Well, this is my first time hosting the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival. I'm actually not nervous about it. I'll just do the best I can,...then stand by and await your scrutiny and [hopefully constructive] criticism. What's the worst thing that could happen? I'll just be banned by Soccer Dad from hosting it ever again....
Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Soccer Dad. The term 'Haveil Havalim,' which means "Vanity of Vanities," is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other 'excesses' and realized that it was nothing but 'hevel,' or in English, 'vanities.'
So, I was thinking about what theme I should make for the 101st edition:
Haveil Havalim 101 (Alla a college course like Psych. 101 or Poly Sci. 101)
Post Hanukkah Blues (Nah, too late)
Preparing For Tu b'Sh'vat (Nah, too early)
After the snow fall in Israel a week and a half ago, I thought seriously about...
Only 73 Days Left Until Spring (Nah, I'm sure the snow-lovers will outnumber and overpower this "don't know from snow," native San Diegan)
Of course, there's always...
The First Haveil Havalim of the New Year
But HaZa"L (Our Sages, may their memories be for a blessing) only mention four new years (Mishnah Rosh HaShannah 1:1):
1 Nissan - the New Year of Kings
1 Ellul - the New Year for the tithing of the beasts
1 Tishrei - the New Year of the "Years," sabbatical and Jubilee years
15 Sh'vat - the New Year of the Trees (Beth Hillel)
January 1 isn't one of them. Here in Israel, I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that a bit, well, more than a bit, of European culture has snuck in through the back door. The day celebrated here with wild parties of drunken debauchery is called Sylvester, after the day dedicated to a leader of the catholic church of the same name. But, I seriously doubt that's what the catholic church had in mind. Yet, it does ring true to the reputation of Roman culture, located in what is now greater Europe (Read: New Roman Empire).
I don't know about you, but the only Sylvester I knew as a kid was Sylvester the Cat. I thought that I would call this edition of Haveil Havalim the Un-New Year's Edition, as Sylvester is not one of the afore-mentioned new years. Nah! Too obtuse....
OK, so then I thought I'd be clever and look up the 101st pasuq of Qoheleth, the book of origin of the the phrase "haveil havalim," and see what theme could be developed:
Let us begin with Torah...
Backing up a bit in time, Avromi at Daf Notes Discussion provides us with Reb Oizer Alport's comments on last week's Parshath Wayigash. He also provides us with his notes on Mesekheth Rosh HaShannah (Bavli), daf 29 in "Power Of Tefillah."
Rafi at Life In Israel also reminds us of the important concept that dinim (legal stati) are not based on "feelings," or for that matter hashqafah (point of view),...whether I like it or not. In his entry Teddy Kollek's Legacy, he sets a good example for us by bringing in sources to back up his position.
The Israel section begins with Dag who opines on the latest controversy in Israel, a decision regarding women's education in Haredi communities. A summary of this decision appears in the Ha'Aretz newspaper. And Batya sends us an additional opinion post on the matter, this one by Liel Liebowitz, posted at Holy Heresy.
Rafi updates us on another controversy, as he defends Rabbi Nosson Slifkin.
And speaking of controversy, Carl in Jerusalem updates us on the state of the State, and it doesn't seem to be doing so well:...the IDF searches for more options to defend the Negev, as the governemt won't really let it do its job, even though a think tank encourages the government to attack Azza. So, overall, the government isn't a terribly successful one, but reather a spineless one. But, if Prime Minister Olmert were to vacate his position, who would be there to take his place, do you think? None other than... And, don't miss the great photo on this post, courtesy of The Muqata, reminding us not to let the Orthodox Union of America [OU] off the hook! (Whew!)
Meanwhile, yet another scandal is brewing, or rather another tangled web is being woven: This one is related to taxes!
Nu? Who knew? Well, in Getting Closer, Batya at Shilo Musings didn't seem too surprised by the scandal. She also notes some criticism of the IDF command's handling of last summer's war. (That's right; it was a war.) She also takes time to reflect on life in her town of Shiloh, with "Not Even A Month?" and "From A Different Perspective." on Me-ander.
And speaking of taxes, Rafi reports on the new strategy being taken by the residents of S'deroth, who have been bombarded by rockets for the past two and a half years. They're "suing the state for backtaxes." Carl and Batya chime in on this one, too.
Yisrael at My Right Word suggests we learn from America's fence faux pas, and apply it to our own impending, idiotic fence disaster in Fence Overrunning; I've Told You So. He then exposes more idiocy in Throwing Good Money After Bad. He also sets the historical record straight in Finkelstein Flunks. Check out his cap off, or rather night cap, photo from Absolut.
And while we're busy dealings with our own issues, Glenn has to remind us with whom we're dealing on the outside.
But there are some important, non-political endeavors going in the Negev as well, Andy at Cozy Corner reports on Fishing In The Desert, covering one of my favorite topics -- Jews getting back in touch with the Land. Andy's entry combines two of Israel's crucial fields, agriculture and aquaculture.
Another important endeavor taking place in Israel is the repair work up in the North, where residents are still trying to recover from last summer's war with Hizbollah YSh"W. (Let's call it what it was, People,...it was a war.)
