Shushan on this day that is cause for

Can My Free Will Mess Up G-d's Plans? - All the responsibility, no room for despair

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 12:00:00 EST

Free will is scary. Free will means there are consequences to my actions; that if something goes wrong as a result of my choices, I’m responsible. The question is: Just how badly can I mess up? If G‑d created me withAm I the god of my own life? a purpose, can I completely blow it? Am I the god of my own life? And since our choices have consequences, can humanity as a whole run G‑d’s plans totally off the track? Will G‑d let us nuke the planet, wreak havoc with its climate, or subsume human diversity under the power of some cyborg AI singularity tower of Babel? This may be the only truly important question surrounding free will. And since it’s a question that any simple, straightforward person is liable to ask, it deserves a simple, straightforward answer. The Answer So the answer is no. And yes. Yes, you are responsible for your actions. No, you are not the god of your own life. Not

Free Will In Judaism - How much choice do we really have?

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 12:00:00 EST

Free will in Judaism is the capacity to choose between different courses of actions, words or thoughts—not due to outside influence, internal nature or any sort of personal preference. Just a balanced choice between right and wrong. This notion that human beings can exercise their own free will when making moral decisions is axiomatic to Judaism. And the conflict between human free will and the omnipotence of his Creator is a pervasive theme in the Jewish narrative of history. It’s a paradox thatHow can G‑d endow human beings with free will and remain G‑d? Jewish thinkers have wrestled with for thousands of years: How can G‑d endow human beings with free will and remain G‑d? Many explanations have been offered, and we’ll touch on some of them later below. Morality and Free Will The Hebrew Bible is a story of G‑d’s interaction with man. G‑d rewards those who listen to His will and help pe

Superhero, Episode VI: Beyond Meditation - Part Six in a Kabbalistic SciFi Fantasy

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:00:00 EST

Click Here If You Missed Part V My head crashes on the table, and it’s a dream, a vivid dream. I’m back on the canyon floor, after that fall. There’s a little boy standing over me, crying. I pull myself up. Small, wide eyes look up to me. My reflection stares back from within the dark of those pupils. I am there within him. All I am and all I have ever done. Good. Bad. Beautiful. Not so beautiful.I am there within him. All I am and all I have ever done. Good. Bad. Beautiful. Not so beautiful. I put out my hand. His trembling hand grasps it tight. I feel his cold little fingers within mine. “Come,” I say. “Let’s find your mom and dad.” We walk together. Around the corner, perhaps we will find them. We wander. Then I awoke. “Just a dumb dream,” I thought. A week passed and morning meditations were getting dif

Superhero Episode V: Meditation on a Squirrel - Part Five in a Kabbalistic SciFi Fantasy Series

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 12:00:00 EST

Click Here If You Missed Part IV Back home, I started a regimen. Look, the last place you want to be if you want to get healthy is in a building full of sick people. Okay, there’s pain. Wiped out. Weak. But if there’s one thing Hi had taught me, it was to be a fighter, not to surrender to the forces that pull you down. I wanted to see that light again,I wanted to see that light again … But this time, I wanted to achieve it myself. to hear that symphony, to experience the entire world as a single thought. But this time, I wanted to achieve it myself. So I began with a meditation at sunrise every morning. That’s the secret ofThat’s the secret of the city: At dawn, it might as well be the country. the city: At dawn, it might as well be the country. A thousand balconies look out upon the scene of dawn,

Superhero Episode IV: Run, Leap, Fall - Part Four in a Kabbalistic SciFi Fantasy Series

Sun, 24 Dec 2017 12:00:00 EST

Click Here If You Missed Part III Sunrise and there’s a rainbow over the mist of the canyon falls. Birds celebrating in play above me. Lizards escaping from beneath their rocks at my feet. Absorbing those life-giving rays. Greens, purples and dusty reds of the thirsty valley emerging out of the shadows. A moment ago, the biting cold of the desert night. Now warmth, light, life. Jogging up the elevation path of the canyon, the crunch, grind, roughness of the dirt path beneath my rubber soles. About 500 yards in I hear Hi’s voice. “Run high, Josh! Run!” What a relief. Hard work paid off. Persistent, hard work. Overcoming my old self. Battling with that beast within. And now, the first time I had heard his voice in months. The dark blueThe dark blue light inside me—I could feel it. Ii had built up over these months. Now it powered me. I ran high. l

Superhero Episode III: Flying High - Part Three in a Kabbalistic SciFi Fantasy Series

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:00:00 EST

Click Here If You Missed Part II The next two weeks were a high. High, because it was as though Hi’s spirit was breathing inside me, the compassion in his eyes running through my blood. Until then, I had never realized how insensitive I was—even to the people closest to me. Okay, blame it on my childhood, whatever. Who cares? The way I spoke, my callousness, it suddenly pained me. My friends were kinda stunned. Even my step-dad said I was a different person. My eating habits changed, too. And the way I slept. Even the way I walked. The canyon was my sanctuary. But I wanted more. One day, I found myself walking into a synagogue. A young rabbi helped me with these ancient leather prayer boxes. I could feel the energy running through them, the kind of divine energy that I had experienced up there. Everywhere was light,Everywhere was light, and I was flying higher and higher

Superhero Episode II: My Superhero Suit - Part Two in a Kabbalistic SciFi Fantasy Series

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:00:00 EST

Click Here If You Missed Part I Without a job, I had a choice between hanging out with friends in the city or jogging in the canyon alone. More and more, I found myself doing the jog. There was always this expectation I would spot Hi’s frail but sprightly figure bouncing down the path. Whatever—there in the silence of the canyon, I could hear his voice in my mind. I asked questions, and his voice answered. There was a certain peace in that. But those last words of his“You’re the hero in a role playing game. So am I. So are all of us.” remained unresolved, unexplained: “You’re the hero in a role playing game. So am I. So are all of us.” Then came that Friday afternoon, a scorcher. I collapsed onto a bench beneath some thick trees by the lake. Just sat there watching thoughts and memories run through my brain like a tv with multiple channels playing all at once. Somehow, I j

How I Became a Superhero, Episode I - Part One in a Kabbalistic SciFi Fantasy

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:00:00 EST

I first saw Hi while I was jogging beneath the tall trees of the canyon. A small child was clasping each of his hands, an older one running ahead. As I passed him, I just yelled, “Hi.” He shouted back, “How do you know my name?” “I don’t know your name, old man,” I muttered. I kept moving. “My name is Hi!” he said, the “H” with a guttural sound. I needed time alone. I needed to think. I wasn’t interested in getting into a conversation with some old man babysitting his grandchildren. “Where are you running?” he yelled. “You don’t have the strength yet.” That stopped me. “How do you know I don’t have the strength?” “You look so pale, like someone who just got out of the hospital,” he answered. And then, “Tell me what happened? You had an accident?” “I was scuba diving. Hey, I was out for four months! They thought I was dead. That would make anyone weak!” Hi looked me straight in the eye. A caring look, l