Haveil Havalim

The concept is simple – a carnival of blogs related to a simple topic – in this case, Israel and Jewish blogs around the world, summarized and presented to you in one place. It’s been going on for years, thanks to dedicated volunteers and this week, I agreed to host it. I didn’t take into account an emergency trip to the hospital (he’s fine, thank God). I didn’t take into consideration a birth (she’s fine and so is her new baby boy). I didn’t take into consideration having to deliver about 100 documents rebranded (let’s not talk about that one).

So here it is – a day late, but with no less enthusiasm – Haveil Havalim…

Several big stories this past week…

Israel and Politics:

  • On A Soldier’s Mother last week, I think my favorite was Jesus was WHAT?

Two from Esser Agaroth – always a Haveil Havalim favorite:

We’re still talking about the snow:

Jewish and religious postings:

Blogs I Follow Regularly

On a personal note, I’ve been following three very special blogs – sadly, all about cancer in one form or another. What strikes me about each one is the strength of the writer, the love and faith they have in their families, and in each case, the dedication of the ailing family member.

This one is very special because although I have either not met Erika, or met her only in passing, I’ve met her husband a few times. He’s a popular blogger, has an amazing sense of humor and a smile that can light up a room. I see pictures of the family and know that he has what to smile about. Unfortunately, Erika was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, and now Stage 4. She writes on Mama Bla Blah and deserves our attention, our prayers, and our love. So many would pull into themselves in her situation, so many would give up…I think I would on both counts…and yet she is sharing her battle, her determination. This is one to follow, and, as you do – please, as I do, say a prayer for the complete and speedy recovery of Erika bat Chava Ehta – and find the time to read, Mama Bla Blah.

The other two blogs that I am drawn to have ended in great sadness and yet I continue to read and watch as the families reshape themselves, dedicate themselves both to remembering and to moving forward. Neither is leaving behind the one they lost; both are struggling to help their children cope.

Crossing the Yarden – is a beautiful blog about Stella, by all accounts, an amazing woman who battled stomach cancer for years. It is written by her husband, Yarden, and you can’t help but feel amazingly comforted and grateful that he shares the ups and downs of his life since Stella passed away a bit over a month ago. If you have time (and sometimes a tissue), read Crossing the Yarden.

Superman Sam – written by his mother, Superman Sam is about an 8 year old boy who just lost his battle with leukemia. All you have to do is look at the picture to see the smile, the personality that was Sam. In Stella’s case, I met her once in passing at a wedding. I knew her story but didn’t really approach her beyond the typical small talk at a happy event of a shared acquaintance. I never met Sam, but I’ve been reading about him for ages. I wasn’t even sure how I connected to the blog…until recently when I saw a comment his mother had made years ago on this blog. At one time, she read my blog – I don’t know if she does. I am reading her blog, silently sending as much love and support as I can. I am in awe of her ability to get out of bed in the morning, let alone continue to write so beautifully, continue to share Sam with us, and support her family. Her children are blessed to have her as a mother…and I know she was blessed to have had Sam…for whatever amount of time she had him. So, again, if you have the time (and a tissue), read Superman Sam.

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