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Haveil Havalim, the Vayeira Version


Welcome!  It’s well and truly Cheshvan now, “bitter” with the mixed blessing of wind and rain and all kinds of deliciously wild weather whooshing around me.  I’m going to reuse the banner I made last week for this post because I love it so much, and I made it, so I can do that.

If you’ve never been to the Haveil Havalim party before, you’re in for a treat.

What is HH?

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. 

As the host, I get to break the posts up into categories.  So much fun!

NOTE:  If post(s) of yours are included here, be friendly and visit 2-3 other blogs listed here.  I’ve done my best to make them all sound tempting and fun.  Leave a comment to let them know you were there.


If I forget thee (Jerusalem)

therealjerusalemstreets, in her usual poetic style, on Highs and Lows Felt in Jerusalem:  “Real Jerusalem Streets is not just about the good stuff, / but what is really happening. / On days like this it is hard to know where to start / and what to post, there is so much to say.”

Though kids around Israel are staying away from Jerusalem, realjstreets shared a video of thousands of them still coming for the year in It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, but Smile:  “…to brighten your day, I want to share something positive, really amazing when you think about downer world headlines.”

It may be the holy city, but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.  And you don’t always want to waste a shekel at the Merkazit.  Finding a new public bathroom right when you need one is a special kind of joy, as Batya at me-ander points out in the latest installment, #4, in her irreverently riveting series Pisher’s Guide to Jerusalem:  “…at my age, I've had to develop a good sense of where to find them.”

Have you ever watched a murderer die?  Paula R. Stern at A Soldier’s Mother asks this question as she shares videos of a recent terror attack in Jerusalem:  “imagine that was you, waiting for a train. …It's not too hot outside, the weather is supposed to get warm and sunny...maybe you need to go you have guests coming for the Sabbath? Did you buy tickets to a show, have a great evening planned?  ...seconds change changed these people's lives forever”

Batya at Shiloh Musings also recalls a long-ago terror attack, saying there’s nothing new in any of the recent events, in Yes, It's Deja Vu Time Again, Terror at the Bus/Train Stop:  “I remember a facing a wall when I was injured in the first such terror attack about eighteen years ago barely a kilometer from this attack. Nothing's new, unfortunately.”


Defending Israel

Featured on The Mike Report, Varda Branfman shares The J Street Challenge; Controversial Film has Seattle Premiere:  “[The movie is] more or less an old-fashioned call to a duel in defense of a wronged damsel (Israel) but with words instead of pistols. The J Street Challenge is Dudley Do-Right to J Street’s Snidely Whiplash.”

What are evangelical Christians really doing here?  The pun in the headline is intended in Jewish Israel’s post When in Jerusalem, Israel's Evangelical Pilgrims Feast, Prey and "Love":  “Why are certain Torah observant rabbis and leaders promoting the desecration of Judaism’s Sukkot holiday by participating in an evangelical festival of frenzied worship centered on "the crucified Jew"?”

When a U.S. official calls our prime minister a bad name, Batya at Shiloh Musings leaps to his defense in Re: Bibi "Chickens**t" Epithet and Iran Strike:  “If anyone is to look at this carefully, it shows the real cowardliness of the American Government and its president.”

Gail Winston shares a thorough roundup of news updates on Yehuda Glick’s progress in Gaza War Diary Mon. Nov. 3 DAY 119 2 Am, saying:  “His attempted assassin hit him point-blank with four bullets in his chest, stomach, neck & arm.  Each bullet missed a vital spot in his body.  To me that seems a really revealed miracle.  Baruch HaShem!  Thank you G-d!”

Good news from Israel

As long as there are Jews here, there will be good news.  Here are some of the folks sharing theirs.

Jacob Richman, on his happily-titled blog Good News from Israel, shares The Train Ride that I will Never Forget:  “an older Hasid… was getting up to leave the train. He looked at me and smiled and I think we both nodded at each other at the same time. He knew what we had witnessed was something very, very special.”

Miriam at Miriam’s Words is Shepping Nachas (even here in Israel, we Ashkenazi types sometimes pronounce it “nachas”):   “this past Moetzi Shabbat we had another first in our lives as Saba and Safta…our first grandchild to get engaged and become a Kallah.”

Who are the parents of the “Silent” Intifada generation?  Is one of them the chivalrous young “knight” who helped Ester many years ago?  She wonders in My Arab Knight:  “If his children are, indeed, part of the “Silent” Intifada I know it’s not because of the education he gave them. It’s because of the silence of the world.”

Torah Thoughts

Chief Rabbi of Uruguay Ben Tzion Spitz shares insights from the Baal HaTurim on the holiness of hosting guests, and a lesson we can learn from Lot for Vayera in Sacred Guests:  “May we have occasion to enjoy both hosting and being hosted by members of our communities.” Blog shares Torah thoughts for Lech Lecha in the context of a theatrical production based on the lives of Avraham and Sarah in Abraham & Sara All Alone:   “It was a very solitary life. The Stone Chumash says, "Though Avraham and Sarah had many disciples (we call them "souls" in our show), they were essentially alone; they could never blend into whatever culture surrounded them." They didn't have friends to share popcorn with on a Saturday night.”

Thoughts on Noach, terror and more surface belatedly in my own post No, we’re not all the same (even though I wish we were):  “We Jews may not always get along.  Okay, that’s probably an understatement.  I live in Israel, a country with more than thirty-five political parties.  But we take seriously the idea that we’re responsible for each other.  We reject Bavel and assert over and over again that human life is the primary value.”

Jewish Life

(this is the “everything else” category)

How do you know fall is here?  Miriam of Miriam’s Words explains how you can tell, at least in Israel:  it’s Krembo season!  As she explains in Traditions, Traditions, Traditions..... :  “More than fifty million krembos are sold each year. Krembos are a part of winter as ice-cream is a part of summer.”

I also blogged about the Coming of Krembo (our second since making aliyah) and the changing of the seasons in Coming True.  We had to buy a whole raft of Krembo for my son’s in-class birthday party.

Not every Jewish baby is an expected one.  And sometimes, the surprise is not always entirely welcome, writes breathingspace in Unexpected:  “This time, I felt like I am already drowning….Having an unplanned baby is the ultimate surrender of control.”

The Kvetching Editor, over at Just Call Me Chaviva, is surprised to unearth the Reconstructionist teachings on chosenness in Reconstructionist Judaism and the Chosen People, and tries to set the record straight:  “Unfortunately, the concept of chosenness is soooooo misunderstood. It doesn't mean chosen to be better than or more loved by G-d or more awesome.”

imageSo I sat down and wrote a book!  A chapter book, for Jewish kids.  And it turns out it’s all about Christmas.  I love how it turned out… and here’s why, in Why I wrote a Jewish book about Christmas.  (If you want to skip the details, you can jump straight over here to Amazon to buy it!)

Hope you’ve enjoyed this roundup!  Be sure to head over to Beneath the Wings for next week’s issue, and check out the HH facebook group to find out how to participate and submit your own links for future editions.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


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