Sunday, January 08, 2006

Haveil Havalim #52

For those of you who still don't know what HH is all about, here is Ezzie's official HH definition:
Haveil Havalim is the 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 Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon. 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.”

Originally, Daled Amos suggested to Soccer Dad that the theme for this edition of HH be dedicated to "New Year's Predictions" from around the Jewish Blogsphere - let's put aside for a minute the question as to why the Jewish Blogsphere would offer "New Year's Predictions" in January as opposed to Elul or Tishrei.

However, with the massive stroke suffered by Ariel Sharon on Wednesday night (IST) - that no one in the Jewish Blogsphere predicted (although, Barak of IRIS disputes that assertion, with a prophetic posting that he made back on Dec. 21st), nothing seems to be the same; not in Israel, not in the Jewish world, and not in the Jewish Blogsphere. As such, I have been struggling with the best way to go about this edition of HH - specifically with how much focus to place on posts related to Sharon, in relation to posts from the 1st half of the week - pre-stroke. I have tried my best to include as many different perspectives as possible, and hopefully I haven't left too many blogs out.

Hopefully, this HH will strike a Solomonic type balance, and leave everyone in the Jewish Blogsphere both content and caught-up.

Ariel Sharon:

Barak of IRIS shows how he managed to scoop the mainstream media on the Sharon medical crisis - by a lot.

Mere Rhetoric was with the story from the start, providing everyone in the Jewish Blogsphere with up-to-the-minute news and analysis - relive the drama from the beginning and stay tuned to MR for the latest updates: Part #1, Part #2, Part #3, Part #4, Part #5, Part #6, Part #7, Part #8, Part #9, Part #10.

Soccer Dad provides us with his own recap and analysis. He also offer some criticism of a number of Sharon's policies that will affect Israel (negatively) long after he is gone, as well as offering his predictions for the future of Sharon's Kadima party. Yoav of New Zionist takes a look back & a look ahead.

Could Sharon's stroke have been prevented? Barak of IRIS believes that the answer is a definite YES, explains how the medical crisis came about, and puts Sharon's medical treatment into perspective for us.

Did you know that Pat Robertson speaks for G-d - at least when it comes to Ariel Sharon? Meryl Yourish did. Smooth Stone tried to figure out why she's being compared to Pat Robertson.

Roger L. Simon shares a personal encounter that he had with Ariel Sharon.

Live Dangerously shares her reaction to 1st hearing of Sharon suffering a massive stroke - forcing her to put all politics aside. Ze'ev of Israel Perspectives shares his own initial reactions. Orthomom is pretty upset about the whole thing, as is Renegade Rebbetzin.

Dry Bones Blog provides the implications of Sharon's stroke in a way that only it can. Joe Settler has his own predictions.

Whether you want to describe the State of Israel as being comatose or in a state of confusion - either way, It's Almost Supernatural believes that Israel is in big trouble. In Context offers seconds for that assessment.

Jerusalem is the place to be questions what Sharon's legacy will be.

AbbaGav wonders whether the BBC is tearing up over Ariel Sharon suffering a massive stroke as it did over the passing of Yasser Arafat.

Yaakov Menken of Cross-Currents asks if Sharon's stroke is a measure of Divine punishment for his involvement with Israel's "disengagement" from the Jewish communities of Aza and the Shomron.

Bluke of Jewish Worker asks what we should be learning from these events?

To pray or not to pray (for Ariel Sharon) - that is the question - that Jewish Blogmesiter is asking himself. Batya muses about who & what she's praying for. Sultan Knish explains why he won't pray for Sharon (nor will he take part in the new religion of Sharon cult-worship), Dov Bear, unsurprisingly, disagrees. Ze'ev of Israel Perspectives wonders if all this prayer talk is mere lip service. Elder of Zion believes that those who are happy about Sharon's suffering are creating a Chilul Hashem (Desecration of G-d's name).

Boker Tov, Boulder shows us that Jews aren’t the only ones praying for Ariel Sharon. Smooth Stone shows us a picture of some who are taking this opportunity to celebrate and offer prayers of thanks.

Meryl Yourish brings us Ariel Sharon's last interview.

If You Will It reminds us that as strong and unstoppable as Ariel Sharon was a mere few days ago, ultimately, it is G-d that calls the shots. Godol Hador isn't so sure that G-d had anything to do with Sharon's stroke. Tovya of Zion Report believes that Sharon's fate rests in the Hands of Hashem. David of Treppenwitz makes it clear that while Hashem is involved in all aspects of life, it would be the height of arrogance to interpret Sharon's illness as a punishment for his actions.

Chayyei Sarah expresses how strange it was to be outside of Israel when the news of Sharon's stroke broke.

Talk about bad timing... Don of On the Contrary posted a humorous post about the bribery scandal involving Ariel Sharon, when only a few hours later, Sharon suffered his stroke. Don debates whether or not to pull the post.

