This week’s Havel Havelim kick’s off on Rosh Hodesh Av, a time of mourning for past tragedies and hope for future redemption. Many of this week’s developments remind us of how far we have to go, and how great a danger still hangs over us. But others remind us of how far we’ve come. May we continue to grow, learn, and become!
In this week’s Times of Israel post, Rav Nathan Lopes Cardozo maintains that “Artistic expression and religious observance are both forms of protest against taking the world for granted.”
Dov Ber challenges readers to square some of the issues raised in this week’s Parasha with normative Jewish values. “Women are infants who can’t take on any commitment absent some superior man’s approval,” he writes, “And the attack on Midian is nothing if not genocide. Square this with Judaism, if you can.” Join the conversation!
Rav Elli Fischer recently “came out” as an orthodox rabbi willing to perform weddings outside of the official Israeli rabbanut. He explains his reason for doing so (and more) via present and past posts on religion and state in Israel.
My own take on the increasing irrelevance of the Israeli rabbanut can be found here, where I argue for a return to the bottom-up organizational model that has served us so well throughout most of Jewish history.
Life in Israel
A sobering post at Harry’s Place explores some of the implications with the deal with Iran. Iran no longer needs to nuclear, writes Marc Goldberg. “They don’t need the big, bad bomb, to take over the Middle East they already have something much more important. The acquiescence of the world in allowing them to take it.”
One of more immediate implications is already being felt closer to home. At Shilo Musings, Batya muses on the new trend of Arabs from other countries taking selfies of themselves in Jewish stores. We’ve come a long way baby, and not in the ways you might think! At the same time, it would seem that the Western world’s need for a scapegoat continue to impede progress toward reconciliation.
Certainly Israel’s increasing popularity in the Arab world is not news to Christians in the region, who have long known that only in Israel can they practice their religion in safety. Ramona Tausz pens “a simple thank you to Israel — for the simple joy of allowing me to attend church freely on Sunday, and for making it so easy to do so.”
Meanwhile, in an Israeli version of the “Local boy makes good” story, we have the tale of how an oleh hadash from America built a model craft brewery in Israel.
“Where else in the world is the airport packed with people blowing shofars?” asks Sussmans b’Aretz. “Where else are people throwing candy and delivering packages to kids as they arrive, while people dance the new arrivals through the doors to the airport?” Only in Israel, as illustrated by this heart-warming aliyah story.
However, sometimes being at home can be too much of a good thing. Beit Roga shares some lessons gleaned from being laid up for a week: “It is not easy to be an active person and have had all these plans and wind up sitting until your butt hurts. It is not fun to watch life from the couch.”
Do you blog on Jewish subjects?
Join the longest-running weekly international Jewish and Israeli blog carnival, Havel Havelim. The weekly round-up was established about fifteen years ago by Soccer Dad who no longer blogs. These days, we coordinate it via our facebook page. To host a blog carnival, be in touch with Batya Medad at Shilo Musings. To be included in the next Havel Havelim, send Batya a a link (before Shabbat, your time) to your favorite Jewish or Israeli blog post of the week, preferably with a one-line summary, email@example.com.