Haveil Havalim #312 – It’s Time To Talk About The Elephant In The Room
Welcome to Haveil Havalim Edition #312!
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.’
I am not a pluralist,…from far it. Yet, I strongly believe that Jews with differing views working together is the bottom line behind HH’s success. Sometimes a particular issue will have a noticeable theme or skew to it, depending on the host. But, the following week could well provide a completely different one. It is an interesting set of relationships we have been developing here. Do I include posts from people who disagree with me? Am I compromising my principles if I do? But, if I don’t, then I sure can’t expect them to include mine, right?…Like I said, I am not a pluralist, far from it. But, if we take the time to look around and to listen (I mean REALLY listen), we can often be surprised at how much we really do have in common. Even if it’s poetry or music, or a search for the best cappuccino in Israel, it’s at least a start. As they say, “It’s a process.” I don’t know about you, but I am going to keep coming back to see how it continues to work out.
Clearly, Esser Agaroth has a clear sense of what is appropriate and what is not. Says he:
What do I find offensive?
I find it offensive when Jews confuse Western culture and sensibilities for Jewish ones. Whether we are talking about “innocent civilians” during a milhemeth misswah (obligatory war), turning Jews into non-Jewish authorities, or a[Italian] black hat, none of these are Jewish concepts.
I find it offensive when Jews accuse other Jews of suborning mass-murder, when murder is an act which may only take place between Jews (Mekhilta, Ramba”m, Sefer HaHinukh). “Killing” is universal; “murder” is not. Please get your terminology right.
I find it offensive when Jews distort the Torah according to their pre-established beliefs and [galuti/diasporan] feelings, like when a Jew quotes the Talmud Bavli…
…that to save a life, it is as if one has saved a world.
…and neglects to mention that HaZa”L was not talking about just any old life, but rather a Jewish one.