Havel Havelim is the most veteran of the jblogger carnivals and probably one of the longest running blog carnivals there is. Blog carnivals are like “floating” internet magazines. They float from blog to blog, like “floating crap games,” l’havdil.
Havel Havelim, the international jblog carnival, was established by Soccer Dad. The term “Haveil Havelim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and finally realized that it was nothing butnorishkeit, “havel” or in English “vanities.” I think that King Solomon and his father King David were the original “bloggers.” The books they wrote, when you take them chapter by chapter, can easily be described as blog posts.
I have to say, I’m overwhelmed with posts – not just the quantity, but the quality. When you host Haveil Havalim, you are often challenged to go outside your own opinions to present others. On the one hand, we are free to accept or refuse any post – on the other hand, we want to share a spectrum of opinions and voices. I found this a particular challenge this week as I thought that some of the posts may not be politically correct and yet offered a slice of the very Jewish blogging world we claim to be presenting. How can you make that claim and the filter out someone’s voice because they might write words you would not write, thoughts you don’t necessarily think? They are all so clear, so important – please take the time to read each one…you’ll be better for it. I know I am!
So – here’s this week’s Haveil Havalim – a roundup of posts from the Jewish blogsphere:
Let’s Talk about Israel…
Treppenwitz also posted about the First Day of School and what it’s like to have the Prime Minister come to school!
Let’s Talk about Judaism…
In Enough Already About These So-Called “Rabbis!”, Esser Agarot discusses how President Obama’s re-election campaign has announced the launch of “Rabbis for Obama” – and what the term “Rabbi” means (and doesn’t mean).
In Jewish Journal’s post on What Do You Want to Know About Synagogues? Susan Barnes tells of opening a recent edition of the Reform Jewish magazine expecting to find an intelligent discussion of what is important in a synagogue and instead found a list of completely useless trivia questions. And so, she sets about writing the quiz that she feel should have been there. And then gives her answers as well.
In Think Judaism, Yitzchak asks the question Is It Possible to Keep the Mitzvot Without Believing? which offers a translation of a correspondence between Yeshayahu Leibowitz and someone who practices but does not believe.
Let’s Talk about Life and the People We Love
My father lived his life to help others. To make this a better world. The Torah says that God does not destroy the Earth because he can always find a sufficient number of the righteous among us. I have never thought that to be righteous meant that you pray all the time or study Torah all the time. I have never thought that to be righteous means you are perfect all the time. How can we be? Afterall we are all human….So no, I do not think my father was perfect by any means…But to be righteous is to do what you can to save the world…..My father was one such righteous man.
Over the last few weeks, Ruth – known as Ricki’s Mom – has been sharing pictures and stories about Ricki on her blog, Beneath the Wings. Ricki recently passed away, leaving a much sadder world behind her. The pictures show a special girl, as she grew and despite her Downs Syndrome, there can be no doubt that Ricki filled her family and world with love. In The Photo, Ruth posts a beautiful picture and poem in Ricki’s memory. And in The Pendants, she writes of how she and Ricki made ceramic pendants that will be given soon, on Ricki’s shloshim, to her nieces.