Sunday, August 06, 2006

Haveil Havelim #81

Welcome to Haveil Havelim #81! Thanks to Soccer Dad, for his amazing work in making this happen every week. Especially in these extremely trying times for Israel and the Jewish people, it is so important that we stay together as a community, and stand ready to support each other. Haveil Havelim is a great effort in that direction.  So let’s begin with the most important issue facing the Jewish community today:

The Hezbollah/Israel Conflict

If you read nothing else from this entire Haveil Havelim, read Daled Amos’ piece on the Israeli children killed by terrorism since 2000, and keep that in mind when people who don’t understand speak of Israel killing a disproportionate number of Lebanese people. This shows without question how this latest conflict is a struggle for survival!

Neo-neocon did a post on the founders of the movement to pull Israel out of Lebanon in 2000, and their views on the present conflict that you simply need to read! Irina of The Ignoble Experiment prays for enlightenment on the conflict, and to determine how to speak to it when asked by non-Jews and how to take her own responsibility for the conflict; it’s an excellent piece that will have you thinking, guaranteed!

Batya at Shiloh Musings questions the morality of our present fight with Hezbollah, and compares it to Palmach’s battles with the British during the War of Independence in Israel.  And DesertPeace also finds the fight with Hezbollah immoral, but for far different reasons.

Carl of The Big Pharoah takes the opposite perspective in an extremely poignant post, examining whether Hezbollah is showing courage by facing off against Israel or cowardice in hiding behind Lebanese citizens. He created the map shown here which illustrates areas where they could fire from without endangering Lebanese people.

Chaim of Life-Of-Rubin expresses his outrage as the UN fails to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.  In contrast, Boker Tov, Bolder reports that IDF is actually calling individual citizens in South Lebanon and warning them of the Israeli attacks.  And Carl at Israel Matzav writes an important piece on Israel’s current actions and how they jeopardize the important relationship between Israel and it’s closest ally, the US.

And Rick Richman of Jewish Current Issues documents travels throughout Northern Israel in an effort to help new citizens in the country trying to cope with the horrors of this war – it’s long, but includes stirring pictures and a great deal you really must check out!

David Bogner of Treppenwitz saw the lack of news in the 24-hour news cycle on Sunday as a precursor to the onset of Israel’s ground war – a correct assessment!  The Hashmonean maps out Israel’s escalating offensive against Hezbollah as part of his ongoing coverage of the conflict.  While Michael Totten of Istapundit reports that even the reporters in the area have been threatened by Hezbollah.

Asher at Kesher Talk writes a strong piece, using various different articles to analyze whether Israel is actually winning or losing the war against Hezbollah.  The Psycho Toddler recognizes that we are losing the media war in our present conflict, and tries to help turn the tide.  And YMedad of My Right Word notes that Reporters Without Borders is taking an unbalanced approach to their depiction of the injuries to reporters in the conflict.

Gavriel at AbbaGav sees that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has the same solution as always for the end of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel: eliminate Israel. And Jewlicious does a roundup of posts on the most recent antics from Iran.

AllsonKS at An Unsealed Room writes from Tel Aviv as bombs fall in nearby Hadera, and she prepares for the possibility of strikes. And Isramom of Me-Ander chooses to stay out of the news cycle by refusing to be interviewed about having a religious son who’s a soldier.

Ben Yehudah uses a text from Lamentations to evoke thoughts of the evacuated Israeli cities of the north. And Shanah of ConservaJew refers to Psalms to show that, while G-d will set us on a path that can lead us to a better tomorrow, we need to find our own power, and take a lead role in achieving our better tomorrow, whether in the war or in our every day life; the post is truly awe-inspiring!


Richard of EU Referendum does an important piece on the sensationalism used by photojournalists in the present conflict. This Ongoing War wrote an incredibly moving piece comparing the supposed hurt of some people who use the death of children as propaganda with the real pain of people who have actually lost children, such as the parents of the victims of suicide attacks; read it, it is a great piece!

The creator of Haveil Havelim, Soccer Dad, puts the Qana incident into perspective by comparing it with the end of the Grapes of Wrath campaign of 10 years ago.  While David Bernstein, of The Volokh Conspiracy, reports on the disparity between the initial reports on Qana and what truly occurred. And Caitlyn of Zionism and Aliyah illustrates the double standard being shown towards Israel over the Qana incident, after a week of posts on the Qana attack.

SnoopyTheGoon of Simply Jews, in an excellent post, puts the incident in the simplest terms: the victims at Qana were sacrificed by Hezbollah to unite the Arab street and others! And Olah Chadasha at Greetings from French Hill asks why were the people in the building in the first place, based on the reality of why the building was bombed.  

Ra’anana Ramblings indicates that there is more to the story then is hitting the news wires.  And Tel Chai Nation lists evidence that shows the “massacre” was exaggerated.

Life in Israel

David Bernstein, of the Volokh Conspiracy, examines the accused “racism” of Israel’s right of return in a brilliant piece comparing Israel’s immigration laws to that of other nations such as Japan. And Carl of Israel Matzav speaks out against the destruction of homes considered illegal outposts by the Olmert administration.

Rahel of Elms In The Yard reports on security and the detonation of suspicious objects in her neighborhood.  Jameel of The Muqata tells a heroic story of volunteering for Magen David in Northern Israel that deserves all of our attention. Jameel also speaks out against Olmert’s use of the war with Hezbollah to enable his disengagement plan.

