Sunday, August 22, 2010

Haveil Havalim #281: The Summer's End Edition

Yom rishon, 12 Elul 5770.

Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish and 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 Jack. 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, "vanity").

So, summer has been hotter than usual nearly everywhere, and it's coming to an end.  Soon we'll be wishing each other to be written and sealed for a good year, and worrying about school supplies and if we have enough room for all of the guests for all of the holidays.  (Don't worry.  You do.)

As we prepare to be better people in 5771, let's also squeeze the last few drops out of summer in this issue of Haveil Havalim.

Two very cool kids, enjoying a summer outing before gan starts back up again in the fall.

Kashrut and Jewish Food:

Hadassah Sabo Milner effectively tackles one of the most daunting aspects of the Jewish kitchen in How to Braid a Challah, posted at In the Pink.  Six strands!  You go, Girl!

Rahel gives us a detailed and well-illustrated explanation of the pot-kashering process in The Great Kashering Caper, posted at Elms in the Yard.

Culture and History:

Mirjam Weiss delightfully shares a recipe, and a little Israeli-style camping, in Roughing It, posted at Miriyummy.

Ilana-Davita presents the second part of her photo essay on Jewish History in Hamburg (part 2).  In both parts, her photos and stories open a small window into a Jewish world long gone.

Nesher presents Dangerous Fraud of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, posted at Best Hoaxes and Pranks.


Susan Barnes examines powerfully and beautifully The Purpose of Prayer, posted at To Kiss A Mezuzah.

Batya's essay, Judaism, 24/7 (posted at Shiloh Musings), really resonates for me.

Allison Josephs presents the best and least-offensive explanation of Conversion 101 that I have ever encountered in Changing Teams: Amare Stoudemire and the Orthodox Perspective on Converting to Judaism, posted at Jew in the City.  (Be sure to check out Elle's comment, as well, for a nice addition.)

The apparently tireless Jacob Richman gives us Educational Resources and Cool Videos for the Jewish New Year, posted at Good News from Israel.

Ben-Yehudah offers his COMMENT ON JEWISH ISRAEL POST, posted at The Key to Redemption.

West Bank Mama reminds us about what not to take for granted when Praying for the Basics.

Mara shares very fairly and honestly her family's financial struggles in It’s not just the kosher food. Being Jewish is expensive, and invites her readers to do the same.  Posted at Kosher on a Budget.

Shira Salamone says, "In my opinion, the controversy surrounding the recent Kabbalat Shabbat led by a woman in an Orthodox synagogue is connected to a tendency to confuse minhag/custom and halachah/law."  She sets out to explain her position in "Conversion" of a different kind, posted at ON THE FRINGE—AL TZITZIT.

Batya discusses separate seating on buses and at kiddush in About Respect, posted at me-ander.

Hadassah Sabo Milner begins a lively discussion of Tuition, posted at In the Pink.  Interesting comments from the readers, in which at least one person (my friend, Baila) makes a reference to the lower tuition costs in Israel.


Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner presents a highly-readable and inspiring journey through a portion of Rav Kook on Teshuvah: Healthy, Natural and Guaranteed, posted at The Rebbetzin's Husband.

Ima 2 Seven says what a lot of us feel in If you are doing Elul right, it's hard.

Joshua Waxman asks "Did the eshet yefat toar dress so beautifully to distract the enemy armies?" in Distracting dress on the sidelines of battle?, posted at parshablog. He then explores further ramifications on the topic, such as such as maakeh and divorce, in Ibn Caspi and Diber Torah BeHoveh.

Chaviva shares her thoughts on a bit from the parshah, specifically on not wearing the clothes of the opposite sex and shaving, in Rashi on Shaving: Ki Teitzei, posted at Just Call Me Chaviva.

Rachel Barenblat presents a New translation of Isaiah for Yom Kippur, posted at Velveteen Rabbi.


As an olah chadasha (new immigrant to Israel), I am always grateful to have clear markers of my progress.  Ben-Yehudah helps me out with Ten Reasons You Know You're Israeli, posted at Esser Agaroth.

Rachel Neiman shares a delightful Nostalgia Sunday -- Haifa Postcards, posted at ISRAELITY. And for the ornithologists among us (Google that), she presents Foto Friday -- Jerusalem Bird Observatory, also posted at ISRAELITY.

The Dearly Beloved and I had a great outing, learning the how and why of tekhelet (the blue dye used for tzitzit, ritual fringes).  Travel with us, won't you?  "It must be similar to the color of the sea...", posted at Ki Yachol Nuchal!.

"So what if it's hot? We're going out!"  Risa introduces us to a boardwalk restaurant in Tel Aviv, Learning to Love It, posted at Isramom.  (Take more pictures, Risa.  The wine and platter were only an appetizer!)

David offers his hope for a positive future in The fall of a wall, posted at ISRAELITY.

