Sunday, August 29, 2010

Haveil Havalim #282

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").

Welcome to the August 29, 2010 edition of Haveil Havalim. For those of you visiting for the first time, Izgad is a wide ranging blog dealing with issues from Judaism, Asperger syndrome, to medieval and early modern history with regular side trips to the world of science fiction and fantasy. The underlying theme behind all of this (beside for me being able talk about whatever interests me) is a desire to transcend the regular dead end debates between left and right, religious and secular, and seek out alternative frameworks. (See Introduction and a Word of Explanation.) With this in mind, as host, I have been somewhat selective in which submissions to accept for this carnival. I rejected pieces that I found to be simple tirades from either the left or right. If there is going to be a link to something on Izgad it should be because there is actually something, whether I agree with it or not, that is the product of some serious thought and adds to the conversation I am trying to have here and to which I invite all of you to take part in.

I would like to begin with the posts that really struck a chord with me personally, not to denigrate the other quality posts.

Elise/ Independent Patriot presents a Guide to the Perplexed for those struggling with raising children on the autism spectrum and talks about her experience with her atheist Asperger son. Posted at Raising Asperger's Kids.

As an Asperger, I was delighted to see a post about Asperger syndrome and Judaism. Elise's discussion of her son reminds me of C. S. Lewis talking about how when he was an atheist he spent a lot of time not believing in God and being angry at him for not existing. This post also talks about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Hitchhiker, Maimonides and Asperger syndrome, what could be better!

 Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner reflects on the upcoming crop of rabbinical students and on the spiritual demands of blowing the Shofar. Posted at The Rebbetzin's Husband.

I found both pieces particularly touching. The former because, as someone heading toward thirty and who teaches high school and college students, I am beginning to realize that there is a generation gap between my students and me. God help me, I am one of the adults. As for the latter, I am the son of a rabbi, who always blew Shofar, but was never any good at it myself.

Getting Ready for the High Holidays

David Tzohar attempts to understand the inner meaning of Jewish prayer. Posted at Tzohar LaTeiva.

Rachel Barenblat writes about the concept of tikkun ha-sulamRepairing the ladder, and its connection to the month of Elul. Posted at Velveteen Rabbi.

Minnesota Mamaleh gets ready for the High Holidays with the help of her family's new puppy. Posted at TC Jewfolk.

Elianah-Sharon talks about the song "Seasons of Love" from Rent in Things You Need To Know About Me - Jewels of Elul (The Thing That Changed My Life). Posted at Irresistably Me.

This post is not really connected to Judaism, but I love Rent. I cannot resist any story that is tragic, depressive, kills off main characters and has the humanism to transcend it all. My personal favorite song is "One Song Glory."

Rivster presents Thrilling Dissonance about singing the passage from Jeremiah "zacharti loch chesed niuriach," used in the High Holiday services. Posted at Frume Sarah's World.

I also have a thing for this passage. Unfortunately most people forget what comes two verses after it.


Avital Pinnick, in Henna by Sienna, talks about Noam Sienna and his efforts to preserve Jewish henna traditions. Posted at This and That

Harry talks about attending a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Jerusalem. Posted at Israelity.

Risa writes about her recent trip to Tel Aviv and offers pictures in Tel Aviv - Revisited and the Klezmer Music in The Abuhav Synagogue in Tzfat. Posted at Isramom.

Thought & Practice

Rabbi Josh Yuter responds to R. Broyde's recent post opposing women leading Kabbalat Shabbat. While not disagreeing with R. Broyde's decision as a matter of policy, R. Yuter addresses the question of communal confusion in the decision making process. Posted at YUTOPIA.

Hadassah Sabo Milner presents The Art of Beginning Again – Spiritual Waters | In the Pink about her experiences using the mikvah. Posted at In the Pink.

Chaviva presents Taking the (Hair) Plunge about her decision to start wearing a sheitel. Posted at Just call me Chaviva.

Susan Barnes has a pair of posts on being part of a Jewish burial society, Chevra Kadisha Seminar - The Experience and Chevra Kadisha Seminar - The Knowledge. Posted at To Kiss A Mezuzah.


David Levy presents Roast Chicken Surprise, A Rosh Hashanah Recipe. Not that I recommend that anyone try this at home, but the post is funny. He also has Confessions of a Yom Kippur Slacker: I Never Fast. Posted at

Batya presents f2f With A JBlogger about her recent dining experience. Posted at me-ander.

Mirjam Weiss presents You Say It's Your Birthday. Posted at Miriyummy.


SnoopyTheGoon has an essay defending the theory of relativity from the charge that it promotes relativism. Posted at SimplyJews.

That concludes this edition. 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 page.



Technorati tags:

haveil havalim, blog carnival.


Jack Steiner said...

Thank you for your help.

Batya said...


Risa Tzohar said...

Nice going!

Abacaxi Mamao said...

FYI: The David Levy whose posts you linked to is the selfsame David Levy with whom we had ice cream in Brookline earlier this month.

Izgad said...


Small Jewish world.

Anonymous said...

Terrific work! Thanks so much for including my post. And yes, I am familiar with what happens just a few verses later. But I don't think that it need detract with the placement of this particular verse in the Shofar service.

Jack Steiner said...

I have received several emails asking about the selection process so I thought that I would address that here.

The official policy regarding submissions is as follows.

Blatant anti-semitism is out. Unbalanced Anti-Israel screeds are out. The spam we get promoting colleges, other religious groups etc, are all out.

The hosts are encouraged to include everything that is submitted. If they have a problem with a position they are welcome to write a rebuttal to it.

The purpose of the carnival is build community, generate awareness and discussion.

However, the host has latitude to run things in a certain way. If they choose to present a more narrow focus they are able to do so- it is their blog.

I encourage those who have emailed me to consider hosting for the first time or again. It is the only way that I can guarantee it will work the way that you want it to.

Anonymous said...

Excellent job! (I love One Song Glory too!) and my son is ALSO an Aspie :) It's great to "meet" you!!!

Elise said...

Thank you so much for adding my post to the list. I am really glad that it struck such a chord.

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

Thanks for linking, and I'm glad those posts resonated with you.

David Levy said...

Small Jewish world indeed! Thanks for including my stuff, and for a really thoughtful edition of H"H!

rbarenblat said...