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Haveil Havalim: Bye-bye, Beha’alotcha


Yup, I’m super, super, super… late.  This will be my last time hosting Haveil Havalim, but I apologize to those who submitted posts for my lateness; it was not intentional.  I was supposed to post motzaei Shabbat, and it totally slipped my mind.

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.

  • Next week’s carnival will be hosted by the indomitable Batya over at Shiloh Musings

  • For more details, a complete schedule of future issues or to host an upcoming issue, please join the HH facebook group.

Don’t forget – the point of social media is… SOCIAL.  Stop by and visit some of the other blogs listed here.  Leave a comment to let them know you came from HH!


How is 2015 different from 2005?

The good (?) news is that there aren’t a lot of people participating in HH, or any other collective bloggy endeavour, these days.

Is this because personal blogs are “over,” at least in some way?  It’s possible.  It’s hard to believe that people in 2015 aren’t as interesting as they were in 2005, the heyday of blogging.   In fact, I don’t believe it.

But in 2015, the Internet is noisy, a phenomenon we confuse with “busy and full of more important things.”

In 2015, we’re selfish, and all eaten up with self-importance. 

The internet has convinced us that we don’t have the attention span to read long, personal posts.  We want to snatch and grab at quirky semi-true factoids and life hacks (“#13 will blow you away!”) wherever we find them, instead of taking the time to meet a blogger and get to know his or her style.

Bloggers offering useful, informative content (gack, I hate the word) will survive.  A handful of superstar bloggers will survive (Mayim Bialik!).  A few bloggers with truly exceptional stories will survive.

Us little guys in the middle… might not.

But to heck with all this pensiveness, we have some great posts to get to this week, belated or not.  I will sort them roughly the way I want to, and if you don’t like how they’ve been sorted… well, then, okay.

But first, an appeal:

Can you spare $5 or $10 or even $15 or more?  What if you could bring the gift of… well, if not sight itself, then sight in COLOUR, to a young husband who has been colourblind his whole life?  They have glasses now that will do that, and he’s only about $100-something away from reaching his goal.  Click to find out more from blogger Yehuda Miller at Migrating Millers in Please Help Bring Color to My Life.

What we eat and drink

Israel, summertime, and… beer!  What could be a more natural pairing?  Nothing, according to Doug Greener at Israel Brews and Views, who posted Beer festivals this summer: interim info.

Her secret ingredient?  I’m not telling!  I’ll let Batya tell you herself how she makes her new healthy but still husband-complaint-free egg salad.  I’ll give you a hint:  “It is much, much healthier and tastier than mayonnaise, and it has some similar characteristics.”  Find out what it is in Easy and Tasty Egg Salad Sans Mayonnaise.

Want another reason to visit Israel?  Varda Epstein provides a very good one for hummous and tehina lovers over at the Israellycool blog:  food poisoning, or the lack thereof.  Find out the top ten food-poisoning travel destinations and more in Another Reason to Visit Israel.

Aliyah and Israel

I was honoured to share a short, cute poem by a future olah who’s all wrapped up her frenzied preparations, right here in AliyahLand.  Maybe you still remember what it’s like?  (or, if you’re still not in Israel, what it WILL be like when you come?) Find out in Pre-Aliyah Stress: A Guest Poem by Yehudit Batya Shrager.

The Welcoming Olim blog hosted a guest post by veteran oleh Zev Wolf.  Thankfully, instead of focusing on the plight, he concentrates on useful tips.  “People generally want to help and telling them your story may move them to take action,” he says.  I totally agree.  Read more in Thoughts on the Plight of Olim in Israel.

The Sussmans ba’Aretz reflect back on the year that has passed since the three boys were kidnapped and murdered, and how precious it is to hear from her own son, and be raising her own children here in Israel.  “The families have called on the people of Israel, and around the world, to celebrate Unity Day.”  Amen.  Read more in Unity Through Tears: Remembering Our Boys .

Why is America beating a dead horse?  Good question.  Varda Epstein asks this over at the American Thinker blogs, asking, “Isn’t it time to come up with something better – something that works?” in Einstein’s Definition of Insanity and the Two-State Solution.

And speaking of Israel, and Varda Epstein, she has more to say (surprise, surprise).  “The bible, you see, isn’t just a book for religious kooks… It’s also a history book,” she writes in a new post at The Jewish Press, The Bestselling Book No One has Read.

