Roundup of This Week on the Web: Haveil Havalim, The Jewish Blog Carnival
Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs founded by Soccer Dad. It's a weekly collection of Jewish and Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. The name comes from the second verse of the book of Ecclesiastes, generally translated as "vanity of vanities" -- the exasperated cry of a speaker frustrated by his fruitless search for meaning. You can see why it's appropriate for a collection of blog posts.
The carnival is hosted by different bloggers each week and devotedly coordinated by Jack. I'm breaking a little bit from the usual format, experimenting with some different categories and editorializing a little more than some of the other hosts do. The good news is, if you don't like how I've handled this, some one else will be in charge of next week's edition!
To submit your posts for inclusion - or to find out where to find the carnival each week - click here. And now, on with the show:
First, some posts on the topic of Tisha B'Av, which fell on Monday night and Tuesday of this week. Batya at Shiloh Musings notes that the existence of this very blog carnival, bringing together a wide range of Jewish voices, models the kind of respect and tolerance we are supposed to learn from Tisha B'Av.
Leading up to Tisha B'Av, Mordechai Torczyner (aka The Rebbetzin's Husband) wonders if his "Orthodox Infallibility" has blinded him to the possibility of recognizing the messiah, should the messiah's Jewish practice look different from his own.
Ever wonder what it would feel like to observe Tisha B'Av on the site where the Temples stood and later fell? Yisrael Medad did just that and blogged about it at My Right Word.
Lady-Light of the blog Tikkun Olam sees in Tisha B'Av a call for Jews to take back the Temple Mount. (To me, this sounds awfully close to incitement to war, which is an awfully peculiar take on a holiday on which we're charged with mourning the losses that arise from hatred.)
Independent Patriot, of the blog Liberty's Spirit, also sees in Tisha B'Av a call to action, to make our own redemption, but with a slightly different conclusion. (This is a long post, but worth getting to the end.)
Of course, there was more to the week than just Tisha B'Av!
Chaviva Galatz of Just Call Me Chaviva modestly titled her post Shabbat Thoughts, but it's really an important reminder of how our faith dictates us to treat converts. In light of what's going on in Israel with the conversion bill, this could easily be filed under "politics," but since she mostly writes about how we treat individuals from the perspective of Jewish tradition, it feels more appropriate in this category.
Ari Hart of Jewschool shares the recently released Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in the Orthodox Community, inviting discussion. (Consensus so far: better than we expected, but not really satisfying to anyone.)
Dan Brosgol, of JewishBoston.com, spends some time on Shabbat Nachamu reflecting about Rav Kook's religious Zionism and wondering what it means for those of us who continue to live in the diaspora while calling ourselves Zionists.
Parents and Children
Donna Powell wrote a powerful reminiscence of how a chance encounter with a Chabad rabbi gave her strength to minister to her son as he fought terminal cancer.
Remember when Newsweek released a list of 50 influential rabbis and we all just yawned? The Forward's Sisterhood Blog stayed awake long enough to notice the scarcity of women on the list, so they made their own. Jewschool's David A. M. Wilensky takes a look at how they did.
Anyone who loves broadcast journalism surely heard about the death of NPR news analyst Daniel Schorr. Lady Light shares some memories of him at her blog, Tikkun Olam. As she succinctly put it, "Daniel Schorr was a journalistic icon, the last of the Edward R. Murray team on CBS. I will miss his reports."
Jerusalem wins big in Travel & Leisure magazine's World's Best awards, with Tel Aviv not far behind, via Israel 21c's Israelity blog.
Robert J. Averech has a conspiracy theory: Liberal Media Conspired to Kill Stories about Jeremiah Wright. Read about it at his blog, Seraphic Secret.
Also from the right, but this time in Israel, Yisrael Medad of My Right Word responds to the Arab propaganda that is still with us published by King Abdullah I 63 years ago. (Don't ask me why, 63 years later, this merits a response. Yisrael only says "There's an effort to rehabilitate an Arab ruler who, like his grandson, is viewed as the 'likeable hero' of the Arab-Israel conflict.") He also takes issue with the reporting of an IDF Civil Administration action in the West Bank.
Writing at his "other home" on the net, the Arutz Sheva blog From the Hills of Ephraim, Yisrael Medad asks an important question about the US involvement in the peace process: is the way the US funds cultural programming pushing Israeli and Palestinian residents of the West Bank farther apart?
If you haven't yet seen the YouTube video "Only Israel," Israel 21c's Israelity blog has it for you, along with some commentary about the song's quality (fair) message (harsh) and effectivenes (very). Lady Light of also wrote Tikkun Olam about the video.
Avrum Burg created a new Jewish-Arab political party in Israel. Jewschool's Kung Fu Jew is skeptical.
David Tzohar looks back at disengagement from Gush Katif and concludes it was an exercise in futility, from his blog Tzohar LaTeiva. Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver of A Chassidishe farbrengen also reflects on the history of Gush Katif with A Jew Doesn't Expel a Jew.
I saved my favorite category for last.
Benji Lovitt of What War Zone? found an Israeli store whose name loses something in translation. He also offers a rant against a Jerusalem supermarket with customer service so poor, it could be the cause of the entire Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
SnoopyTheGoon of Simply Jews got wind of Inspire Magazine, an online publication designed to recruit for Al Quaeda, and decided to offer some free editorial advice. In another post, he relates his experiences with the security team at Heathrow airport.
For the final link in this week's blog carnival, I've saved Susan Barnes' post "Changing Plans," from her blog To Kiss a Mezuzah. It's a very sweet story of an intergenerational friendship, saying goodbye, and remembering that sometimes it's necessary to change our plans at the last minute.
I hope among all these links you found something new to read that piqued your interest. And if this is your first visit to JewishBoston.com, I hope you'll poke around our site and see all that we've got to offer. (Also consider following us on Twitter at @JewishBoston and becoming our fan on Facebook!) Have a great week!