The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Haveil Havalim 296: The Cold of Tevet Edition

By way of introduction:

The last time I hosted Haveil Havalim (it was Number 230) I had just gotten married. My wife and I were spending the weekend at the National Jewish Retreat and I figured a weekend away from the hustle of the city would give me time to work on that week's offerings. Somehow, while doing last minute editing on my cell phone - something in the Blogger WYSIWYG editor went haywire and deleted all the actual links! I was lambasted (by people I actually regularly chat with) on the twittersphere for presenting the worst HH ever . . . 

Thankfully I managed to recover everything, and it all worked out in the end.

Since then I've continued to write for, expanded their Social Media initiative (please follow and like Lubavitch on Twitter and Facebook!) and - most importantly I'm now the father of a beautiful baby boy

In the tragic days after the passing of RivkA bat Yishaya HaLevi of Coffee and Chemo, Jack made a public call for HH hosts. This offering, the best of the Jewish Blogosphere as submitted by others and gathered by me, is in her honor. By Hashgacha Protis, tonight is also the yahrtzeit of my Grandmother Malka bas Yitzchok.
May their neshamos have the ultimate aliyah with coming of moshiach - and tichiyas hameisim - right now!

So what is Haveil Havalim?

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.


In the New York Jewish Week Melissa Chapman has a great piece entitled To Yeshiva or Not, That is the Question (hat tip to FFidler for this one)

Baila Olidort, Editor in Chief of - Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters - brings in a Jewish perspective of the tragic suicide of Mark Madoff in Play Now, Pay Later: Lessons From The Madoff Tragedy

Rachel Barenblat presents Prayer life changes posted at Velveteen Rabbi - her reflections on having a prayer life, and on how that prayer life always changes.

Elise presents Wrestling with God posted at Raising Asperger's Kids.

My friend Yossi has a great photo essay about his Chanukah in Houston over on his blog A Bochur in Lubavitch

Chaviva has a vlog post asking Niddah: Cover Your Hair in Bed? over at Just call me Chaviva

Rabbi Yehoishophot Oliver presents Why won't Chabad support some worthy causes?, Chassidus: The antidote to spiritual near-death, and Where does our heart lie? posted at A Chassidishe farbrengen.

Soccer Dad presents Sharing a short part of a long journey posted at treppenwitz.

Cosmic X presents Ezra the Scribe: Valiant Warrior Against Intermarriage,Rabbi Shlomo Aviner Explains Why Not To Sell Israeli Real Estate to Arabs, and A Book That Counters the Claims of "Torat HaMelech" posted at Cosmic X in Jerusalem.

Mordechai Torczyner presents Of Sarcastic Rabbis posted at The Rebbetzin's Husband

Batya gives us Even On The Eve of Shabbat, The Fast of the Tenth of Tevet

Joel Katz Religion and State in Israel - December 13, 2010 (Section 1) and Religion and State in Israel - December 13, 2010 (Section 2) posted at Religion and State in Israel.

Another offering from Batya, she lets us know about A New "G'mach" and Another Great Tremp Story and Jerusalem Street Scenes--The Lightrail Traffic Jam and More posted at me-ander

Harry presents Baligam and I want my money back posted at ISRAELITY.

Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah sent three great posts Two More Opinions On Renting To Arabs, Etc., Jews are still not getting the message, and No, They can not stay


Jacob Richman presents Uploaded New Learn Hebrew Video - Small Things posted at Good News from Israel.

Harper's Magazine has a fascinating write up (here reposted on on A Shtetl Divided - Messianic vigilantes, brawling Hasidim, and the battle for Jewish Brooklyn


Over on In the Pink Hadassah discusses making a Social Media Resume.

Batya presents A Tsunami To Take Over The World, Isn't That What the Muslims are Aiming For? posted at Shiloh Musings.

YS presents Day 9- ?How Can I Decide?? posted at Consistently Under Construction.

westbankmama asks us Please Help A Good Cause posted at West Bank Mama.


Mrs. S. - who was kind enough to wish me a good shabbos and easy fast (thanks!) presents Fashion Friday: Unintended consequences edition posted at Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress.


Bernice Frankel presents Top 50 Blogs by Theology Professors posted at Master of Theology.


Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

Awesome collection. I hope I wasn't one of the people who publicly growled at you last time :) As always, thank you oodles!

Batya said...

Thanks for your HH Letter. You did a great job. And a special thank you for including my posts.

Jacob Richman said...

Thanks for the posting

Elise said...

Thank you for including my post.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Well done, intelligent sections. Great job. Thanks for th time, thought, and effort it took to get this out.

rabbi neil fleischmann said...


rutimizrachi said...

Mazal tov! Thank you for taking the time to do this. May your new young man add much light and joy to your family, and to Klal Yisrael.

Esser Agaroth said...


Thanks for hosting, and for including links to my posts!

Haveil Havalim #296 Is Up!

Yossi said...

It was kind of you to include me, thank you.

I think many people will continue to be inspired by Rivka and her blog...

Mrs. S. said...

!יישר כוחך

Thanks for the link, and besurot tovot!

Anonymous said...

What a great series of posts. I've linked to this entry at Help This Jew on Facebook (

Every time I come across the Jewish Bloggers Carnival I appreciate it, but I'm not clear on how to get involved. Do you input your blog and recent entries are picked up or do you submit posts for inclusion? Please do let me know as I'd like to join.

~ Maya Norton

- Facebook: The New Jew (

- Blog: The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy & Innovation (

Mottel said...

-Everyone: Thanks!

-Maya Norton: You submit entries of your choice to Haveil Havailim via the Blog Carnival submission page. Good luck and I can't wait to see the posts you send in! (They're also always looking for volunteers to host - something I highly recommend.)