Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bli Neder*

*no promises

Jewish law codes spend a lot of time on the concept of vows. They are not to be made lightly. This is why you will often hear someone say "I'll do that, bli neder" - meaning, "I'll do it, but I'm very carefully not making a vow." So this post is definitely bli neder!

It is 5:30am Israel time and as I prepare to leave my hotel room to head back to the United States, here is a list of things I want to tell you about from the rest of my trip since my last post:

- my tour of the spice market in Tel Aviv (possibly one of the best tours - we got samples!!!) and walk thru the Carmel Market. I bought Yael a Dora the Explorer costume for Purim!

- our viewing of a performance by NaLaga'at - Please Touch - a deaf/blind theater company.

- my dinner with Robin (and Jay) from - awesome.

- Friday morning's pluralist Beit Midrash at the Israel convention center. We were joined by israelis in a morning of study and conversation. It was really great.

- lunch at Mahane Yehuda at which I was told by the retaurant's proprietor that there was no shakshuka on Fridays, of course.

- buying hot Marzipan chocolate rugelach and eating it right there.

- taking a taxi home because it was hailing.

- celebrating Kabbalat Shabbat at kehillat Har-el and sharing dinner with Rabbi Ada Zavidov (and others) in her home

- attending two Shacharit (morning) services - the first at Shira Chadasha, an egalitarian Orthodox minyan at which 10 men as well as 10 men are required for a minyan. We were early enough that my presence mattered. The second in Mercaz Shimshon, the headquarters of the World Movement for Progressive Judaism, overlooking the Old City. While the service was long and not entirely to my taste, it was really incredible to witness the aliyah to the Torah of Rabbi Harold Kudan, Am Shalom's Founding Rabbi, in honor of his 50 years in the rabbinate. It was also incredible to witness our incoming president, Rabbi Ellen Dreyfus, read from the Torah to accept the mantle of leadership.

- getting into the Old City in driving rain and gusting wind only to find out that the Arab Quarter was on strike and no shops or restaurants were open.

- getting soaked walking down Ben Yehuda shooping for gifts and getting a latte at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Jaffa.

- making new friends amongst my colleagues and re-kindling old friendships. Now we don't really exchange cards - we just say "friend me on Facebook"! Talking about blogging and technology was one of my favorite parts....go figure.

- trying to absorb the constant state of change and growth in eretz yisrael. And wondering if the light rail system which is being built will ever be done...and wondering if downtown Jerusalem will ever feel the same.

- packing to go home after 6 days in which I arrived with carry-on luggage only. Everyone thought we were so laudable to only pack that way....and yet I still overpacked and didn't wear it all and I had to really cram to get it all in the bag to return....oh well, you live and learn, right? I'm all packed and ready for my last breakfast followed by the cab ride to the airport.

Reading back over this post, I realize that I did tell you now, so I think I don't have to worry about revisiting. Whew, I'm safe from the neder :-)

Back to our regular blog programming later this week!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Keyn, anachnu yecholim*

*yes, we can

Today we spent the morning in Tel Aviv, a city that is truly modern Israel's reality. I haven't spent much time in this city, wandering, as I have in Jerusalem. Later we have walking tours that I'm quite excited for!

But back to my headline. I'm quoting Rabbi Meir Azari of the Israeli Reform Movement. "Yes, we can" make Reform a living and vibrant part of the landscape of Israeli religious society. Sitting in Mishkenot Ruth Daniel, a large and beautiful facility in the heart of Jaffa that serves many purposes for the Tel Aviv Porgressive community. One is really able to believe in a living and rich Israeli Reform movement when sitting here.

We heard from Mayor Ron Huldai of Tel Aviv, who was called a great friend of Reform Judaism by Rabbi Azari.

He spoke of the sand dunes of Jaffa, in 1909, when 66 families stood and lotteried the plots of what was to become Tel Aviv. Here now, this major city bears little resemblance to those early years. Sky-scraping luxury hotels line the beach and old blends with new....but how to shape the identity of the Israeli future? Mayor Huldai believes that Reform plays a large part in that identity and that future.