Lady-Light shares Jane Corbin's report in Panorama Surprise: A Fair Report on Israel and the Turkish Flotilla Incident posted at Tikkun Olam  As Lady-Light says: "The BBC presenting an unbiased report about Israel? Priceless."

Sara Layah says, "Several Gush Katif residents who were uprooted, displaced, and their communities destroyed by the Israeli government have written books either in English, or translated into English. Here is a listing with brief description for those interested in learning more about life in Gush Katif from people who lived, loved, laughed, prayed, struggled... and cried."  GUSH KATIF BOOK FEAST, posted at Shiloh Musings.

Joel Katz presents Religion and State in Israel - August 16, 2010 (Section 1) and Religion and State in Israel - August 16, 2010 (Section 2), posted at Religion and State in Israel.

Risa proudly presents a video of a Zionist initiative in the Negev in Making the Desert Bloom: The MOVIE!, posted at Isramom.  It's a seven-and-a-half minute reminder of how and why to be a proud Zionist, with no apologies.

Mrs. S. offers yet another reason for national park membership in National Parks: Tel Chatzor Edition, posted at Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress.

Jacob Richman always takes some of the best and most moving photos at any Nefesh B'Nefesh Welcome Ceremony he attends.  See if you can spot any familiar faces in Welcome Home to the New Olim (and 382 photos), posted at Good News from Israel.  (I sure did.  If I'd know there would be so many chums among the guests, I woulda gone, too!)

Antisemitism and Politics:

Batya asks Why Israel?, posted at Shiloh Musings.

David Morris shares a surprising response from a Turk, as he showed him his Israeli passport, in Incident between Turk and Israeli, posted at Tzedek-Tzedek.

Lady-Light discusses George F. Will's scathing attack on the fact that "Patronizing American Lectures...Are Now Obscene", posted at Tikkun Olam.

Avi Abelow says it's time to make a choice in Pick A Side Video, posted at Chizuk Now!.

Independent Patriot speaks out in Law, Justice and the American Way: The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy, posted at Liberty's Spirit.



In her post, Fencing with the Photographer, Susan Barnes struggles with how to deal with mindless Shabbat desecration, and her own communication of this, at To Kiss A Mezuzah.

Home-shuling reminds us that Judaism is the hands-on religion for kids in Homeshuling's Top Ten Jewish Rituals Your Family Will Love.

Elianah-Sharon has been blogging her runners-up to her Jewels of Elul post scheduled for Sept. 7.  Her latest entry is all about a very special soul, whom I would delight in meeting:  Jewels of Elul...Another beginning.

And another of her runners-up can be read at: Jewels of Elul, posted at Elianah-Sharon.  If you ever wondered how to remain grateful under the most trying of circumstances, read her blog.  Great lessons here!

Batya posts at me-ander, wherein we get to share the very normal feeling of Losing It.  You and me both, girlfriend...

And speaking of losing it, Yisrael Medad offers a remarkable and beautiful story of a diamond lost and a diamond found in | BlogCentral | Green-Lined | Playing lost-and-found with a diamond, posted at Green-Lined.

rickismom offers Two Short Vignettes, posted at Beneath the Wings.

Hadassah Sabo Milner takes the leap to full new-self acceptance in Final Step, posted at In the Pink.

One of the privileges of hosting Haveil Havalim is the opportunity for a little self-aggrandizement.  Here I present a few words about one of my heroes.  Rockin' the Old Folks at Home, posted at Ki Yachol Nuchal!.

Minnesota Mamaleh shares a deeply felt moment in About Joy, posted at TC Jewfolk.

Chaviva appears to be getting quite a few advance orders on a future book in Judaism (and the Web) Saved Me, posted at Just Call Me Chaviva.


Ben-Yehudah (and Dov Bear?) present Heshy Fried's Save Eliyahu Weinstein send me your money now posted at Frum Satire.

David Levy says:  "This post includes a link to the Manischevetini recipe, a video of an old Jew singing 'Rehab' in Yiddish, and a TOP SECRET link to a Japanese production of Fiddler on the Roof performing 'L'Chayim' in Japanese. What can I say? I'm a giver."  Check out Wines, Whines, and Amy Winehouse, posted at's voice.  I appreciated David's statement that Manischewitz  is "the alcoholic equivalent of Cheezwhiz."

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Haveil Havalim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index pageNote:  Please forgive a little whining on behalf of the hosts.  Because I was busy making Shabbat on Friday (What can I do?  They expect to eat.), I had 16 new submissions to deal with after Shabbat.  I like to treat you all nicely and actually read your stuff.  Give a girl a break, gang.  Try to get your stuff in before the last minute.  Thank you.

News Flash for Jewish Bloggers!  There is a new kid on the block, that hopes to work hand in glove with Haveil Havalim to increase individual readership and general camaraderie among Jewish Bloggers.  Take a few minutes and drop by The Kehila to see what it has to offer you.
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