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Haveil Havalim, the Vayishlach Venture


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

What is HH?

imageIt’s a weekly roundup of what’s new and great in the Jewish / Israel blogging world.  I host once a month to give you a taste of what other great blogs are out there that you might enjoy.  Hopefully, you’ll find some new favourites.

It’s been a quiet week for Haveil Havalim, but there’s still lots going on.  I’ll let all these terrific posts speak for themselves.

Oh – and what about this picture of otters? 

Just a friendly reminder that if post(s) of yours are included here, you “otter” be sociable and visit some of the other blogs listed here.  Leave a comment to let them know you came from HH!

Inside Israel…

Following a stabbing last week at the Rami Levy supermarket in Mishor Adumim, Jacob Richman says it’s important to keep shopping there.  He says, “if you really want to see what peaceful co-existence is all about, go do your shopping at Rami Levy in Mishor Adumim,” in Shopping at Rami Levi in Mishor Adumim.

Varda Meyers Epstein agrees, and shares the lousy turnout in her local Gush Etzion Rami Levy store at Israelly Cool in Thursday night and the shopping is easy, where she praises owner Rami Levy himself, saying he’s “committed to hiring workers irrespective of race, creed, or nationality.”

Varda also wonders if the current Knesset bill defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people really does threaten Israeli democracy like its opponents say it does, in Israel As The Nation State Of The Jewish People Or Things That Make Me Cross.  She says, “There is a long list of national flags that depict crosses but only one with a Jewish star.”

Simon Fischler calls for A Biblical Plague on Obama’s House from his blog, Maccabee Israel, saying, “Under the watch of Barack HUSSEIN Obama the world has become a far more dangerous place for Jews.”

At Shiloh Musings, Batya Medad asks, “What's Moshe Feiglin's real agenda?” in The Moshe Feiglin problem, saying she has “a tendency to remember what others would prefer I'd forget.”

Meanwhile, Batya also discovered in one terrifying moment that, though bus authorities are taking many safety measures to make sure travellers are secure throughout the country, some of the basics are being overlooked.  As she shares in Pikuach Nefesh, Life Saving on a Bus at her me-ander blog, she doubts if the bureaucrats who run the bus system have “ever traveled on a bus in recent years, certainly not [under] the conditions we must live with.”

On a lighter note, she discovered a beautiful new exhibit at the Israel Museum, all about the art of dance in Israel, in Israel Museum, Always a Joy.

Is it still worthwhile to buy from overseas?  Ester at Frugal and Kosher says we should all think again in Evaluating My Overseas Shopping Habit.  Her chart offers examples of “savings” that are no longer exactly the bargains they once were.  “I think you can see a pattern here,” she says.  “Now that the exchange rate is so much higher than it had been, ordering from abroad may not be saving us money.”

… Or on the way here…

Thinking about aliyah?  Here are two great new books reviewed by Rivkah Lambert Adler on Jewish Values Online that will have you laughing your way to becoming Israeli:  “Two new books, both completely absent a single word of political or theological polemic… capture the real experience of living in Israel.”  [disclaimer:  one of the two is by my husband, but it’s still worth reading!]

Want to know what’s weird in Israel?  The latest in my series Things that are weird in Israel, #12, reveals my discovery of Xmas… or at least, a little outpost of it in the middle of Haifa (home to many of Israel’s Christians).  A little bit tacky, and a few interesting surprises.  “See all those chestnuts?  This made me happy, knowing that chestnuts can roast over an open fire anywhere in the world… even here.”

And in case you’re wondering what season it is… well, you’re not alone.  I help you out in Seasons (don’t) change: 10 ways you’ll know it’s winter here in Israel with a list of Ten Special Signs of winter in Israel (based on our extensive single winter’s worth of experience!).

Coming to Israel is not always a joyous occasion, as Rivkah Harper writes in Around The World In 80 Minus 75 Days on her blog, Jewish and Homeschooling in an Amazing World, who packed all she could into 3 days in Israel.  This trip, her first in 18 years, was driven by the mitzvah to help bury her grandfather.  “This was not goodbye, Saba,” she writes.  “We will see each other again.”

Or just living our Jewish lives, wherever we find ourselves…

What is tzniut?  Some very enlightening ideas over at Breathing Space in On tzniut (modesty), where she writes, “I do not like Sarah, privately sitting in a tent. I like Rivkah, who crafted her own destiny, and the destiny of her son… Tzniut is aligning your outside with your inside, not aligning your outside with the outside of everyone else.”  Heck, yeah, this is a lengthy quote.  It’s powerful stuff.

If you haven’t celebrated Rosh Chodesh with a  group of women before, there’s no better place to start than Shiloh, the holy site where the Mishkan, the portable desert Tabernacle, stood for hundreds of years.  Join Batya of Shiloh Musings and a group of dedicated local women for their monthly women’s holiday, coming up during Chanukah.  Find all the details in Women’s Holiday, Rosh Chodesh.

Speaking of tzniut – here’s a modest yet humourous book about the mitzvah of going to the mikveh.  Take a look at this REVIEW & EXCERPT: There’s a Shark in the Mikvah! A mitzvah book with BITE? at my Adventures in MamaLand blog.  “Be prepared.  This book has bite, by which I mean attitude.  There are no bland platitudes here about the centrality of the mikveh to Jewish life… just fun, spicy anecdotes that add up to a very substantial whole.”

How do you scrapbook the last month of your son’s life?   Phyllis Sommer takes us through the task on her Superman Sam blog,  as we approach a one-year anniversary that will resonate throughout the Jewish blogging world:  “…to know that there will never ever ever be another photograph of him, that his physical self is just...gone… I thought this would be the hardest photo book I ever had to make.”  She says she was wrong.  Find out why in The Last Ones

Some of this week’s blog posts have been so impassioned, so thoughtful, so moving.  Thanks to all their authors for sharing them with me; now go on and read them all, if you haven’t already.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


  1. Tzivia, thanks so much for your wonderful  in Havel Havelim and including my posts.

    1. You're welcome! (oops that it's been a month and I only just saw this comment now...)


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