Rabbi Azari also pointed out Rabbi Miri Gold (go sign the petition and join the facebook group) who is the public face of the fight to recognize Reform rabbis by the State of Israel. to a tour of Tel Aviv's markets....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Women of the Wall

This morning was the 20th anniversary of the Women of the Wall. Today, Rosh Chodesh Adar, the beginning of the month of great joy, we davened (prayed) together at the Kotel, the Western Wall, in quite a large group, Israeli women and many women rabbis from the CCAR convention and also rabbinic and cantorial students studying in Jerusalem.

We stood near the back of the women's section to pray the morning service, including the Hallel psalms, in quiet but proud voices. Many of our male colleagues came too and stood behind the wall, joining our prayer in almost a reverse mechitza (separation barrier). We wore tallitot and kippot. Young girls wearing long skirts stared and giggled and debated what they saw. "They're not Reformim," a girl told her friend. "They are something different."

Policewomen, guarding the "sanctity of the place" shouted and gestured for us to stop. "No singing!" And in typical Israeli fashion, continued to stand and yell even as the praying continued. A male policeman was brought in (why was this ok?) to help quiet us down....but it didn't work and we finished the praying relatively peacefully. (I took video, which maybe I will be able to upload later today or else when I get home.)

Then we walked together to the Southern part of the excavation of the Western Wall. Standing under Robinson's Arch we read Torah, the reading for Rosh Chodesh, sharing aliyot and singing in a loud voice, joined by our male colleagues whose voices mingled with the female ones.

The Torah used by Women of the Wall is carried in a duffel bag (a very holy and sturdy green duffel bag) and after it was placed in the bag it was passed around to kiss before itwas spirited away to someone's car. Many torah scrolls live on the men's side of the Kotel but only this one is used by the women and it is carried back and forth.

I had the honor for a few moments of carrying the Torah in its canvas bag. Its weight felt perhaps even more heavy than a usual Torah scroll, bearing the weight of so many women's years of striving....

Mish'nuchnas Adar marbim b'simcha
As Adar comes in, our joy increases.
And so it was a truly joyous experience.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Only in Israel....

...will I eat the breakfast combination of salad (tomato/cucumber "oriental" salad, sayeth the sign) and Milky (chocolate pudding with whipped cream) and be blissfully happy.

Ahh....the day begins!

Nir Barkat, Jerusalem's Mayor

Tonight we were greeted by Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat. After he welcomed us home, he shared some of the scary statistics about Jerusalem - it's the poorest city with 50 percent of its children under the poverty line.

People are leaving Jlem in droves. Why? Usually due to the economiv situation, price of housing is high, schools aren't top notch and quality of life isn't the highest here. But he doesn't want to focus on the negative.

He noted that there are four consituencies to jlem - residents, israel, jewish community and world comminity. We are all shareholders in the benefit of Jerusalem.

Two million visitors (tourist) to Jerusalem each year. This is, Mr Barkat explained, paltry compared to other world cities - and we have a 3000 year old "brand" to sell! One of his goals is to increase tourism - through promotion of culture and economic opportunities.

He brings his "business approach" instead of the "army approach." Army works against enemies. Business works for customers. Obviously it would make sense to change away from the army approach and treat citizens like customers. It also gives an opening to shared collaboration....he's built quite a coalition of various viewpoints that will hopefully transcend politics.

He takes only a dollar a year salary. You gotta believe that someone with that much commitment has something going for him....right?

Monday, February 23, 2009

On our way!

We're on our way to Eretz Yisrael. My colleague, Paul Kipnes ( calls this Aliyat haNefesh - a going-up of the soul. I do feel that the chance to reconnect with the land and people of Israel refreshes and rejuvenates me. To be able to travel to Israel regularly is one of the best parts of the rabbinate!

This time, the trip holds a special significance. My husband proposed to me in Israel about 2 hours before the end of our Year in Israel program (literally - as we were waiting for our taxi to the airport!) just about 10 years ago. We left Israel engaged but haven't returned together to the country since. (We've each been separately.) Three kids later, we travel together to make this journey today! I am beside myself with delight.

Also, we are going to be attending the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, our professional organization. Three hundred friends and colleagues will be there with us and I can't wait to see old friends and catch up with them.

Truly, my travel cup runneth over today as I type this at O'Hare airport....see ya in the Holy Land!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some Favorite Jewish Blogs

You may have noticed (if you're a regular reader - hi to all 6 of you!) that I often reference my dad. He's a great guy - and he happens to be a teacher of teachers. His current projects involve helping the Jewish educators in Milwaukee better use Web 2.0. Go see his really cute presentation at his blog. How many of you can say that your dad has a blog!? (You'll learn something too - about carbon paper.)

