Haveil Havalim #227- Our first Jewschool attempt

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, blogger of Ima on (and off) the Bimah, pointed out recently that Haveil Havalim, the so-called Jewish Blog Carnival, has become a rather conservative affair. With the grand exception of a few progressive regular Haveil Havalim submitters (like herself and Benji Lovitt of What War Zone?), most of the folks submitting their blog posts to the carnival are at least a little to the right of those of us here at Jewschool. Rabbi Phyllis even called us Jewschoolers out by name, asking why we didn’t participate.
So in answer to her call for progressive voices in Haveil Havalim, here we are. And to those of you who are regular readers of Haveil Havalim, but first time visitors to Jewschool, bruchim haba’im l’Jewschool. Welcome.

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 Kohelet, (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.

So let’s begin.
Posts from This Week Here at Jewschool
Dlevy discusses the state of marriage in America. In short, Rabbis should get out of the marriage business. Great post.
Aryeh Cohen has a beautiful new kinah for us during these Nine Days. It’s really nice. And I’m usually not big on poems.
As a follow-up to his post from last week, Kung Fu Jew has more to say about Breaking the Silence. Good stuff, KFJ.
Syrian New Jersey Rabbinic Organ Laundering
Or whatever this scandal is about.
Not quite sure what My Right Word is implying by his juxtaposition here.
At A Time of the Signs, a new photo of an oddly-worded Israeli road sign. Look out!
At Me-Ander, a blogger runs into serious trouble. The Nine Days have started, and according to custom she can’t do laundry until they’re over. Unfortunately, her washing machine is spewing water.
Rabbi Fleischman of NY’s Funniest Rabbi has this interview with author and blogger Quinn Cummings.
He also has a post with, among other things, some musings about who should play Bernie Madoff in the movie.
At How to Be Israeli, a new emotion is discovered in Israel: Green grass envy.
The Rebbetzin’s Husband contemplates what would happen in a variety of odd and unlikely in-shul situations.
Heshy Fried this week wonders about the variety of sins he would have committed in biblical times.
The Real Shliach comapres driver’s ed classes to “Chosson classes.” He also has a hilarious Nine Days poll up.
At Letters of Thought: A riddle.
Like me, Benji Lovitt spent his summer at camp. And like me, he hasn’t been blogging much while at camp. Now he’s Dusting Off the Blog.
My Right Word wonders about Britney Spears’ choice of Jewish and not Jewish jewelery.
The Velveteen Rabbi, Rachel Barenblat, writes this week about the now-infamous Cellcom ad from Israel. She notes what happened when a group of Palestinians actually threw a soccer ball over the wall. She also calls a Jewschooler out on his nonchalant reaction to the ad.
At Ki Yachol Nuchal, a story from Gush Katif.
At Sweet Home Yerushalayim, a blog of that whole genre of blogs by people who’ve made Aliyah, Tisha B’Av is at the forefront of the blogger’s mind. As we enter the nine days, Rena Chernin poetically recalls her first Tisha B’Av in Israel in Unburying and Rebuilding.
At tikkun olam, in From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters: Final Segment, the blogger would like to point something out about the Palestinian National Charter.
The blog Esser Agaroth throws in its two cents on a new documentary about the Disengagement from Gaza.
Occidental Israeli offers up this list of things he wants to do in Israel. Among them, this gem: “Hear Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, right before the 2am news on Galgalatz.”
Also at Occidental Israeli: Some musings about a new and controversial piece of land ownership legislation in Israel.
Israelity asks this all-important question: How do you say Hannah Montana in Hebrew? Also at Israelity, the story of a huge clock heist in Israel. Also, a blogger vists everywhere they’ve ever lived in Israel virtually with the help of GoogleMaps streetview-like service Zoomap.co.il.
At Achas L’Maala V’Sheva L’Matta, a post that I honestly can’t figure out. Something about halachah and autism. Also at Achas L’Maala, a story about the blogger’s father, the post’s titular “Best Bachur in Yeshiva Gedola Melk-Mauthausen.”
***** Cosmic X in Jerusalem ***** is *ahem* under the impression that Obama is a “racist sleazebag.” Also, all Israelis apparently hate him and make pictures of him burning in hell. But he apparently goes nuts for Walter Cronkite.
Craft Strew has some beautiful pictures of the blogger’s home in Israel.
At The Israel Situation, some thoughts about Arabs in West Jerusalem and Jews in East Jerusalem.
At Seraphic Secret, a comparison of old Hollywood women’s head-coverings and contemporary Israeli women’s head-coverings.
At Good News From Israel, a completely useful item: A three-year Jewish calendar card that one can dowload and print out for free and carry around. I’m printing mine out right now.
At On the Fringe-Al Tzitzit, the blogger wants to hear from some Baalot Tshuvot. Where are you, ladies? BTW, I wish I’d thought of this blog name. I love it!
Friar Yid: No Twitter in Shul, Please.
More from My Right Word: Hunger strikes!
The Rebbetzin’s Husband writes this week about the things that get him fired up enough to start Banging on the Shtender during a sermon or d’var.
At Parshablog, a fascinating discussion of the case of a missing yud in this week’s Torah portion.
Ilana-Davita: “I think the most important thing we can do is to inculcate in our children intellectual perspicacity and intellectual and moral courage.”
Not Just Typical wonders whether our efforts to weep during the Nine Days are all in vain. Is there, the blogger wonders, a disconnect between the aim and the method?
Lion of Zion would like to see an effort toward Bikur Cholim for non-Jews. Also at Lion of Zion, a real whopper of a post on shiduchim and families with children who have Down Syndrome.
Food and Kashrut
The blog First Fruits has a State of the Pantry Address for us this week, detailing the frustrations of living a culinarily kosher life and having extreme food allergies.
So I switched the category around a little on this one, but Good News From Israel has a new video for learning Hebrew kitchen vocab.
At Shtetl Fabulous, in a post titled I’m a Hustler, Baby, the blogger meets a guy who works for WNYC, NYC’s NPR station, on a train and gets a nice little oppurtunity out of the chance meeting.
At Homeshuling, we have this week the story of planning a birthday for a young member of the tribe.
The Sandman relays a very intimate story about a boy whose life was severely in danger and the role he played in helping the boy live.
More from Rabbi Fleischman: A Shavua Tov post from the beginning of the week with some musings on the role of technology in his life.
A Simple Jew takes a step back and considers the twists and turns his blog has taken over time, addressing comments from his readers about the blog’s changing direction.
At Beneath the Wings, thoughts about a fraternal feud in the blogger’s family. Also, this oddity: “With the amazing technology available today, you can not only play “war games” on computer, you can play against other, real people the same war games on-line. [I am NOT recommending this, and it is NOT normal Orthodox Jewish behavior.]”
At Random Thoughts, the story of a blogger’s bullied child. Also, JackB is Sailing in Uncharted Waters.
At tikkun olam, the blogger makes some observations about her soldier daughter’s recent visit home in My Soldier Daughter is ‘Home’ for a Visit!
Shavua Tov!