Israel Political Scene - Not Sharon related:

If You Will It discusses a number of challenges facing Israel, regardless of how things with Sharon turn out.

Daled Amos asks whether comparissons can be made between acting PM Ehud Olmert and LBJ? Meryl Yourish compares him to Harry Truman. My Right Word reminds us of some of Ehud Olmert's previous statements.

Joe Settler tells us about the The Jonathan Pollard "Illegal" Vineyard, and shows us the pictures.

It's Almost Supernatural discusses the strategic importance of the Jewish community of Alfei Menashe, located in the Shomron.

My Obiter Dicta recommends some required reading.

Menorah informs us of a new Jewish movement to secede from the State of Israel.

Faith in Nathan suggests that treason is the raison d'etre of Meretz.

West Bank Mama of the West Bank Blog makes the case for a particular Israeli Arab, who she believes should be given a shot at joining Israel's Air Force. She also highlights the conection between the 10th of Tevet and "Defensible Borders" for Israel.

Daled Amos brings us the results of the "Palestinian Truce of 2005" - that was supposed to bring about an end to all terror attacks against Israel - here's a sneak preview: it didn't.

IRIS gives us a closer look at how Israel's missile nightmare scenario is becoming reality. Tel Chai Nations shows us how the Israeli Government is refusing to fight terror.

Israeli elections are on the horizon, and Cosmic X has no idea who he is going to vote for.

Batya is critical of Ehud Olmert - the Finance Minister - for a new policy of his that adversely affects the Jews formerly of Gush Katif.

My Right Word wonders whether the UK media only used the word "terror" when it affects British citizens. Of course, Ha'aretz, on the same story, refered to those involved as "militants".

Aliyah Blog lets us know Israel's booming dot-com industry. Am Echad is excited about Israel's booming economy - and he credits Bibi Netanyahu for it.

Chanukah Wrap-up:

Remember Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure? Well, Jameel of the Muqata has come out with the Chanukah edition - Part #1, Part #2. Jameel's Bogus Journey led to a debate over the appropriateness of parents exposing their kids to danger.

Find out why Shifra is going through the post-Chanukah blues.

Dov Bear shows how Ma'oz Tzur is more than just a song.

Yitzchok Adlerstein of Cross-Currents shares with us the story of "Herzl's Menorah".

Jewish Current Affairs:

Live Dangerously gives us her analysis on Steven Spielberg's film on the Munich massacre.

Do you know who the Hyksos are? Elie's Expositions tells us - and why we should care.

The Curious Jew wonders whether Tzniyut is really as important as its made out to be...

Could Shlomo HaMelech have invented cars? Bluke of the Jewish Worker examines this possibility.

Paul of Bloghead shows us how the Orthodox Jewish community is evolving - especially when it comes to accepting the Theory of Evolution. Godol Hador wonders why some Rabbi's get stupid when it comes to evolution.

Is Aliyah for everyone? McAryeh of A Whispering Soul bears his own soul on the matter, and Jameel adds his own two cents, to which McAryeh replies with some more of his thoughts on the Aliyah issue. Aliyah Blog posts about the responsibility that goes along with Aliyah.

Jameel asks what do LabRab, Steg, Shifra, Elie, Orthomom, IsraeliGum, DovBear, Krum, Amshi, LittleWolf, Jack, Ezzie all have in common? (Hint: It might have something to do with the theme of the posts directly above this one).

Random Jewish Blogsphere Musings:

You decide: Who has the best blond joke? Jameel of the Muqata, David of Treppenwitz, or Ezzie of SerandEz?

Kumah writes an open letter to the folks over at Jewschool and Jewlicious defending the Aliyah Revolution.

Jack's Shack at The Jewish Connection shares a joke of his own - "What do Jews do at a stop sign"? In spite of his attempts at humor, he is still told that he's just not funny. He also makes some confessions.

Ze'ev of Israel Perspectives shows how Sex in the City has come to Israel - Part #1 & Part #2. Ze'ev also started a trend dubbed as "Sex for Hits" posts - one that was copied by both Gil of Hirhurim and ConservaJew.

Jack shares some Random Thoughts about a special prayer experience that he shared with his son one Yom Kippur.

If You Will It reflects on the world around him changing - and the changes he is making to keep up...

Yaakov Menken of Cross-Currents ponders the future of Jewish music.

Batya introduces us to the Kosher Cooking Carnival (Thoughts from a Rabbi offers his own resources for kosher cooking blogs). Batya also tells us about her New Year's Eve party - or was it?

Shifra, of Ask Shifra presents us with the 2nd episode of "The Modern and the Orthodox". Shifra's daughter enlightens us with some words of wisdom that will guarantee that you never look at a skunk the same way again.

A Simple Jew presents us with a true Shtetl mystery that has yet to be solved. He also asks what's in a name?