Anyway, so in his presentation, he shared this list of Jewish blogs that he felt was a "smattering" (his word), or, as he called it, a Jewish Blog Sampler. You'll note, ahem, that I was not initially the first on his list. We'll forgive him, right Loyal Readers? (plus there are some old links there, sorry dad.)

In response to his list, I hereby present some of my favorite Jewish blogs, the ones I like best and the ones I consider to be most useful and most interesting to me and hopefully to you as well. I've posted lists of blogs before, but considering how ever-changing the J-blogosphere is, it never hurts to post again. I think this list is best for people who are new to blogging, reading blogs, etc, or looking to use the blogosphere to teach and learn about Jewish life. If I left you out, it doesn't mean I don't love reading your blog! I picked here the best "Jewish" blogs in whatever way I wanted to define it today....

Organizations and Institutions...Some from the New Jewish Media...
Reform Judaism blog
Mixed Multitudes, the blog of
Jewish Outreach Institute
The Jew and the Carrot, the blog of Hazon

People - some in Israel, some in other places...
A Soldier's Mother
The Muqata
Ahava Ariel
Mah Rabu
Here in HP
Or Am I?
Around the Island
I'll Call Baila

There are so many other blogs to read! I currently have 324 subscriptions in my Google Reader, but I know that some of them are dead links, some are very rarely used. So if you break that down to about 300 blogs...and probably 100 of them are Jewish-themed. (I do read/do not just Jewish stuff sometimes!)

Probably the best thing to do is find and regularly read Haveil Havalim, the Jewish Blog Carnival. A blog carnival is a "roundup" of posts, usually submitted by the authors, to a weekly post that rotates from blog to blog. How can you find out where Haveil Havalim is this week (or next or comes out on Sundays)? Well, you can subscribe to my blog, since I almost always link into it. You can also join the Haveil Havalim group on Facebook to get a notification when the new edition comes out. It's a great way to see what's going on. It's also pretty incredible, in my opinion, because the compilation and mixture of blogs is amazing -- secular, religious, Orthodox, Reform -- you name it, it's included in Haveil Havalim. We probably wouldn't all be able to sit down to a meal together but we can all co-exist in friendly harmony here in the blogosphere!

What are your favorite blogs? And if you're new around here, feel free to leave a comment to say hi...and subscribe to my blog to get regular information and updates!

Shabbat Shalom y'all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bring it on, Partridges....

My kids are vying for a family music gig.
Partridge Family, Von Trapp Family...they've got NOTHING on my kids....
Whaddaya think?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Group Writing Project on Happiness

The group writing project over at MamaBlogga had the theme of “choosing happiness."

It's such a fun activity - I definitely suggest that you go over there right now, subscribe to her blog, and make sure to play along with the next one. Plus she gives away a gift (at random) to one participant.

How cool is that? (Even though I didn't win.)
Tell her I sent you :-)

It's Alright to Cry

We had a LOT of onions in the house.
Way more than I could use all at once. So, I chopped 'em up.
Did you know that you can freeze onions?
Well, you can. Here are all those onions, all chopped up and headed for my freezer. To be used whenever chopped onions are called for in a recipe!

I don't know if it's scientifically proven but I find that when I chop onions with my contact lenses in, no tears. Except when chopping quite this quantity. There were definitely tears.

What other interesting things can you freeze?

I used some of my onion chopping to make this Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole. (I've adapted it a bit)
  • 3 cups broth (today I used Very Veggie Juice (Thanks Dad!) instead of broth. 2 1/2 cups of juice and 1/2 cup water)
  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • can of mushrooms (didn't have any fresh on hand)
  • season salt, pepper, garlic, basil, parsley
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar is what I had, I also added parmesan (which I keep in the freezer))
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.Mix all ingredients except the cheese in a baking dish (I use an 11 x 7). Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Then remove the foil, add the cheese, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
I served it with spinach salad and baked tofu. Super yummy. 

This is what works for me. Go see what works for other people.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Turning 2...can it be?

My baby turns 2 today. It's hard to believe.

From this:

to this:

to this...

