Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Jack. The term 'Haveil Havalim,' which means "Vanity of Vanities," is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other 'excesses' and realized that it was nothing but 'hevel,' or in English, 'vanity.'
Welcome to my first Haveil Havelim! I've submitted to almost every edition since March 6, when I first decided the world needed to know Israelis put Osem soup powder in EVERYTHING. However, Haveil Havelim and my inbox look pretty different from this side of the blog carnival. Here's a few things I've learned from hosting... (all the mistakes are ones I made when I wasn't!):
- A little context for your post in "remarks" is VERY helpful. Plus, if you describe your post as "a stunningly insightful and life-changing analysis of rugelach," lazy hosts might even plagiarize that blurb in their HH edition! Not that I ever would. Except when I did.
- I know I'm often tempted to submit every post I write in a week, but try to choose only one or two favorites. Take pity on the hosts-- I received 50+ submissions, and this is probably the summer slump!
- Oddly, Haveil Havelim is a spam magnet for Christian Homeschool Bible Colleges. Or maybe it's just me. (Seriously. I have more connections to Christian Homeschool Bible Colleges than I'd like to admit.)
- Hosting is hard. And time-consuming. And fun. We're a diverse group... I dare you to visit every single post! (Bonus points if you leave a comment!)
- Choose a category for your post. When I submitted that soup powder post, I couldn't decide between humor, kashrut, Israel, or culture... and I said so in my oh-so-helpful comments. But come on, take a stab at categorization. Surely it will be easier for you to decide a category than the person who's reading 50 posts in one day and might mistake "Brit" for Britney Spears.
- Don't be scared to submit! We're nice people, really. :) I was ridiculously excited when The Real Shliach included my first post, but this really isn't an elite club... and I always see a bump in my blog traffic on posts I submit. To submit your post or someone else's, go here. I keep that link in my shortcuts.
- Please post the link for each edition on your blog. Hosts like this. (Hint, hint!) Plus, think of it this way-- if you want others to find your post through HH, help your blog readers find HH!
Israel (because Israelis love to cut in line):
Welcome to new olim! 232 new immigrants from the US landed on July 7th (with help from Nefesh b'Nefesh), and Jacob Richman was there to take 294 pictures-- check out his post! Ruti of Sussmans B'Aretz made aliyah 5 years ago, but she still tears up when she sees a landing ceremony. Read her well-written and thoughtful essay that "pulls the heart from hopelessness to Hatikva." Then, go to Matt Gottleib's blog for the perspective of an oleh on that flight. Mazel tov and welcome!
Sammy Benoit presents a convincing argument for the security fence in his post, UN Calls On Israel to Allow in Homicide Bombers. For a lighthearted and... well... odd look at the wall, see the new Sellcom commercial at Promised Land!
At Occidental Israeli, read this thought-provoking essay On the Importance of Arabic. (As a personal note, my Israeli mother-in-law and her Israeli friend were the only non-Arabs in a community college Arabic course in the US... she wanted to pick back up a language she learned in school!)
Soccer Dad submitted this beautiful account of a Christian's visit to Jerusalem: Jerusalem Syndrome.
Want to see inside the West Bank? Yisrael Medad presents pictures of the Shiloh Bloc. And speaking of Shiloh, Batya welcomes a "new" neighbor at me-ander. Finally, Shiloh Musings asks, "Where's World Jewry? May I Admit Jealousy?" (She's jealous of her Arab neighbors... read her post to find out why.)
Esser Agaroth points out the artificial distinction between "Good Zionists" (the ones who built settlements in territory conquered in the 1948 war, such as Ashdod and Carmiel) and "Bad Zionists" (the ones building in territory conquered in the 1967 war). Also at Esser Agaroth, Yitzhar: The Israeli Government's Jewish Expulsion Laboratory.
The Jewish Fist is very angry. Barak's Gift to Abbas and Respectable "Religious" Zionism.
Cosmic X presents A Tale of Two Forums -- the way two different forums responded to a picture calling Barak Obama a liar says a LOT about Israel today. Also, Israel finally cares about nepotism??
If you want to get a sense for the cultural life of Israel today, definitely read ISRAELITY. This week: Swimming with the current at the Maccabiah Games, Welcome to Beersheva - Israel’s mall capital, and Rioting in Jerusalem? All is normal.
Oh, yeah, and Israeli toilets are in separate rooms from our bathrooms, which leads to linguistic confusion. That's the kind of insightful commentary you'll find here at How to Be Israeli! Please stick around!
Also, in case any Israelis need to cool down, take a look at this gorgeous picture of water at Habonim Nature Preserve from an amazing Israeli photography blog, Israel the Beautiful:
Sammy Benoit asks, Why Did Obama Send Adviser To Keynote "Hating Jews" Convention ? (Does Obama sending an advisor to a pro-Hamas convention really surprise anyone?)
