Saturday, March 14, 2009

HH #208: The Lingering Post-Purim Hangover Edition!

Welcome, one and all, to Haveil Havelim #208, The Lingering Post-Purim Hangover Edition! This is my first time hosting HH, and I couldn't be more excited!
Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs — a weekly collection of Jewish & 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."
I'm pretty sure this edition title applies to many of you, but unfortunately it doesn't apply to me! I was in transit from Chicago this Purim, so I missed a lot of the stellar parties and nifty outfits. Luckily, plenty of bloggers out there offered up pictures of themselves in their RIDICULOUS outfits, so I'm going to pepper this HH with those dashing photos. There were a LOT of submissions, including a lot of folks who, well, sent me more than double the suggested (demanded?) submission amount, so if you don't see something you sent here? Well, I'm anti-Spam and all about brevity. ENJOY!

I can't even begin this edition of HH officially without devoting some space to a hearty MAZEL TOV to the one, the only Mottel of the Letters of Thought Blog. Yes, folks, Mottel is officially engaged and his kallah, Chana Langman, is a beautiful, intelligent gal from Chicago. I had the pleasure of schlepping down to Crown Heights to attend the L'Chaim, and several other bloggers were there. Many have written about the whole announcement, and Mottel did us well to do a round-up! Everyone head on over and give him your mazels, mmk?

Now for Purim! I hope everyone took time during Purim to boycott Starbucks. According to an Egyptian Cleric (and thanks to Aliza Hausman for filling us in), Queen Esther is in the logo! The Basement Bloggers, blogging on the Crown Heights underground, filled us in with a PSA for Purim, while The Real Shliach took time to share his Purim experiences in West Hartford, Connecticut (though he couldn't take a moment to stop by and say hello!? He was in my stomping ground!). Meanwhile, Esser Agaroth let's us know about Purim in Hevron, and thanks to the Rebbetzin's Husband, I now know way more than I wanted to about the Vatican celebrating Purim (who knew?!), and Our Shiputzim gives us another installment of the Heblish-English Dictionary -- I might have to start saying "dress up to," just to be down! And speaking of dressing up ... My Right Word shares a posted flier in Israel of an invitation to a Purim Drag Party. Sounds interesting ...

Susanne gives us a couple of videos that ran during the digital shorts portion of the Purim Spiel at her shul in Washington Heights. One even stars her hubby! Batya poses a question to her readers, who dutifully respond, in an effort to figure out the real point of Purim. I'm on par with Lady Light, who points out that it's a little curious that we celebrate our deliverance from an evil Persian, while Israel discovers that modern-day Persia (Iran) has nuclear capabilities. It is with this that we get a Purim Demise, a Purim Reprise! Rahel over at Elms in the Yard shares the Jewish/Purim connection in the old American folk song "The Cat Came Back," and Sign of the Times posits that the nutrition-label makers of a certain product might have sat down to write it up on Purim. Oy, the editing mistakes! This reminds me of when I was in Israel ... I wonder if the government needs a full-time English editor? I'm prime for the job! Finally, Lionden Landing shares with us some menu planning and mishlach manos goodies and Baila talks about hamantaschen (yum!) and mothering (fun!).

Moving along to Anti-Semitism (with a humorous twist), Barbara's Tchatzkahs gives us some Salty Anti-Semitism, which, for those who haven't heard, features the brand new, holier-than-thou Christian Salt! It hit the market recently. Get your's today! Lady Light shares with us the popular video on how to boycott Israel (I've watched this a dozen times and it STILL makes me giggle with utter delight).

For those in the mood for some Culture, Seraphic Secret gives us Hollywood is Burning, Part I: Trapped, while Barbara discusses the ongoing rape charges with former Israeli president Moshe Katsav. Finally, Lady Light over on Tikkun Olam gives us part four in a continuation of the Zola Levitt Interview of Ms. Joan Peters on her book, "From Time Immemorial," and Mark over at SportsYids shares his thoughts about the first Orthodox woman to play NCAA Division I basketball.

