Hevel Havalim #16!

Welcome to Hevel Havalim, or "Vanity of Vanities," the Jewish blogosphere's blog carnival. The name comes from the beginning of the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), so I figure that it is only appropriate to begin with a quote from that book:
Of all the things that come, a man is not able to speak; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled from hearing (1:8)
That's certainly how I feel now! There's a lot of good stuff out there, and the articles linked here are only a small sampling of them. Be sure to check out the main pages of the blogs I link to, if you can.

Now to begin with some sobering reading. Terri Schiavo passed away this week, having been starved to death by court order. Naturally, the Jewish world has some strong opinions on the issue. Here are a few, many of which draw parallels with other issues.

At Crossing the Rubicon 2, Gail gives an exceptionally comprehensive look at the Terri Schiavo case from all angles: moral, religious, legal, ethical, and a personal note as a survivor of cancer. It’s all good, but one quote in particular jumped out at me:
Those who see her as a vegetable want her dead because they can't bear to think of what life would be like under those conditions, but one who is living under those conditions is not aware of the factors that we find unbearable.  We want her dead to ease our own suffering - not hers.
The Schiavo Case

(I actually explored a similar theme in a post a few days ago, before this one was submitted. The two pieces compliment each other very well, I think. Murder by Judge)

Batya at Shiloh Musings relates the Terri Schiavo case to the present culture of abortion on demand, and then extrapolates outward into America’s foreign policy. (Though I’m not sure I understand her reference to the Yom Kippur War, given Nixon’s massive arms airlift.) Terri Schiavo and Modern Morality

In another piece, Batya draws a parallel between the death of Terri Schiavo and Israel’s disengagement plan. Selection

Judith at Kesher Talk links to several fiskings of a terrible article by the Jewish Week on the Schiavo case, which manages to cover several angles of the issue without consulting a single eminent bioethicist (certainly not because we have such a shortage of them, either). Poskening

On to other topics...Soccer Dad, Hevel Havalim’s esteemed founder, asks the question: What Jewish holy text is most like a blog?

Shanna of Devarim.com rants about “Shomer Negiah,” the prohibition against physical contact between unmarried men and women, and about the profound sociological distortions that it causes. From where I sit at YU, I have to agree that things have been taken to an unhealthy level. The more clearsighted rabbis are extremely worried. Natural, Chemical, Logical, Habitual

She then takes issue with the “Fuzzy December” holiday season in Rejoice!

Back at Shiloh Musings, Batya considers the implications for Israeli society of the proliferation of Shabak agents and agent-provocatuers who spy on Israeli Jews, and comes to a disheartening conclusion: Trust and Insecurity

Fred at Israelpundit takes note of a Canadian Muslim who refused to tolerate anti-Semetism at his children’s private school. How do you say “mensch” in Arabic?

Fred's post makes for particularly interesting reading in light of this piece by Daniel Pipes.

Winds of Change features a post by Zorkmidden of Discarded Lies, where he interviews an old Salonikan Jew who survived Bergen-Belsen. What was it that seperated the Jews from their tormenters? Terra Nostra: "We were from a different level"

David at Israelly Cool tells of the drive back from a Jerusalem wedding party, and the hijinks that ensue. Only in Israel will people not feel nervous about accepting help from confessed criminals! One Night in Jerusalem

The Elder of Ziyon brings our attention to a statement by leading Papal candidate Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, calling for Christians to recognize Zionism as a “Biblical imperative.” Zionist Cardinal.

On Batya’s other blog, Me-ander, Baile Rochel writes a post described as “A true life story about ladies in YESHA. There's only one, maybe two exaggerations. Send me your guesses.” All I can say is, the more sixty-year-old women who can belly-dance, the better! Got That Rhythm!

At Multiple Mentality, Jewish contributer Sethual Chocolate and non-Jewish co-founder Lowcommotion discuss How to Become an Honorary Jew

And I'll close with a piece of my own, containing some rough thoughts on the historical Parallels Between Early America and Early Israel

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy all the great submissions, and be sure to check back with Soccer Dad to see who's hosting next week.


Batya said...

We're not yet 60, though it's getting closer. If you can find what I asked you to look for in the archives, you'll be able to guess more accurately.

Mastiff said...

Sorry, my bad. I may have read a reference to the other women there and applied it to the author. I think I won't try to guess the real ages, such activites are hazardous...

Batya said...

re: age, I was the oldest, the reference to '60's music was the decade composed, not the age of dancers; though I certainly hope and pray that I'll still be dancing in my '60's and well beyond.

'73: the US knew that Israel would be attacked (I know from various sources), but neither warned nor helped until it was certain that Israel would be victorious. Careful reading of the papers of the time will show that America held onto the arms shipment for some very crucial days.

DovBear said...

Re Schavio and abortion:

Small quibble.

Shilo claim that Terry might have protested the pulling of her feeding tube, but the court ruled, using the testimony of five witnesses, that this is what Terry Schavio would have wanted.

I don't think the court made the right decision (too much doubt) but it isn't the abortion culture that made this possible: it's the death penalty culture.

Schavio -of course- was no criminal, but in both her case, and the death penalty cases, courts take upon themselves the right to make life and death decisions, overlooking, in both cases, legitimate doubt.

It's what happened here, and it's what happens in many death penalty cases.

Its nothing like abortion.