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Haveil Havalim, Behar / בְּהַר Post-Party Edition


If you weren’t in Israel, you missed Yom HaAtzmaut.  Sure, you may have celebrated even if you don’t live here, as I did for many years before we made aliyah.  But I’m going to take the self-righteous leap and say that you haven’t truly experienced it if you haven’t been here.  It’s not just a party… it is a celebration of national pride, on a spiritual and physical level.  Awesome.

Now the party’s over, but don’t worry – there’s more fun coming, in the form of Lag b’Omer and then Shavuot.

So what are we doing here?  Hosting Haveil Havalim, of course!

imageThis is a weekly roundup of what’s new and great in the Jewish / Israel blogging world.  If you haven’t checked out these great blogs yet, you really should. 

  • Last week’s was hosted by Batya over at Shiloh Musings
  • Next week’s will take place at Esser Agoroth.  Submit your posts to esseragaroth “at” gmail “dot” com.
  • For more details and a complete schedule, please join the HH facebook group.

So while we’re recovering from the party (and waiting for the next one to begin) let’s check in with what’s late & great from around the Jewish World!

Normally, I split the links up into categories… but absolutely everything this week was about Israel, from start to finish.  As is probably fitting this week.  So I made up  my own “categories.”  Enjoy!

Setting off Fireworks

Before we came here, I always assumed there wouldn’t be fireworks in Israel.  I guess I figured there was too much stuff exploding as it is.  But as Batya points out in Yom Ha'Atzma'ut Explosion of Joy 66!, there’s also a spiritual side to the celebration.

Lemon Lime Moon comments on tensions that broke out during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s presence at a Yom HaAtzmaut ceremony over his decision to free prisoners in Netanyahu ' Honors' the Dead, saying “In what far out universe does one honor the dead by freeing their murderers?” 

The Spiritual Side

Yerushalayim wasn’t the only location liberated from Jordanian rule in 1967.  The ancient Biblical site of Shiloh was also reclaimed in the 6-day war, as Batya explains in Women, Join Our Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh.  Join her each month in the monthly women’s Rosh Chodesh tefillah on Tel Shiloh, the site where the ancient Mishkan (tabernacle) rested for almost 400 years.  (I did!  It was great!)

Fascinating historical fact:  “it is no idle coincidence that the Treaty of London, which would drag Britain into the conflict after 75 years, was signed on Friday the 5th of Iyyar 5599 (19th April 1839), the same date and the same day of the week on which Israel would become independent 109 years later.” writes Devash in Restored-Jewish-Sovereignty-in-the-Land-of-Israel Day.


Getting Your Facts Straight

Still believe that “Israel was brought into existence by the European powers in order to ease their consciences after the horrors of the Holocaust were revealed”?  It’s a myth, says Brian (a fellow Feb 2013 NbN Go North pilot tripper, now living in the north!) in Misconceptions Concerning Zionism and Against Founding of IsraelWhat are the other misconceptions?  Read it and be forearmed against those who would delegitimize Israel.

“The… adversarial statements by United States Secretary of State John Kerry…could be a harbinger of troubling times,” writes Brian, yet in Would Loss of American Unquestioned Support Destroy Israel? he says he’s unafraid.  Whether you agree or disagree, it’s worth a read.

As a victim of a past terror attack, Esser Agoroth also takes issue with the abuse of the rhetoric of terror in the recent death of 20-year-old Shelly Dadon, saying in his post Believe it or Not, Shelly Dadon was Killed by Arabs, not Jews, “To refer to graffiti, even to the slashing of tires and other vandalism as an act of terrorism is more than ludicrous; it is truly offensive.”


Simply Proud

Sure, we’ve all heard of SodaStream (now!), but I had no idea that Fiverr and many other companies are based in or were started in Israel.  Naomi Goldberg shares her favourites in 66 companies that make me proud to be Israeli.

Interested in exploring one of the country’s natural wonders?  The Eilat Coral Reef Reserve is a great place to start, writes tour guide David Ben-Sira.  It’s not overrun with tourists, he says, but there’s a snack bar and on-site gift shop, as well as changerooms with showers, so you’re never too far from civilization.

For me, being Israeli is still a strange, new thing.  Mostly good-strange, but sometimes disconcerting.  Two posts this week deal with different aspects:  one, Learning patriotism, for Canadian beginners., is all about my adventures in discovering patriotism (relatively) late in life, and the second, When chummus comes a-knocking… is a lighter comment on my distaste for this beloved national “dish.”

(Or Not)

“I do not celebrate the birth of the State of Israel, because I despise it,” writes Rafi Farber in Why I do not Celebrate the Birth of the State of Israel.  An unpopular sentiment, perhaps, but it’s seems that it’s more statehood that he opposes than Israel.  I’ll let you get the details from him – you may still disagree, but do read the piece before forming an opinion based solely on its (inflammatory) title.

Ariel ben Yochanan writes, “Let's call a spade a spade and say that these are pogroms!” in reply to some discouraging news in This Is Terrible!

The media here has been abuzz with an incident concerning the trial of David HaNahalawi, mainly because so many soldiers and civilians have reacted in unprecedented numbers through the semi-anonymity of social media.  Esser Agoroth stands with the soldier, saying “There are plenty of additional injustices being executed by the Israeli Government against its own constituents,” in I Stand with David the Nahal Brigade IDF Soldier!

The Israel Prize is the country’s highest honour, handed out once a year on Yom HaAtzmaut to to an Israeli citizen or organization who has “displayed excellence in their field(s), or have contributed strongly to Israeli culture.”  In The State of Israel Awards One of its Loyalists a Prize: Big Deal!, Esser Agoroth takes issue with one of this year’s selections.

The Sting with the Honey

The flipside of happiness is sadness, and there is plenty of it in Israel on Yom HaZikaron.  This country which we celebrate with joy was won with tears.  “All of the pain, all of those wonderful people dead,” says Batya in Understanding Israeli Independence, No Fairy Tale.

Sometimes, celebrating Israel comes down to the small “everyday” moments, touching ones and happy ones, as Mrs. S. asks, “What small yet meaningful moments defined Yom HaZikaron/Yom HaAtzma’ut 5774 for you?” in A Tale of Two Moments.

Hope you check out at least a few of these posts… and tell their authors HH sent you!  Remember to submit your posts for next week to esseragaroth “at” gmail “dot” com.

[photo credit:  Chris Young, via flickr]


  1. Replies
    1. Happy to do it, and I've signed up again for another... I'll try to get to this more regularly as life shows signs of settling down.

  2. Wonderful job! Thank you for including my post!

    1. I thought your post gave a lot of balance to this round-up; thank you.


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