Yitzchak Goodman of Judeopundit presents Hamas and Islamic Jihad squabble about money, who is the biggest stooge of Iran. Ok, so he didn't categorize this post-- but I think "anti-semitism" is fairly appropriate, no?
LOOK AT THIS ART. Now. The story behind it is devastating and moving, too: Art as Prayer, Prayer as Art posted at Seraphic Secret.
Esser Agaroth offers a clip of a talented Israeli band-- you may have seen the lead singer in Machane Ben Yehuda!
Muse reflects on her NCSY years and reviews a new book about NCSY's history at Shiloh Musings.
Daled Amos presents Mike Wallace Interviews Abba Eban (April 1958). Definitely watch the film-- not just for the cigarette ad (hilarious) but for a model for how Israel should be dealing with media today.
In a follow-up to his LATimes op-ed, MyRightWord posts some history of the presence of Jews in Judea & Samaria during the Mandate years to prove his ethnic cleansing charge - against Arabs.
Here's a post title I wasn't expecting: CNN presents three reasons to make Aliyah (from The Rebbetzin's Husband.) This post would be even funnier if it weren't so true...
Last week's host and one of my new favorite blogs, A Time of the Signs, presents Make mine chicken soup-- come on, you KNOW you have an opinion about Axe Deodorant's new Israeli advertising campaign!
Lion of Zion writes a powerful response to a Frum Satire post expressing disgust for Down Syndrome kids: Sick Bastards. (I wasn't sure where to categorize this, so I put it here. Read the post.)
Rachel Barenblat, otherwise known as the "Velveteen Rabbi" (LOVE that blog title!) presents Seven jewels from smicha week. They ARE jewels... read it for a poetic look into this huge week in her life. Mazel tov!
Should Rabbis have term limits? See an argument at The Rebbetzin's Husband.
Shtetl Fab thinks that the economic downturn could have a positive impact on synagogues-- read her letter to the editor. (I agree! Let's bring back the shteeble!)
Read the blog from the Chabad Lubavitch of Crimea!
See some commentary about the passing of tradition from Ilana-Davita's blog at Mesorah Project III.
(heh, heh. I get a perverse pleasure out of the fact that Haveil Havelim's category is called "kashrut," not "kashrus." Let's hear it for Israeli pronunciations!)
Lion of Zion's post title definitely intrigued me: Moshiach Is Here! (Or, Am I Moving to Woodmere?)
Please go read Lady-Light's charming essay about a "play date" with her grandchildren. (I love pasquetti, too! Maybe they had balana sorbet afterwards?) I feel really badly about leaving it out-- I'm not sure what happened, but it definitely wasn't something lady-light said. :)
You've GOT to read Alone in the Holy Land's beautiful poem about Israel: Perfumes, Colors.
Mottel presents Out and About London and pictures from a London Wedding. The photos let me see London and a wedding through Hassidic eyes... great photography! I love this black and white picture:
rutimizrachi presents City of Dreams** posted at Ki Yachol Nuchal!. She's a powerful writer-- I love the moment she evokes. Plus, she's almost made me get off my tachat and go walking!
A Simple Jew turns an inconvenience into a metaphor: Back From The Other Side Of The Road.
rickismom also finds meaning in the mundane in her post at Beneath the Wings: “One Day You are Going to Thank Me”.
Aprpeh presents Phillips vs. Dershowitz, a commentary on Melanie Phillips' criticism of Alan Dershowitz's Wall Street Journal editorial.
Yisrael Medad presents I'm So Proud of America! (Sarcasm? I haven't read enough of Medad's blog to tell. All I can say is that I'm glad whenever other nations finally absorb Palestinian refugees.)
The Real Shliach presents prayer insights at Tachanun III: What to do.
In another great title, Josh Waxman of Parshablog presents How dad actually *is* Aramaic for teeth.
Rabbi Neil Fleischmann (NY's Funniest Rabbi) presents several posts this week. Into Great Silence, a post about a documentary on monks, prompted a fascinating discussion of orthodox Judaism in the comments. Later that week, he wrote After Yisrael Mordechai's Bris, which finally prompted On Comments and Rav Hirsch's Humanism.
Eliyahu Fink presents a book review of DovBear on the Parsha. Rabbi Fink talks of being swept away by DovBear's passion and insight; I felt the same way about reading this post!
It's only appropriate that I follow with a post from DovBear. Extreme Haircovering: Kimchit's Reward is part of "an ongoing discussion about the potential reward (or lack thereof) of scrupulously covering one's hair as many believe is required per halacha." I've heard the line about the walls of Kimchit's house never seeing her hair, so it was fascinating to see its context.
Shavuah tov everyone!