It's still Sunday here in Denver, which means it's the wee hours of the morning in Israel, so I have to apologize to the individuals waiting to see this live on Sunday; it's still Sunday here, so that works, right?
When I mentioned on social media that I was hosting the newest installment of Haveil Havalim, the bulk of reactions from long-time friends and bloggers was a resounding, "Wait, that's still a thing?" Yes, yes it is. I'll admit I haven't hosted since January 2012, and back then I used to host fairly regularly. Back in the day, every Haveil Havalim installment was numbered, which was awesome because you knew where you stood. Three years ago when I hosted, we were on No. 343, so that'll give you some perspective.
What is Haveil Havalim, you ask?
Founded by Soccer Dad many years ago, 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 used to be coordinated by Jack and is now coordinated on Facebook. 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."
If you want to participate or, better yet, host, visit the Facebook group, join, and stay up to date on where to send your weekly entries. If you have a Jewish/Judaism/Israel-related post from the past week that you love and think is worth sharing, feel free to post it in the comments.
About half of these were sent in, and there were a few that were sent in that I didn't post for my own personal reasons. The other half I found on my own because, darn't, Haveil Havalim used to have diversity, substance, and quality posts from across the blogosphere!
Judaism/Torah/Halacha (Jewish Law)
Ben-zion offers a most poignant (for me anyway) tidbit on the importance and power of persistence. I highly suggest you read this one, folks.
I posted a week ago about the laws and leniences when it comes to carrying on Shabbat, mostly for the mommies out there.
I really loved "How Orthodox Judaism's Laws of Modesty Gave Me a Sense of Style" on Vogue by Michelle Honig. Not only did it provide a vehicle for education about modesty within Orthodox Judaism, but it was super, super tasteful, concise, and well-written.
The Rebbetzin's Husband shares some topics and questions on Treating Diabetes on Shabbat. Here's hoping there's a followup with the answers to those questions!
From Divrei Chaim, an interesting blueprint for geulah (redemption) based on the past week's Torah portion (Shemot).
From Beyond Yeshiva comes what I'll call a PSA for life in Israel in Growing in Eretz Yisroel.
The question "Why Orthodoxy?" is at the front of Life in the Married Lane's author in her most recent post.
Batya offers a concise, personal review of Akiva Teddy MacLeod's Welcome Home: My First Six Months Living in Israel, as well as a peek into her cold weather prep.
Speaking of cold weather, Miriam asks (and then answers) what one should do on a chilly day in Israel (lucky you, it involves food). It's All From HaShem also ponders the cold weather, acknowledging that, ultimately, it's all up to HaShem (as her blog title suggests!). Meanwhile, over at Our Shiputzim, the impending cold weather inspired a post-Chanukah post.
Over at Adventures in Aliyahland, you might be surprised to discover Israel's best kept secret (and no, it's not a falafel stand).
You can read a Tale of Two Arab Women, Anett Haskia versus Hanin Zoabi over at Shiloh Musings.
This post is dedicated to the memory of these four men who all dreamed of a life in Israel in one form or another. They all died in France in a senseless act of blatant Jew hatred.
Like all parents, I'm sure, I'm terrified of the world my child will grow up in. However, it is mostly because he is a Jew and Israeli. He will grow up irrationally hated by other children who grew up with an education based on lies, murder, and hatred. He will grow up in a world that wants him dead at all costs.
On the other hand, maybe something will change. Maybe the world will wake up. Maybe he will grow up in a world that sees the merits of his humanity. Maybe.
NOTE: Send posts for next week's Haveil Havalim to email@example.com.