34 thoughts on “Haveil Havalim #227- Our first Jewschool attempt

  1. Good show!
    BTW. I did not call Obama a “racist sleazebag” as quoted here. Here’s what I wrote: “Obama revealed himself as a sleaze bag to me and others here is Israel during his Cairo speech. His racist policies with regards to where Jews are allowed to live are just a continuation of his sleaziness.” His policies are racist, and he’s just a plain sleaze bag.
    Thanks for letting me clarify that.

  2. B”H
    Thanks for hosting and thanks for the link.
    BTW, that’s not just any video I posted. It’s the right exposing the collaboration of the pseudo right {regardless ones views on Israel leaving Azza}.
    There is quite a bit of conflict within the so called “right,” and it must be exposed.
    In other news, I stand fully behind a host’s full discretion over content and commentary, when hosting Haveil Havalim, regardless of whether I agree with it or not.
    If I do not defend Jewschool’s right to expression in this matter, then my rights become threatened.
    Haveil Havalim #227 Is Up

  3. Thanks for including my postings which I try to variegate despite my ideological orientation. As for you not being sure what the juxtaposition implies in my post about the Rabbis’ arrest in NY/NJ, I think I was trying to illustrate that similar or worse crimes in terms of numbers of arrested and numbers of dollars can get less media attention. Why?

