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Jewish bloggers at JTA

The wild and wooly world of Jewish blogs is featured in a new article at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency site: Sermonizing mingles with sex talk as Jewish surfers pick up blogging, by Rachel Silverman. (The headline threw me for a moment, but she means "surfers" as in "web-surfers," not guys in wetsuits paddling out to sea...)

At times, the chatter between American Jews can seem hushed, even silent.

While questions about assimilation, Israeli politics and Jewish identity swirl overhead, many American Jews maintain an arms-length complacency about it all.

But a post, click and hyperlink away, the burgeoning blogosphere offers a forum for Jewish conversation...

The article features a few bloggers who've been in my aggregator for ages, and a few who were new to me. To my great pleasure, I'm in there too.

Thanks to blogging, Rachel Barenblat, the theology student behind the Velveteen Rabbi blog (www.velveteenrabbi.com), has become close to a Buddhist nun in Korea and a Baptist minister in San Antonio.

"I've come to feel very much like these people are my friends," says the Massachusetts resident, 30. "That we're sitting around a virtual coffee table."

Soen Joon and Real Live Preacher, I'm thrilled that she picked up on my comment about our friendship! (Regular readers here probably could have made the leap between "Buddhist nun" and "San Antonio Baptist minister" and the two of you, but I wanted to offer links in case anyone finds their way here from the JTA article and wonders of whom I spoke.)

Because I spent several years after college working as a journalist, I always enjoy being interviewed; it still feels novel to be the one answering the questions instead of the one scribbling madly. This interview was fun not only for that reason, but also because Rachel's questions got me reminiscing about how VR started, musing about why I blog, and paging through my favorite posts to give her a sense for the subjects I love best. (That I had written a Top Ten of '05 post just before she called was a big help in that regard.)

There is one note I want to add. Though Rachel quoted me on cross-blogosphere friendships and on the occasional acrimoniousness of the blogosphere, I don't want to give the sense that those two are equivalent impressions for me. Though I've received nastygrams in response to VR, they've been few and far between. Mostly, blogging has enlivened my life with conversations, and I have y'all to thank for that.

Anyway, it's a nifty article; go and read, and enjoy.

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