On Saturday night, December 30, 2017, a welcoming celebration was held in the streets of Jerusalem for Pinchus Freiman upon his release after spending 65 days in Israeli Prison #4 for his refusal to serve in the IDF. Thousands of family, friends and anti-draft activists attended.
The celebrators also took the opportunity to honor three other draft refusers, Avraham Lederman, Mordechai Eliezer Brizel, and Gavriel Chavra. They danced in the streets, holding these heroes on their shoulders. Rabbis gave speeches applauding the courage of those who refuse the IDF and strengthening public resolve to resist the decree.
Freiman himself gave a speech in which he said, “I had the merit of spending two months in prison, because I took the route of self-sacrifice not to go the army. And even after 65 days, I am not deterred one bit. We continue to proclaim: we are ready for anything – we would give up our lives rather than go to the army!”
At the close of the event, one of the important rabbis said, “We are here to welcome back our hero. Let’s hope that he will light the way for the Jewish people. We turn in prayer to G-d, the G-d of our forefathers. Scripture says, “It is a time for G-d to act, when they violated Your Torah” (Psalms 119:126). The Rambam explains that G-d will punish His enemies when they stop Jews from keeping the Torah.
We ask G-d to have mercy on us, that all the evil should vanish like smoke, when you take away the sinful regime from the earth. And then may our eyes see Your return to Zion with mercy, soon in our days, amen.
Now I will give over the money sent by our Jewish supporters abroad, who wish to have a share in supporting these heroes: $6500.
As he concluded, he handed Pinchus Freiman the check for $6500 USD, 100 dollars for each day he spent in jail.