Although a lot of the Humor posts got eaten up by Purim, there are still a few worth mentioning in the "general" humor category! Benji over at What War Zone??? tries to explain American slang to an Israeli, while also musing at American's dealing with the concept of the roundabout. Though, I have to say, this isn't new. Roundabouts have been in the U.S. FOREVER -- just look at Boston and D.C. Moving on, though, we have The Talmudist with a fictional account of two 20-something former yeshiva guys who accidentally rendezvous in a gay bar. Yes, you read that right.

And now we plod along to Israel, everyone's favorite Jewish state! We begin with Jacob, who reports on a salary survey for computer jobs in Eretz Yisrael. Rickismom of Beneath the Wings shares an unfortunate story about the intellectually impaired, as well as a cute quip in "Mommy, You're Different." Over on Religion and State in Israel, we have not one, but two roundups of media coverage on issues involving religion and the state in Israel. The Judeopundit goes all out with foreign policy disasters, progressive insights into the Zionist entity and more! Quite the accomplished blogger, Yisrael Medad's post on "The Green Line" coming and going has landed him among the Jerusalem Post blogs, but he also has a pretty interesting conversation (assault!) with Hillary Clinton on My Right Word. Finally, I throw some money at Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces as I begin my crusade effort to give tzedakah every day.

Judaism. It's the bee's knees, the big kahuna, the big cheese, the next area of the feature! Cynthia at Don't Gel Too Soon writes about attending a party for the presentation of a youngun's first siddur -- a truly moving event, while The Rebbetzin's Husband writes "Rabbi, give me a berachah (blessing)." Meanwhile, the Recovery Rabbi writes about unmasking ourselves from the darkness around us, a really beautiful idea.  The Insider gives up a heads-up on Chabad's new mobile simulator to help acquaint users to the mobile interface, which, as a Blackberry user, I'm pretty stoked about! One of my favorite blogs, A Simple Jew, posted a conversation based on emails between "The Vegetarian Activist & The Vegetarian Chassid," but it's just part one, so stay tuned? The one and only Schvach takes us back to the favorite argument (or not?) on Darwin vs. G-d, while Bar Kochba gives the harrowing numbers on the Vanishing Diaspora Jew. Shiloh Musings reflects on Shabbat Zachor and remembering ...

More of subcategory of Judaism than anything, we now have our Torah posts! Any regular readers of the blog will note my obsession with this week's parshah, Ki Tisa, so I can't help but start off with some d'varim! The Velveteen Rabbi leads us with "Re-Entry," a nice poem about the Golden Calf narrative, while I give some thoughts on my recent paper on Exodus 32, not to mention some thoughts about Tzedakah.

Of course there has to be at least one Politics posts, so why not get it out there now, eh? MyPanim writes about Australia and Nazis in "Atonement for Past Injustices." Well, that was uneventful and brief. Where are all the politics posts!?

Personal posts are always fun, but there aren't that many of them. Luckily, we have some saving graces! Shorty parallels the renewal of the covenant in this week's parshah to her own renewal with HaShem, and Batya writes about her ADHD rearing its ugly head during Megillah readings (darn those toy guns!). Tuvia over at Following My Judaism talks about his first time in Chicago for Shabbat, but also his first time being Shomer Shabbos while traveling. Lastly, the ever-hilarious FrumSatire talks about the toils and fun of having stalkers on Facebook (if only I were so lucky?).

I hate to conclude this week's HH with anything foreboding, but I just can't help it! People are already in full-swing with Pesach blogging, so I have to include Mrs. S's Our Shiputzim "Theory of Pesach Cleaning." I'm *this close* to blogging on Passover, especially after my schlep out to Waldbaum's in West Hartford motzei Shabbos. This place is seriously stacked with Kosher l'Pesach goods. It was hard to walk out without buying up the whole place, but rumor has it I might be heading to Monsey next weekend for some Pesach shopping. Now THAT will be an experience.

So, until then, folks, be sure to check out last week's Haveil Havalim at The Real Shliach, stay tuned for next week's over at What War Zone??? and be sure to stick around my blog and, you know, become a friend and reader! I promise in the next day or so to give you a fun and exciting view of the Shabbos table at my rabbi's place. I've always found it amusing when Jews sit down and talk finances at the Shabbos dinner ... investment advice, anyone!?

Oh, and in case you missed the stellar How Do You Say Shabbat Shalom video put together by the National Jewish Outreach Project, give it a go here. How many bloggers and e-people do YOU know?