The Orthodox Anarchist speaks to the conflict between the Orthodox community and the Gay community in Israel as the country prepares for World Pride events, while Dag of No Feminists on a Sinking Ship indicates the Frum community should be ashamed for intimidating participants in the gay pride parade.

Life Outside Israel

Meryl Yourish republishes a post from 2005 about anti-Seimitism throughout the world that moved me incredibly and had me up all night; read it, and think about the true implications of all she says!  

Chiam at Life-Of-Rubin is appalled to find he is in agreement with Bill Maher, as he notes that Gibson’s anti-Semitism is indicative of growing sentiments around the world, while Elie’s Expositions says that we shouldn’t be surprised at all to find that Mad Mel is an anti-Semite after having seen “The Passion of the Christ”.

Jay Sounds Off examines whether Joe Lieberman took the Jewish vote for granted. Jay also posts on the Huffington Post picture with Lieberman in a black face.  Greg Gershman at Presence: The Place To Be reports that Rehoboth Beach, once off limits to Jewish, now has a shul.

David Bogner of Treppenwitz examines the nature of the fatal shooting at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle by asking the question: Who is a terrorist? Rahel of Elms In The Yard has no problem declaring the perpetrators of the attack terrorists, while Irina at The Ignoble Experiment produced an excellent post that examines the legal definition of terrorism and tries to fit this attack into that definition. And Olah Chadasha of Greetings From French Hill uses the Seattle shooting to raise generalities about the state of anti-semitism in the media and in the world today.

Mottei of Letters of Thought takes some amazing photos of Cufut Qale, a Jewish cave city in Russia.  A Simple Jew reports on the heart-breaking mass graves uncovered in the Ukraine from the Holocaust.  And Shlemazl provides a very thorough history of Judaism in the Middle East.

Much thanks to Irina of The Ignoble Experiment, who provides a Russian post by Kyshara on the disturbing trend of associating the current Israeli administration with the country itself.


Batya of Shiloh Musings comments on hearing her referred to by her Rabbi as he spoke on Kiruv, the act of helping non-observant Jews move closer to Orthodoxy.

Tobie of Voices In My Head writes her opinions about the performance of mitzvot as rituals or based on emotion.  While Reb Chaim HaQoton addresses the age-old question of who is a Jew.

Tisha B’Av

The Velveteen Rabbi does a very nice roundup of Tisha B’Av posts, and examines the practice of not studying Torah on this fast day. While Bri of Pursuing Tzedek likens the destruction of Tisha B’Av to the destruction of New Orleans and does a roundup of articles describing the aftermath of Katrina. And Rafi G of Life in Israel relates a specific Kina to the kidnapped soldiers of our current conflict.

Greg at Presence: The Place To Be traces the origin of the fast day of Tisha B’Av to Israeli departure from faith in God by utilizing spies in a truly great post.  Rahel or Elms In The Yard looks at the more literal meaning of the holiday, and shows the fallen stones at the base of the Wall that still exist today (pictured here) as a constant reminder of this sadness in our history.

On a more practical note, Rooftopper Rav of JewSchool looks at the dangers of fasting during a heatwave.  And the Velveteen Rabbi searches deep to find what Tisha B’Av means to him so he can relate it to his congregation.  And at SerandEz, a stirring peace by R’Yakov Horowitz is reprinted, speaking of the unique challenges we see on this Tisha B’Av; you really should give this a look!


Shanah of ConservaJew points out that Paula Zahn is asking the most important question of the day: are we facing the apocalypse today?  Dag of No Feminists on a Sinking Ship asks an equally pressing question: should the Brady Bunch have dumped Jan instead of Tiger?  And Gavriel of AbbaGav has an exclusive, indicating that Hezbollah has a new favorite actor, Mel Gibson!


Aishel on Verbiage reports on the state of Jewish posts on Wikipedia. And speaking of verbiage, A Simple Jew ponders why her son won’t correctly pronounce her daughter’s name. And what’s more, Dot CO Dot IL had a Shabbat meal with a star as he ate with the voice from Aladdin.

The Scotch Blog reports on the kashrut of whiskey and its role in orthodox Judaism.  Judith of Kesher Talk commemorates the death of a writer Steven Vincent.

Author’s Notes

As always, it was a great experience to produce this week’s Haveil Havelim, because of the excellent quality of writing throughout the Jewish blogosphere. I actually read every article I posted here, and commented on nearly half of them.  I intend to go back and comment on the other half.

Try to do so yourself. The Jewish blogosphere is a great thing, and you can support it not only by writing posts yourself, but also by encouraging other writers with comments and frank debate.  Think of how you appreciate good comments, and provide them to fellow writers.

Additionally, my site, Perspectives of a Nomad (I don’t need a link since you’re all already here) is looking for guest posts, so if you have something you would like to write about, consider writing a guest post here.

Thank you tremendously for allowing me to write up Haveil Havelim…I would produce it every week if it were possible, as it really is an opportunity to support our community.  And show much love to our benefactor, Soccer Dad, who makes this great project a reality.

I believe Soccer Dad is also producing next week’s Haveil Havelim, so if you would like to submit one or two of your best Israel or Judaism related posts send him an e-mail at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.
In addition to e-mail you may submit entries to Haveil Havalim using either Conservative Cat's handy dandy submission form or the submission form over at BlogCarnival. Or feel free to e-mail him at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.
My thoughts and prayers go out to our troops in and around Lebanon, and to all those people living in Northern Israel. Thanks for reading, and may peace find us tonight and all nights.  Erev Tov!

Posted by Scottage at 5:03 PM / | |