She is a pretty happy and remarkable two-year-old. I think there's something to be said for being the third child - she definitely learns from her brothers - the good and the bad! She is outgoing and talkative, she loves Dora the Explorer. She will bring you a book to read and then get impatient with you and take the book away. "Me read now," she'll say to you, and settle back down with the book on her lap. She is very opinionated and particular about who can help her with certain things, bestowing them, almost queen-like, upon whichever of her subjects she is enamored of at the moment. For example, who zips up her coat is of great importance to her. She loves shoes and would be content to spend hours shoveling snow. She likes to color but today discovered that she could color on her face and decided that was a new fun pastime so might be without her beloved markers until she forgets about that idea. She has a pink blankie that she adores, a baby-doll that she takes care of, and two pacifiers that vie for the favored status. She will only take these two pacifiers, I'm uncertain if substitutes of identical make and color will suffice. To say that she is opinionated might be an understatement.

May she continue to blossom and grow.

Happy birthday, Yael!
(That last picture is my Best Shot Monday. Go see Tracey's new digs!)
P.S. This also basically means that my blog is 2 years old too! I started blogging back in February of 07, right before she was born. I didn't get really into it until about March of that year but still....2 years!? Wow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Haveil Havalim is up....

It's over at Leora's place.

She did a great job! (And she included my Tu B'Shevat post...thanks!)

What's up for this week here at Ima on and off the Bima?

I'm looking forward to a food-related post for Wednesday to enter into the Kosher Cooking Carnival.
Hopefully I'll have a Hebrew-language related post for Thursday and some other fun stuff...

Oh, and Yael turns 2 so watch for some Dora-themed cupcakes.

Stay tuned!

Shavua tov, have a great week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winner of the Tu B'Shevat Giveaway

The winner of my Tu B'Shevat Giveaway is Sara, who said...."What a wonderful holiday to celebrate in February, especially in the Midwest! If it counts, I planted bulbs yesterday that I forgot to plant in the fall. Do you think they'll grow?"


Stay tuned for a fun Purim Party....and plenty of other interesting stuff in between.

Maybe spring will come soon.....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Reminder of Blessings

On Sunday afternoon (yesterday), our backyard neighbors had a huge fire. (Everyone got out safely, thank God.) I could see flames shooting out of their back porch door and the fire fighters had to climb onto the roof to chop holes to ventilate. I watched the force of the water from the hoses break through their upstairs windows. And my driveway, separated from their yard with a tall fence, was close enough that when I went to my car I felt the misty cool spray from the hoses.

I'm not close or friendly with these neighbors. In fact, they are terribly noisy in the summertime, playing music at an unbelievably high volume (and most of us have called the police at least once) and they smoke in their backyard which, of course, abuts mine, and when the wind blows just right, the smoke finds its way into my own house through the open windows.

But until today, I never realized quite how close together our houses are. And it didn't stop me from feeling what I'm sure must be their total anguish at the loss of their home and all their possessions.

It also made me hug my children tighter, look more closely at my blessings, and bake a batch of cookies for the hard-working fire fighters who made sure that my nearby house was safe. 

Today is the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shevat. A full moon shined down last night on the wreckage of their home and on the peaceful quiet of mine.

It's a pretty incredible holiday, when you think about it, especially for those of us who live in what seems like the frozen tundra of the Midwest. Just when we're all really getting sick and tired of the cold and the snow and the ice...we are reminded that yes, in some places, spring is poking up. And yes, even here, where it seems that spring will never come again, we know it will. Planting a tree (planting anything!) is quite a leap of faith, an opportunity to put the seed or the seedling in the ground and believe that growth will come. Tu B'Shevat reminds us to continue to have hope and to continue to believe that what we plant now will bear fruit in the future. It reminds us to truly have faith.

For my neighbors (who aren't Jewish, but that's okay), I hope that the fullness of the moon will remind them that the moon waxes and wanes, always coming around again. They will rebuild and recoup and recover...
(Taken from inside my upstairs bedroom window)

Watching out the window since the sirens woke them up from their naps
Like any good blogger, I took pictures of the experience....(go see Tracy's cool new site!)