  4. I always find it kind of funny how I lived in Tel Aviv for 2 years, didn’t blog about politics, and became known as a secular/left-wing/progressive blogger. I’m probably either in the center, moving back and forth, or apolitical.
    Anyway, I’d love to write more but I have to go build a settlement. Thanks for the links, David!

  5. Alright, Cosmic. So you did call him a racist sleazebag, just in separate sentences.
    Ben-Yehudah, all of us here at Jewschool thank you for that, I’m sure.
    Yisrael Medad, I’m gonna guess because it’s more shocking when Rabbis are involved. Or priests for that matter. Why was the catholic church featured so heavily in the media a few years ago for pedophilia, while an equally extensive round of abuse is currently ongoing in the Orthodox community and gets little press?

  6. “So in answer to her call for progressive voices in Haveil Havalim” I believe this would better read “call for other voices” unless you’re inviting hostilities to begin. “Other” is neutral, progressive carries baggage with it. Might be better not to taint the merchandise before people can sample it.

  7. Great job.
    Thank you for taking the time to link to all 3 posts I submitted at the start of the week. I feel badly that my submissions were all pre Rosh Chodesh, since then I’ve moved into 9 day mode.

  8. Yasher koach! May this be the first of many.
    (And wow, great minds run in the same direction; I didn’t see that Ima on the Bima had made the point that Havel Havalim could use some lefty voices, but so did I… 🙂

  9. Oh, and: I didn’t mean to knock Kung Fu Jew for his reaction to the Cellcom ad — I hope I didn’t come across that way. My own response was initially very much like his: a sense that, nu, we could do worse than to play soccer across our various borders! But then the Ha’aretz story about the Bil’in thing came across my desk, and the more I thought about it, the sadder the whole situation made me. Oy; what else is new.

  10. This is my first time reading a Haveil Havalim, so I apologize if this gets brought up regularly. But the stock description saying King Solomon wrote Kohelet struck me as a little… dated. Something like “tradition ascribes Kohelet to King Solomon” is more inclusive and probably more accurate.

  11. Something like “tradition ascribes Kohelet to King Solomon” is more inclusive and probably more accurate.
    Why is it more inclusive? Who is it more inclusive of?

  12. Inclusive of those of us who take an academic approach to text. (The “Solomon wrote Kohelet” theory isn’t generally accepted as fact by people who date text using methods other than “It says in the Talmud…”)

  13. ProfK, maybe I could’ve been more general, but I’m not sure I wanted to be. All words carry baggage and meant whatever baggage comes with that one. Plus, I think it may be just the word she used in her original post.
    Rachel, sorry! I think your post was the one I was thinking of! I should’ve gone back and checked before I started mouthing off about things I think I remember reading almost two months ago on some blog.
    Dlevy and Jack, good points all around. I’m gonna go with dlevy on this one, though. I was a little weirded out by that “stock description” myself, but I didn’t want to break with HH minhag by altering it or not including it.
    But I must say, this is exactly the kind of discussions I was hoping to open up by bringing HH to Jewschool.
    Thanks for all comments, folks.

  14. DLevy,
    Gotcha. I suppose that I get lesss caught up with whether our good body Shlomo wrote it or not and spend more time with the validity of what was written,

  15. Well, whoever wrote the description above clearly thinks that understanding Solomon’s life helps understand the meaning of the verse, which is all well and good, unless it’s arbitrary. (It’s also ironic that someone lamenting vanity would need his own identity known to unlock the meaning of his wisdom literature. But that’s neither here nor there.)

  16. >>“It’s also ironic that someone lamenting vanity would need his own identity known to unlock the meaning of his wisdom literature. But that’s neither here nor there.”
    Actually I don’t find that ironic at all. The notion that wisdom or meaning can be snappily divorced from the identity and experience of the person speaking it is a very recent Western academic novelty.
    Context is critical to understanding the meaning of statements made by anybody. Consider three “sample” people: 22-year-old student, 48-year-old mother, 73-year-old president. The same words will have a very different meaning coming from each of those people.
    The groundwork of their life experience is critical to understanding the real substance behind what they’re saying (…or whether there’s substance there at all).

  17. I heartily agree with you, Eric, which is why I believe perpetuating the myth that Solomon wrote Kohelet obscures the meaning of the text rather than enhancing it.

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