Some of you may not yet know Ben Baruch, creator of the Shabot 6000 comic strip. So, it's my pleasure to introduce you to him. Ben Baruch started a blog just over a year ago, and it's worth checking out. He covers every thing from the trendy, Jewish entertainment scene in New York to this week's post on a mission to the North of Israel to help in the recovery process. Shelter Life illustrates one of the projects, Jewish artists brightening up some of those dismal bomb shelter interiors. Check out his January, 2007 archive for more on this mission.
Now, moving from Israel to outside of Israel, Elder Of Zion provides us with evidence which suggests that a certain country has more of a chance of collapsing before Israel does. Can you guess which country that could be?
But, before we leave Israel, the Hedgehog Report updates us on the US Government's stalling the move of its embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Batya notes the segregation of smokers,...finally, at the airport, as well as what the new arrivals are wearing on their feet, even though it's freezing!
From Outside of the Homeland:
Rondi at Wonkitties provides us two pieces of evidence as to why Jews really ARE in control of everything: Exhibit A & Exhibit B.
Erica tells us the intriguing, page-turner story of her first-hand encounter with a terrorist,... in New York!
Bagel Blogger brings us a very special story of his families' appreciation for Shabbath.
The Town Crier proudly gives us some Hanukkah highlights from the Munkatsh Yeshivah Choir. Yet, he doesn't deem like a happy camper, when it comes to the prospects of a John McCain Republican presidential candidacy. You'd better check out the honorable senator's views on Israel here before you cast your vote. The Town Crier also introduces us to Dr. Mandy Ganchrow's blog with his post "Morality/Populism and the Anti-Semites are at it again."
Sadly, Baleboosteh must report on Australia's Increase In Violent Anti-Semetic Attacks. And, according to Bagel Blogger, Australia also has its connection to Islamic terrorisim.
Also sadly, the Jewish Blogmeister reports on a tragic incident resulting from mixing alcohol and American New Year's celebrations, confirming my comments above. And, he has more bad news for us on the West Coast of the US with Self-Hating Jew trying to Kill other Jews in Iran.
Even though this one's from a month ago, I'm posting Lisa's take on the not-so-Conservative Movement. I just wanted to make sure you knew about her fantastic blog, Lamrot Hakol (Despite Everything). Perhaps her background will allow you to accept her political-incorrectness, more so than from others!
Linda at "Everyone Needs Therapy" takes a look at kids "Skipping School," how and why, and provides some suggestions to parents as to how to respond. She also includes some great diagrams which illustrate and help us to understand some of our family dynamics.
I'm putting this under Health, too. Neil Harris at Modern Uberdox shares with us a technique which has helped him to decrease the frequency of an undesired behavior in "Stretching my own Bechira Point."
Even as your "open-minded" (uh-hem!) blog host for this week, I still must exercise my professonal responsibility by mentioning that this technique will not work for every one, and will not work in every situation. We are all different, and our issues are all different. In addition, please bear in mind that if an issue causes you pain and/or anxiety, then it's up to you to decide its importance. Others may perceive your issue to be innocuous or serious, but they're not the ones who have to live with it. Follow Neil's example, and give yourself permission to seek help and support, professional or otherwise.
These photos by A Simple Jew remind us that a picture truly is worth 1,000 words, and most certainly warrant their own topic heading. I would like to encourage other visual artists to join A Simple Jew in next week's edition.
Mottel at Letters of Thought gives his take on Jewish Reggae sensation Matisiyahu Has No Place To Be. (Those of you who know me know that I'm just itching to spell his name Matithiyahu. But, hey, it's his name, so I'll let go...this time!) And, I can't help but chime in here with my own Esser Agaroth (two cents). I think that raises up reggae music through the content of songs, and perhaps even provides Rashafarians with a tiqun. But that's just my Esser Agaroth.
Israelly Cool livens things up a bit with Top 10 Separated At Births.
Snoopy the Goon at Simply Jews takes us on a unique, yet crucial journey, enlightening us as to the fate of a particular famous person's foreskin. (eyebrows raised!)
Pragmatician begins a series of marketing lessons. Part 1 involves studying your child.
Well, I am sure I will "get it" from those of of you on both the right AND left of the political and/or religous spectrum, but no I am NOT making a Saddam Hussein YSh"W section. Those of you who posted on his recent esecution are getting relegated to HH's "Misc." section. And, although I must admit, these posts were interesting, this guy is just not getting his own topic heading. Here are the links to Mottel's, Yekutiel Ben-Ya'akov's, and Carl's #1 and #2 respective posts. And, of course, I can't resist posting a link to a video of the Saddam Is Dead Party, held in Jerusalem this week.
But, an execution wasn't the only surprise in Baghdad. Check out Judeosphere's discovery in "Heir Apparent."
And, last but not least....I'd like to introduce a new term, which, of course, is not really new...
(blogging about blogging)
Jack at Random Thoughts writes about How Personal Should A Blog Be.
Well, as we say in Israel, v'zehu nigmar! (That's it; it's finished!)
Please send your posts for next week's edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival via the Blog Carnival Submission Form. I found this to be very helpful in organizing your posts this week. Plus, it doesn't look like we have a host for next week, so there wouldn't be any other place to send your links to. If you're interested in hosting please contact Soccer Dad at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.
And, finally I 'd like to thank Batya, Soccer Dad, and Bagel Blogger for their assistance and support in getting through my first Haveil Havalim!
I await your scrutiny.....