Going back to Tu B'Shevat...
It doesn't seem to totally fit, but it's what I was planning to do anyway so here goes:
One of my favorite stories from the Talmud:
Honi sees an old man planting a carob tree at the side of the road. "What are you doing?" he asks the old man. "Don't you know that the carob tree takes 70 years to bear fruit?" The old man is undeterred by Honi's comment. "Of course I know," he says to Honi. "I'm not planting this tree for me. I'm planting it for my children and grandchildren. Just as trees were planted here in the world for me to enjoy, it is my responsibilty to plant for my future generations." (completely paraphrased from Babylonian Talmud, Taanit 23)

Perhaps we are not the ones planting the trees by the side of the road. But we are the ones making sure that we protect and preserve our earth for our future generations - our children, grand-children and great-grandchildren. What kind of world will we leave them? The future is entirely in our hands.

In honor of Tu B'Shevat (or Tu B'Shwatt as some are dubbing it this year), I am giving away some stuff to help you go green in your life.

  • 2 Target Re-usable Bags (in handy zip up pouches, I love these and you can never have too many of these puppies)
  • a re-usable coffee cozy, handmade by yours truly (see picture)
  • my favorite water bottle, a Thermos Intak BPA-Free Bottle (with a cool flip-top cover, possibly my favorite part)
  • and maybe some other fun surprises thrown in!!!

Here's how to win:
  1. Comment on this post with your favorite go-green activity or product, or how you celebrate Tu B'Shevat. Entries open until Wednesday, February 11th. (closing at 9pm)
  2. Make sure I know how to get in touch with you (email, blog or twitter work fine)
  3. Earn one extra entry by tweeting about it. Come back here and leave me another comment to let me know you did it.
Last year's Tu B'Shevat Posts:
Go Vegetarian and be green?
For the Love of the Trees
Waste Not...
Facts About Trees
Tu B'Shevat Haiku

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Why I Love Blogging

Mabel's Labels asks...

What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?

A list....

Sharing joys and sorrows
Making friends
Learning about different places and different people
Sharing my traditions with others
Feeling like Knowing I'm not alone
Getting encouragement
Giving encouragement
Worrying together
Celebrating together
and of course, The Giveaways (gotta love 'em!)

I muse...
When I tell people that I'm a "blogger" they often look at me funny. "Why do you do that?" or "What's the point?" are often the questions I get asked. I think it's hard for them to imagine that someone like me, surrounded all the time by friends and family and people, could really need a community in which to be myself. But that is truly one of the main reasons I blog and read other people's blogs. My friends who "live in the computer" are so very real to me, so very much a part of my life, even though I've never met some of them and others I only see very rarely. But to follow their antics or adventures or angsts...we become truly a community.

I was interviewed recently and asked what I felt the impact of the Internet was going to be long-term for the Jewish community, a group that has long-relied on face-to-face contact and interaction as its mainstay. My answer was something along the lines is where we create it. For many people, face-to-face interaction is the only thing they trust, the only thing they believe in. And I love it - don't get me wrong. I'm an extrovert with a capital E, a people person all the way. Many people find it hard to believe that I can spend so much time online, then, imagining it to be the domain of introverts and social recluses. L'havdil - on the contrary! In fact, the blogging community is even more perfect for a socially-inclined person like myself. I don't have to wait around for folks to show up...they're already there, writing and putting themselves out there for me to read. My comments only make their writing more interactive, and theirs to mine. It is totally a two-way street, and I love every minute of it.

I learn about different ways of living, of being, of parenting, of celebrating, of grieving, of cooking, of not cooking, of cleaning, of not cleaning, of creating and doing ... what an incredible opening into so many different worlds. I, who truly exist in the bubble of my life, surrounded by my congregation and my family and friends who are, for the most part, similar...what a joy to be able to become a part of the lives of so many who are different....and then to discover how we're really all the same.

May the blessings of blogging continue to grow for me and for you, my dear readers.

What about you? Have there been benefits to you as well? Feel free to share in the comments.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am most richly blessed

One of my favorite stories:

There once were two brothers who shared a farm. One was a single man, the other had a wife and family. These two loved each other dearly. They each had a house on either side of the farm. Every morning, they got up early and shared the hard work of farming their land.

At the time of the harvest, the grain was gathered and carefully divided into two identical piles. Each brother would receive an equal share in the fruit of their labors. One pile was carried to the single brother’s barn, the other to the brother with a family.

