Haveil Havalim #326: Jewish Blog Carnival, the post-Tu-B'Av edition
August 21, 2011
Welcome to Haveil Havalim #326!
Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs, a weekly collection of Jewish and Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by a different blogger each week, coordinated by Jack. (The name of the carnival, which means "vanity of vanities," is a quote from Kohelet 1:2 -- "vanity of vanities, all is vanity!")
Last time I hosted the carnival was Havel Havelim 36 back in 2005. (I knew it had been a while, but didn't realize it had been six years! Looking back at that post brings back a flood of memories; it's sandwiched in between posts about beginning my chaplaincy internship and my first day of rabbinic school. Holy wow.)
Curating the carnival -- and for that matter, reading the posts in the carnival each week -- offers a fascinating set of glimpses into the many-splendored thing which is the Jewish blogosphere. Intriguingly, the submissions which came to me via the blogcarnival submission form were mostly Jewish Israeli posts, with relatively few from Diaspora bloggers. I've also added links to posts from some of the other Jewish blogs I read, so this week's carnival draws on a slightly broader than usual subset of Jewish voices.
With no further ado, here's my roundup of some of the week's highlights. Here are posts on Torah (a diverse set of reflections on the weekly parsha and on Hasidic thought), Holidays (looking back at Tisha b'Av, exploring Tu b'Av, and diving into Shabbat), Jewish Life and Culture (posts about social media, Jewish dress and food, Yiddish, Jewish history, travel, and more), Israel (from the tent city protests to the recent attack in southern Israel, from tips for aliyah to a glimpse of post-Zionism), Personal Life, and Tikkun Olam (social justice, Somalia and Uganda, race relations, misogyny, and more). Enjoy!
Reb Jeff presents Ekev: Deuteronomy vs. Job -- "who says that we should reject everything in Torah that makes us troubled or uncomfortable? Once the red ink starts in editing the Torah, it is difficult to keep it from flowing onto every page. I would prefer to see what is truthful in the passage and also to acknowledge the discomfort. I would rather argue with the Torah than ignore it." -- at A Rabbi's Search for Jewish Joy.
Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver presents The interdependence in the echelons of creation -- "Why did Hashem create mankind in a way that he needs to eat in order to survive? Moreover, food comes from domem, tzomei’ach, and chai. Why should mankind be dependent upon the creatures at a lower echelon than his own?" -- posted at A Chassidishe farbrengen.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs presents Can We Talk? A d'var Torah for Ekev -- "We know how to accuse one another of naiveté, self-hatred, selfishness, and general idiocy. But talking—and listening—comes far less easily." -- posted at the Rabbis for Human Rights blog.
Sue Swartz presents Fantasy Land -- "The Torah is fantasy. No, not that kind of fantasy, i.e., totally made up stuff. Nor do I mean the wizards/dragons/alien marauders/magical ring stuff that entertains and enthralls. More like the oh-if-only-this-relationship-would-work-out-my-life-would-be-perfect kind of fantasy – a communal dream of grandeur and happy times with deep psychological resonance and lots of prescriptive morality thrown for good measure" -- at Awkward Offerings.
Here's a post which went live last week but wasn't included in Haveil Havalim: Tisha B'Av, Spiritual Tourism, and Depression, an anonymous guest post at Jewschool which looks at how painful it can be for those who struggle with depression when coreligionists "dip" into sorrow during the Three Weeks without recognizing that some of us live bein ha-meitzarim, "in the narrows," all the time.
And before we move on to joy, one more memory of Tisha b'Av: Rabbi Shulamit Thiede blogs about Lamentations -- both the classical text, and contemporary lamentation in response to the experience of abuse -- at Adrenaline Drash.
Here at Velveteen Rabbi this week I shared A gift of Shabbat morning joy, about a sweet moment in my life as a congregational rabbi, and Happy Tu b'Av, exploring the history and meanings of this once-great festival of dancing in the vineyards.
Also on the Tu b'Av front, neil fleischmann presents Happy Tu Be'Av and Much Much More -- a look at the history of Tu b'Av, and a blessing to his readers "to remember the truths about life and relationships, what truly counts and what actually counts as being true" --posted at NY's Funniest Rabbi.
And Daniela presents Lindt Double Milk Chocolate Bar & Carmit's Heart Tu B'Av Marshmallows -- a look at various chocolate options, and suggestions for which might make the best Tu b'Av treat -- posted at Isreview. (She also shares a post about Post's Mini Cinnamon Churros -- kosher, naturally -- though there's no Tu b'Av connection there.)
Jewish Life and Culture
Rivki presents Using social media in a positive way, part one -- a look at setting healthy internet boundaries -- posted at Life in the Married Lane.
Also on the social media / internet use theme, Margalit Hoffman presents The Facebook Churban - A Look at the Impact of Social Media on a Jewish Family posted at Maven Mall.
And Ima2Seven presents Facebook and Orthodox Judaism -- her response to Margalit Hoffman's post -- posted at Ima 2 Seven.
Batya presents Non-Halachik (Following Torah Law) Jewish Culture, Society -- her take on Jews who "could be Jewish eating shrimp in the local Chinese restaurant" -- posted at me-ander. She also offers a story about Jewish "Burqa Lady" at Sha'ar Binyamin.
Susan Barnes presents I Don't Hate the Person - I Just Hate Their Actions, an exploration of the oft-quoted maxim about hating the sin and not the sinner, posted at To Kiss A Mezuzah.
Chaviva presents Nebach. He's So Shtark! -- "in which I wax poetic about all those Yiddish words people use and assume everyone understands" -- posted at Just Call Me Chaviva.
Mystery Woman presents Shidduch Tumult -- a post suggesting a new way of handling the shidduch (matchmaking) process -- posted at Mystery Woman.
