So here we go:
First, a fascinating new blog, Life of Bruriah, which takes the idea behind the Pepys' Diary site -- which posts an entry each day from the famous historical journal -- and adapts it to Bruriah, the most famous woman mentioned in the Talmud, imagining her life and thoughts day by day. Great idea -- hope author Eliyahu Grossman (interesting it's a man...) can pull it off...
Next, a blog most of us probably don't know about -- because it's in Yiddish. I have no idea what's on Yiddish Journal (having completed only one year of Yiddish in university, all long forgotten) but some of the articles he links to are definitely not what one might expect from a Yiddish-language blog (if one were expecting very frum material, that is).
One person who will at least be capable of understanding the aforementioned blog one day soon (...althoough Mommy, understandably, probably won't let her) will be Aidel Maidel's daughter, who, AM reveals, is being sent to a warm, friendly school -- where the kids learn only in Yiddish and do not learn any secular subjects at all, other than maths, until seventh grade (!). There were about 17 comments on her blog before anyone even asked about that but eventually, AM did reply to some criticism/concern that she is severely limiting her daughter's future opportunities: "That's right. I am taking those choices away from her. Because I believe they're choices not worth considering. I would rather give my children the richness of yiddishkeit than the shtuyot of the world." AM, you know I love ya, but in this case... I think you're nuts...
Runner-up in the galloping-frummies category: Psychotoddler's daughter Fudge confronts a puzzled friend who doesn't understand why Stern has a Beit Midrash:
'a girl's job isn't to sit and learn all day...it's...it's not good for them to have butay medrash. there's no point to that.'OK.
i think i just blinked at her. i said: 'there's nothing wrong with it...?'
'it's not assur, it's just...that's not a girl's job. we aren't supposed to sit and learn.'
From a slightly different corner in the frum velt, Frummer? explains why he blogs . The Shaigetz notes that his frum dress means many non-Jews mistake him for / treat him as a rabbi, and relates the following amusing anecdote:
In the years that I was studying outside London I used to ride the train a lot. On the long inter-city rides I used to enjoy striking up conversation with fellow passengers. The atmosphere and the very fact that we knew we would never see or hear from one another again was conducive to some very frank and open conversations with people who must have felt they were talking to a Rabbi. I spent hours counseling people for a multitude of sins I know nothing about. I once spoke to an Irish man who wanted me to agree with him that even when he used contraceptives against the wishes of his ‘Holy Father’ it was not wrong if he did not feel it was wrong. He called them French letters and I of course had no idea what he was on about. I agreed with him wholeheartedly that God would not mind him using his letters at all as long as he felt it was right - although as a Brit I secretly felt He would much prefer a letter from any other nation!He he. Talking of the French, Danny has some rare praise for them. And talking of funny, Steven I.'s search for the world's funniest Jewish joke continues.
Now, on to holier matters. Many blogs marked Rashi's 900th Yahrzeit on Friday, including, ahem, this one and Soccer Dad. Both discussed the percentage of Jews who are probably descended from Rashi -- Turns out that's lots of us. Yeranen Yaakov tells you all you ever wanted to know about Rashi, and then some, Kesher Talk uses Rashi to explain why we mark a great man's yahrzeit rather than birthday, and Boker Tov, Boulder provides a brief Rashi bio.
In other religion news:
- Rachel is reading the Koran (or, as she more culturally-sensitively calls it, the 'Qu'ran')
- Elf has some questions about G-d (or, as she less culturally-sensitively calls him/her/it, 'God') -- and a recipe for tofu salad.
- Friends of Micronesia notes a ruling by an Egyptian Muslim cleric that "no Muslim fighter who blows himself up may be declared a martyr or reach Paradise – unless he fights in Palestine." Terrific.
- Israellycool notes that Australian Muslim students are being told by their imam that the Zionists are trying to kill them -- by poisoning bananas (!!). Talk about going bananas...
- Dov Bear explodes some Tisha b'Av myths, blasts the women tehillim-zoggers and calls this week's World Wide Shema campaign "philosophically unsound, and theologically vulgar" (can't see where, but Orthomom says so, and also discusses the difficulty of prayer).
- David and Victoria Beckham have just got matching his-and-hers tattoos -- in Hebrew -- saying, 'Ani Ledodi.' As Gilly says: "It is still unclear whether [Beckham sons] Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz can expect to be joined by Moshe Beckham any time soon. Despite the Jewish roots, were Beckham to ever decide to make Aliyah, his England caps would prevent him from turning out for Israel. It is unlikely that Beitar Yerushalayim would be able to meet his salary demands." Or that Malcha Mall could answer Posh Spice's shopping needs.
It would be hard to give a J-blogosphere roundup this week without mentioning the Gaza disengagement, which is of course at the top of everyone's agendas. There's a lot of stimulating and hard-hitting material out there, including: OOSJ explaining why no one has risen at all to the occasion, and displayed any leadership; Ben Chorin's excellent post on the line between legitimate protest and illegitimate havoc-wreaking (he also provides some insight into Natan Sharansky's singing talent, or lack thereof); and Chayyei Sarah's poignant questions on the role children have had in anti-pullout activities. Lots to think about.
Finally, some misc. entries:
- Celestial Blue is fulfilling a dream and going to Israel on Livnot, financed partially with money she raised selling bracelets through her blog.
- Modern Orthodox Woman is making Aliyah -- we wish her behatzlacha (and, per the old joke, hope she's coming with a big fortune...).
- MOChossid has a close encounter with a car but lives to tell the tale.
- Another new blog: two guys are preparing to document their 'frum road trip' -- and 'Put the fun back into fundamentalism.' Nice strapline.
- JTS Future , which is tracking JTS's search for a new chancellor, seems to be coming along nicely. The latest: The anonymous writer wonders whether all the obvious candidates should be ignored and the school should go for an outsider instead.
- Batya is traumatized to discover she's eligible for a senior citizens discount -- although she seems to have retained her sense of humor...
- Jack has some touching thoughts about a friend who died 7 years ago -- prompted by his son's questions about death.
- Biur Chametz has an amusing list of English words which sound best if pronounced with a Yiddish accent, including farflung and finagle and kerfuffle. Not too farfetched... (Ok, ok. That's on his list already.)
- Esther gets singled out in an article on Jewish bloggers... not that we're jealous or anything.
- And if all that's too much reading material, don't forget the J-blogosphere's best (and to the best of my knowledge, only...) podcasters: Harry and Dave.
Anyway, that's it folks -- that was the week that was. Thanks as usual to Soccer Dad for the organization and input!