Later that night, the unmarried brother lay awake in bed, thinking, “I am most richly blessed. I have everything I could possibly need to supply for myself. My brother is a good man caring for a wife and family. It is better that he receive a bigger portion.” He filled his cart with the sheaves of grain and some vegetables for good measure and walked across the farm to his brother’s storage bin, where he deposited the food. Then he returned home and went to sleep.

Soon after, the married brother awoke. He said to himself, “I am most richly blessed. My home is filled with the love of my wife and children. My brother has none of this joy.” So he quietly went outside and filled his cart with grain and vegetables, and carried them across the farm to his brother’s home.

When daylight came, the brothers each went outside to begin the day. Upon approaching their respective storage bins, both brothers were amazed – the amount within was the same as it had been before! Confused, the brothers said nothing to each other about the matter. At the end of the day, the brothers went home, each determined to make sure that they shared their bounty with their brother. Each loaded his cart with the bountiful harvest and set out across the farm. At the top of the hill, in the middle point of their land, the two brothers came upon each other. In an instant, they both understood the other one’s intention. They embraced and kissed, proclaiming together, “I am most richly blessed!”

One of the reasons I love to tell this story is because it's got so many possible messages. Certainly, happiness is in the eyes of the beholder. Each brother has such an incredible outlook on life - each brother chooses his own happiness, and can see that happiness comes in different forms.

What an amazing way to live.

May we always be able to find and behold happiness, and may blessings abound.

Part of MamaBlogga's Group Writing Project. Why don't you join in?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sunny and Warm (comparatively)

We had the 10th coldest January on record here in Chicago. We've had a ton of snow but it's been too cold to play in it! This weekend, however, it warmed up a bit and we all headed outside. We even got enough sun for a nice dose of vitamin D. The kids had a blast, and so did the Abba (Dad) who helped make a snow-tiger (it didn't really look like a "man" and far more resembled Sam's favorite Kung Fu Panda character).

(Can you see how great our front yard/hill is for sledding?!)

That last one is my favorite. And it was totally shot from the hip, so to speak....

Now I'm just looking forward to spring! Happy Groundhog's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Haveil Havalim #203: Did You Love Leah?

haveil havalim

Welcome to the Loving (or Not Loving) Leah Edition of Haveil Havalim....

What's going on here today?
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.'
Please please please publicize HH on your own blog 
and share the news about it!

What was really important in the J-blogosphere this week?
Loving...or not Loving....Leah, of course!
Yes, Sunday night's Hallmark movie was definitely a topic in the Jewish blogosphere this week.
Some of the posts I found:
Midianite Manna's Take
Frum Satire's Thoughts
Idol Chatter
#lovingleah on Twitter "Loving Leah is hard to do"
JewWishes has this to say
MyJewishLearning's blog thoughts
DovBear weighs in
BangItOut's thoughts
Mottel is Loving Lubavitchers in Hollywood.

(It's not available on DVD yet but I'm sure it will case you missed it. Or, like me, only saw the last hour. Which, by the way, was enough to get the whole story!)

Okay, onto the submissions!


The world is, of course, ignoring the ceasefire as Muqata puts it.

Ricki's Mom shares her Journey from a Pacifist to the Mother of a Soldier. All mothers share her pain, I think. She also shares this story: Yalah, B’nee! (Oh G-d, My SON!) from her son's army induction.

Shiloh Musings shares Yes, Barack Hussein Obama is U.S. President, wondering what the impact will be on Israel. Also, Muse contemplates what might be a Fundamental Flaw in Israeli thinking. What do you think? It Had Seemed So Much Longer, And Very Forboding is more musing on life in Israel. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in the Negev is a guest post and looks at life in the South.

Israel Chronicles talks about Israeli/Hebrew names in A Rose By Any Other Name.

My Right Word thinks about Mitchell's idea to prevent Gaza smuggling: Tell Me This Isn't A Silly (Stupid?) Thought Process and also begs to differ with Israel's NY Consul General. He also explains what HAMAS really means.

Lady-Light presents From Time Immemorial, Part I and From Time Immemorial, Part II, planning a 6-part series featuring an interview of Joan Peters, author of From Time Immemorial.

Benji Lovitt always makes me laugh...this time it's with: Sorry If I Offended You, Nice Religious Lady and Take a Left at Beersheva and Walk Ten Paces.