What do cellphones and soccer balls have to do with one another?  Batya at Shiloh Musings has some answers.  Like so much these days, it’s all about BDS, and BDS, she says, “is just modern Nazism, plain and simple.”  Find out why in Cellphones and Soccer Balls: BDS versus Israel

Batya also points out what many Israelis around the country noticed, which is that not many people took last week’s security drills very seriously.  “I was in Jerusalem for both sirens. They were ignored.”  Is it important?  Read The Drill and decide for yourself.

What’s going to happen to the post office in Israel with the increase in electronic mail?  It’s already happening, according to Esser Agoroth, and many Israelis are not pleased with the impact it’s had on their lives so far.  He explains why in Say Goodbye to the Post Office.

What?  You’ve never heard of the Olive Tree Libel, that Jews (“settlers”) are running amok destroying “Palestinian” olive trees?  Brian of London uses a few pictures and video to dismantle this myth over at the Israellycool blog, saying “when it’s soldiers and little girls there are thousands of cameras; when it’s mythical acts of Jewish vandalism there are none.”  Check it out in Answering The Olive Tree Destruction Libel.

If the Jews are the light to the nations, and Jerusalem is the Jewish capital, then it just makes sense for it to be the home of an annual Festival of Light.  I caught a glimpse of it when I was there last Tuesday, but the festival itself didn’t open until Wednesday evening.  Jacob Richman was there and shared it in Photos and Videos of the Jerusalem Festival of Light.

Modeh / Modah ani…

Praising little daily things is one of the things the sabra does blissfully well at Al Tishali Oti.  Sometimes poetically understated, and sometimes, you get just enough to tease, as in My day is full of gifts!  “one of the showers was hot.”  I love this blog.

The cynic in me says it’s easy to blog about daily things like, well, seeing a movie if you’re Mayim Bialik, but it turns out she actually has a few interesting things to say.  “It is an assault on the senses and a challenge for your brain to hold it all in. But it is truly awesome.”  Not much Jewish here, but you can read more in My Feminist Review of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

This post totally went near-viral on facebook last week, and I can see why.  Sometimes viral stuff is just garbage, but sometimes, it really is important.  Do you want to give a sense of excitement and love as they had into Shabbos and not dread and frenzy like so many of us do (me, me, me)?  This is just Avivah Werner’s personal plan of how to accomplish a smooth, easy transition to Shabbat, but it resonated with so many people that I’m excited to share it in Getting ready for Shabbos early and in a relaxed way.

A little moment, but a Jewish moment.  Really, an Only in Israel moment, but I’m sharing it here because the Israel section is kind of full.  It’s a sweet moment.  It’ll take you ten seconds to read, and another five to share with folks who want to know what life in Israel is really like.  From Varda Epstein at the Israellycool blog, Only in Israel, Only Simchas.

It’s almost like an empty nest when you’ve got only one left at home.  Rivkah’s older kids have gone off camping, leaving her alone with one precious six-year-old.  What would you do if that one week was the only “me time” you’d have all year?  (I can totally relate.)  Find out in My Week of the Year.

Jews in the world

imageOne of my favourite speakers, ever, anywhere, is Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  So I’m totally jealous that Simcha Seeker over at Seeking Simcha got to go hear him speak in Modi’in last week to promote his new book, Not in G-d’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence.  Is it enough to say that most violence is coming from other religions?  Not entirely, suggested Rabbi Sacks.  “I think it can be useful for all of us to examine ourselves for traces of” harmful thought processes that can lead to violence.  Thought-provoking stuff… you can read more in 3 Tips for a Miserable Country from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

What does Judaism say about wealthy people and their indulgences?  And more importantly, what does the ever-controversial DovBear have to say about it?  This is part of a series, in which he proclaims, “In Pirkei Avos they teach that a world where everyone just does as they please regardless of how it effects the people around them is the world of Sodom.”  Read all about it in Legislating our way out of the world of Sodom.

How does Judaism speak to the issues involved in gender reassignment surgery?  Transgender people?  Talk about wallowing into a can of worms, but then, that’s the Rebbitzen’s Husband, who asks, “How would you greet a transgender relative? And do you have a Torah source to back it up?”  Want to know more?  Check it out in Bruce, Caitlyn and the Death of Neutrality.

Okay, that about does it.  I have read so much, and learned so much.  I hope you find something tasty and snackable here, and maybe – as I always suggest – a new favourite blog or writer to follow.

It’s been awesomely fun to host, a great honour.  Keep on blogging, and if you blog about Israel and the Jewish world, keep on sharing your stuff and encouraging others to do the same!

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


  1. Sad that you are leaving hosting.
    I believe that blogging on private blogs is still a wonderful medium. I have made many friends. Yes like you.
    so far will carry on
    Bli neder will blog about your post when home

  2. Thanks for the re-post!

    Seeking Simcha


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