Here's a "Behind the Blogs" look at McAryeh.

Ezzie of SerandEz is becoming a fan of Israeli TV.

Heichal HaNegina teaches us a new Carlbach niggun, and shares a beautiful Shlomo story.

Out of Step Jew celebrates the 100th birthday of Nechama Leibowitz. He also wonders whether Jews are genetically predisposed to be smarter than non-Jews.

Faith in Nathan complains about being harassed by Ghetto Jews.

Tovya of Zion Report goes on a search for love on Google, and while he might not have found any, Israel sure did.

If you want to help someone heal, then check out this new blog, suggested by Renegade Rebbetzin.

Beyond Teshuva devotes two recent posts to dating in the Jewish world: 1st, a post on reverse discrimination in dating, and 2nd, Shidduchim, the dating scene at Penn, and the Baalat Teshuva.

JIB Awards:

Voting for the JIB awards, courtesy of IsReallyCool and the Jerusalem Post, get underway Sunday the 9th of Tevet (and January) - and a number of bloggers breakdown the field for us (I'm not overly bitter that due to technical difficulties my blog has been excluded from the JIB's):

Jewlicious provides us with the JIB "Play-by-Play".

Ezzie of SerandEz devoted a number of posts this week to the JIB's:
Nominees, Best Post - The List, Best Post - The Good, Best Post - The Better, Best Post - The Best.

It looks like I am not the only one bitter about the JIB's - Jack's Shack opens up and shares his gripes.

Obligatory HH Wrap-Up:

Next week's HH is being hosted by Elie's Expositions. Submissions can be sent to rosenfeld dot elie at gmail dot com (, or to the Conservative Cat Carnival submission form.

Haveil Havalim can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's uberCarnival.


During a week dominated by one story, you've done a great job at showing what else is out there to read.

Thanks for a great HH.

By Blogger ifyouwillit, at Mon Jan 09, 12:54:00 AM GMT+2  

Amazing HH - and I haven't even clicked on the links yet.

LOL - Didn't know my definition would ultimately define HH. I wonder if it will be the same next week... :)

By Blogger Ezzie, at Mon Jan 09, 02:17:00 AM GMT+2  

Outstanding work here, kol hakavod.

By Blogger Jack's Shack, at Mon Jan 09, 03:24:00 AM GMT+2  

nice breakdown, and thanks for including two of my posts. be blessed.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Mon Jan 09, 04:59:00 AM GMT+2  


By Blogger Batya, at Mon Jan 09, 06:51:00 AM GMT+2  

Thanks so much for the link!

By Blogger Irina Tsukerman, at Mon Jan 09, 07:36:00 AM GMT+2  

Thanks for a beautiful HH, and for including me. Just for the record, though, the niggun in my post is not exactly new [having been composed in 1964], but rather describes the situation under which it was composed "way back then." :)

By Blogger yitz, at Mon Jan 09, 11:54:00 AM GMT+2  

Well done, Ze'ev - you did a good and sensitive job in a week when the task was monumentally difficult. Kol hakavod!

By Blogger Don Radlauer, at Mon Jan 09, 11:54:00 AM GMT+2  

Great job of gathering together such a broad array of such interesting links!

By Blogger Daled Amos, at Mon Jan 09, 01:32:00 PM GMT+2  

Wonderful job, and thanks for the links.

By Blogger orthomom, at Mon Jan 09, 05:36:00 PM GMT+2  

Wow thanks for the generous linkage!!
Shekoyach, I would never have had the fortitude for all that hyperlinking! I must ask... how long did it take you?

By Blogger Shifra, at Mon Jan 09, 06:36:00 PM GMT+2  

how come you didnt link to my blog???? everyone else is up there!!!

Just kidding:-)


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jan 09, 08:57:00 PM GMT+2  

Sultan reached new heights (lows) with his one sided political logic for Sharon and sick people. Really sick indeed.

By Blogger The Town Crier, at Mon Jan 09, 11:09:00 PM GMT+2  

I got to your site from In Context, a blog I check almost daily, and I'm glad I did (no, this isn't a spam comment). I write about a lot of different topics, but pretty frequently about stuff related to being Jewish and my time abroad in Israel. I'd love to know how I might contribute to a future version of the carnival.

Thanks - Jill Miller Zimon

By Blogger Jill, at Mon Jan 09, 11:51:00 PM GMT+2  

Great job - I'm still going through all of this great reading material.

Thanks for including me.

By Blogger westbankmama, at Tue Jan 10, 11:28:00 AM GMT+2  

Hey, thanks for including me! Wow! :)

By Anonymous chana, at Wed Jan 11, 12:23:00 AM GMT+2  

Ze'ev you did a great job - thanks.

By Blogger Smooth, at Thu Jan 12, 04:49:00 AM GMT+2

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