Lucy Cohen Blatter presents A New Kind of Kosher Delivery at The Jew and the Carrot.
Frume Sarah presents a Nomenclatural Crisis -- "wouldn't it be easier to fit in as 'just another mom' without the clerical title?" -- at Frume Sarah.
Batya presents In A Parallel World, Written for Voices Magazine -- a meditation about how visiting the United States feels to her now like entering into a parallel world -- posted at Shiloh Musings.
Jason presents 1942: Janusz Korczak and his orphans -- "On August 6, 1942, in the Warsaw Ghetto, Polish/Jewish hero Janusz Korczak marched with his orphans to the death trains and into legend" -- posted at Executed Today.
Allison Josephs presents Born This Way, But Commanded To Change -- "God makes no mistakes. But we sure do. He created us imperfect and commanded us to change. How do we know which parts of ourselves need to change and which parts of ourselves are 'beautiful in [their] own way?' The Torah tells us." -- posted at Jew in the City.
Rabbi Josh Yuter presents "Gadolatry" in Orthodox Jewish Discourse -- an exploration of when reverence for great rabbis and halakhists verges on a kind of idolatry -- posted at Yutopia.
At Global Voices Online, Gilad Lotan presents Protests for Social Justice Sweep the Country. (Also worth reading at GVO on the subject of the Israeli protests: Can a Hashtag Spread Hatred?)
Batya presents Bad News Travels Fast, a story about a funeral, posted at me-ander.
Sharon A presents Disengagement, Six Years Later posted at The Real Jerusalem Streets.
At South Jerusalem, Gershom Gorenberg shares Police to Protesters: Move to Migron, a look at official Israeli police response to the tent city protests and to settlers in the illegal outpost of Migron.
Emily L. Hauser offers Reading the tea leaves of chaos -- "When you look at the Palestinian attacks in southern Israel, it’s apparent they were well-planned. When you look at the speed with which Israel reacted, it’s apparent it was well-planned. There is readiness for war on all sides, and when one side delivers, the other obliges." -- at Emily L. Hauser: In my head. (Als worth reading on her blog is Israelis (finally) take it to the street – part III, an explanation of why her optimism about the Israeli protests is slim and guarded.)
At State of Formation, Rabbi Ela Merom offers Revolution of Consciousness in the Land of Israel of the Year 2011, "a proposal to build the third temple with bricks of justice and senseless lovingkindness."
Rivkah Lambert Adler presents Rivkah's Random Klita Tips -- practical tips for those who make aliyah -- posted at Bat Aliyah.
Joel Katz presents Religion and State in Israel - August 15, 2011 (Section 1) and Section 2 -- a roundup of various voices on current affairs in Israel (e.g. "We may discover that the secular public did not go morally bankrupt, as we are accustomed to saying with more than a hint of arrogance, and that while we slept or guarded some remote outpost on a hill someone else took up the role of moral leader") -- posted at Religion and State in Israel.
Kung Fu Jew offers a taste of Post-Zionism? from an unlikely Facebook source, posted at Judaism Without Borders.
Tomer Devorah presents Our Right to Exist -- arguing that "our 'right to exist' in the Land of Israel depends solely upon our adherence to Torah law and the pleasure that Hashem takes from it" -- posted at Tomer Devorah. Also at Tomer Devorah is Why it's abomination, a post about Glenn Beck's upcoming rally in Jerusalem.
Batya presents The "Right of Return," Jewish Rights to The Promised Land -- arguing that the Bible is a historical document and the claims presented in Tanakh are the only claims which matter -- posted at Shiloh Musings.
Rabbi Brant Rosen notes acerbically that With our Economy Tanking...81 House Members Head to Israel, posted at Shalom Rav.
Jacob Richman presents Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 276 photos) posted at Good News from Israel.
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer presents Jewish Heresies, Then and Now -- "As I listen to Jews discuss which positions on Israel are now kosher or treif, I realize how quickly those borders can and do change" -- at the Huffington Post Blog.
Mordechai Torczyner presents Should my children bless the State of Israel? -- a musing on text added to the Birkat HaMazon -- posted at The Rebbetzin's Husband.
Harry presents Playground protest, articulating his frustration with lousy public playgrounds in Jerusalem, posted at Israelity. He also offers Unaccompanied minor and Five funny years in Israel.
Esser Agaroth presents Sara Netanyahu's "Natural Surroundings" -- arguing that Israel is the "natural surroundings" of Jews, not of others (such as the four-year-old Filipina girl Ofek, soon to be deported) -- posted at Esser Agaroth. He also offers Terror Strikes Southern Israel! Is Egypt To Blame?
And on that front, Rabbi Brant Rosen presents Tragedy in Eilat and Gaza: How Should We Respond? at Shalom Rav.
Susan Barnes presents What I Can't Seem to Forgive posted at TC Jewfolk.
Rabbi Brant Rosen encourages us to support relief efforts in Somalia, posted at Shalom Rav.
Avi Smolen presents Caring about "The Help" -- about the new movie which tells the stories of black nannies and housekeepers in the 1960s and the indignities that they experienced working for white families in the Jim Crow South, and about mistreatment of domestic workers today -- posted at the JSpot blog.
Emily L. Hauser presents Questions and answers: misogyny and violence edition -- a post about an Ohio senator accused of attacking his wife, and the senate's unwillingness to do anything in response -- at Emily L. Hauser: In My Head.
BZ shares Two amazing Jewish social justice opportunities in Washington, DC at Jewschool.
Here at Velveteen Rabbi I shared Fields of dreams, a post about the Ugandan Little League team which qualified for the Little League World Series but wasn't allowed to enter the US because of visa issues caused by developing-world paperwork.
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