Therapy Doc offers her thoughts on Gaza and Israel in the context of her own relation to her nephew, the IDF poster child.

Joel Katz gives his weekly overview of the state of Religion and State in Israel - January 26, 2009.

Ben-Yehudah offers this informational piece, Don't Know Where To Vote? and invites you to a Candle Light March: Don't Free Terrorists! - Free Gilad Schalit!

Elms in the Yard has pictures of her local Electronics Graveyard, which I think is pretty cool.

Soccer Dad, like so many, wonders how we're getting to "no" the new US Administration and what it will mean for Israel.

Judeopundit tells us that the Iranian audience is primed for war-crimes trials of Israeli officials. Hmm...

Robin has become quite a photo-blogger, check out this beautiful sunset over the Mediterranean (and her cool new design!).

Mah Rabu is hosting February Madness....who do you think will win the elections???

Judaism and Torah

Torat HaRav Aviner (shared by Dan Illouz) gives us More on Rachel Imenu. Did she reveal herself during the war?

Shtetl Fabulous reminds us that every Jew is a Jew by Choice.

Ilana-Davita talks about a book that is Soon To Be Released.

The Real Shliach posted Asiri Yehieh Kadosh: The Schapiro Farbrengen.

A Simple Jew realizes that If You Have To Ask You Are Not Ready Yet.

Child Ish Behavior presents  posted at Not Just Typical.

Frum Satire wonders about how people handle Coming out of the closet in the frum community.

Ahava Ariel, new and thoughtful on the Jblog scene, asks Does Pediatric Judaism Make Us An Orphan People?

muse presents Such Timing... posted at Shiloh Musings, saying, "actually, Haftara"

Rachel Barenblat presents This week's portion: offering posted at Velveteen Rabbi, saying, "This week's parsha poem delves into an intriguing line from parashat Bo, exploring the nature of service and sacrifice."

The Reform Shuckle is exploring some questions about Rethinking Reform. Read the comments, they're very interesting.

Jewish Life, Culture, and Everything Else...

me-ander offers this Sunday Update: Moshe Avitan (Moshe Rafael ben Aliza A'isha) and thinks about how she associates personal experiences with trauma. She also explains that It's Not The Season For Goat's Milk.

The Rebbetzin's Husband muses on being Uncomfortably numb (this is a problem/issue that I think all rabbis face at times...) and Funeral Tchotchkes.

Not Just Typical tells us about God's Teffilin. I never really considered it before.... He also says that Sometimes the skeptics can get too skeptical.

Schvach Yid presents Madeline Kahn, Wo Bist Du? and responds to Nameless Faceless here.

Frum Satire makes fun of the Sephardim along with everyone else. That's what I like to see...equal opportunity fun-making!

Blog d'Elisson explains A Little Known Fact...Robbie Burns was Jewish.

Seraphic Secret considers how There Are Cults and There Are Cults.

Here in HP explains how there can be Healthy Anger. (She also posts fun challenges like this one.)

Abba's Rantings is ranting...Stupid Teachers in My Son's School.

SuperRaizy is asking about summer camp. Can ya help her out?

I am reminding you to double-check things.

That's all for this week!

Please send your posts for the next edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival via the Blog Carnival Submission Form. Dare I say it will probably be Tu B'Shevat-themed? Let's go GREEN!
If you're interested in hosting or receiving more information about the carnival,
please contact
Jack at talktojacknow-at-sbcglobal-dot-net

(and please, for the sake of our hosts,
try not to submit more than 3 posts a week!)

Please please please publicize HH on
your own blog and share the news about it!

You can just copy and paste this nice little
sentence into your blog if you'd like:

A very nice edition of Haveil Havalim, the Jewish Blog Carnival,
is now up over at Ima on and off the Bima. Check it out!
(you might have to copy with properties. Some software just takes it all in...)

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming...
come back regularly to see what's cooking here!

There's a new group on Facebook for Jewish Twitter-ers...are you one? Join us!
(And feel free to follow me, too!)
And if you're not in the HH Facebook group, come and join that too!

P.S. I know many of you have posted "best practices" for putting together Haveil Havalim. May I suggest Google Docs, which is very interchangeable with Blogger (for those who use it) and works very nicely. Plus it's accessible from all over town, and saves itself regularly.