We’ve Got Haveil. We’ve Got Havalim. WE’VE GOT IT ALL, BABY!!!

Shalom to my loyal readers and to all newcomers to the War Zone! It’s a special post today, folks, my first time hosting Haveil Havalim, issue #188. This is the weekly “blog carnival” of the Jewish/Israeli blogosphere, created by Soccer Dad and currently maintained by our friend Jack. I’m not sure why it’s called a blog carnival although I was promised clowns and a bearded lady from Bank Leumi. It’s 7:45 AM and they still haven’t arrived. I NEED TO GET TO WORK, DAMMIT!!!

In Haveil Havalim, we recap what people have been writing about in the J-blogosphere. Believe it or not, WWZ regulars, there are actually people delving into topics deeper than inappropriate Israeli t-shirts and advertisements. Or that’s what I discovered this week anyway. If you’d like to receive weekly updates about this here blog carnival, you can join the Facebook group, Haveil Havalim- The Best Of The Jewish/Israeli Blogosphere. Sadly, the Friendster group was discontinued in 2004. (Holy cow, I just looked up Friendster on Wikipedia….can you believe it’s the 2nd most visited site in the Philippines?!?! WHAT YEAR ARE THESE PEOPLE LIVING IN??? The world is flat, my tuchus! What’s the #1 site, Ask Jeeves?)

It’s 8:23 AM, Jack….WHERE IS MY BEARDED LADY?!?!
This carnival sucks.

Just a quick story….this past weekend, I went shopping at a certain Tel Aviv grocery store which will remain nameless (clue: it rhymes with Pooper Zol Gvirol). As I walked through the vegetable aisle, I suddenly saw a rat dart under the vegetable stand. People, I don’t care if Shiri Maimon is tempting me from the pomegranate area with promises of kisses and Friday night cholent, the moment I see a rat is the moment I head halfway to Haifa. If I remember, it went down something like this.

9:01:03 PM “Hmmm…..I sure could use some tomatoes.”
9:01:04 AAAAAAAAAAAUGH!!!!!!!
9:01:05 “Looks like it’s Cafe Aroma for dinner!”

I get right to the check-out lane with whatever food I had already picked up and tell the female cashier about the achbar that just scurried across the floor. She quite calmly says in Hebrew “ooh, what am I going to do?” I’m like “In America, I’m pretty sure that most women would be screaming right now (as would I). She answers, “If it was a jook (cockroach), I would definitely scream.”

I’ve heard that at least three times…what is the deal with women in this country being more afraid of roaches than rats? Am I nuts? A roach, while admittedly nastier than even the bathroom at Jerusalem’s Underground bar, can be stepped on. A rat is an animal for G-d’s sakes! Yeeeeech-I’m grossing myself out. Before I end this story though, can I get some help from the commenters? Are roaches universally feared more than rats or is that an Israeli phenomenon?

Last seen near Kikar Rabin late last week (without the red shorts).
He may or may not have been speaking, err, squeaking Hebrew.

Anyway, to my regulars, feel free to sample what different people from the Jewish community are writing about. Newcomers to my blog, welcome; I invite you to check out some of the “Most Popular Posts” to the right for a laugh or three. And as long as I have the attention of so many eyes, I’m headlining at Jerusalem’s Off the Wall Comedy Basement on Saturday, November 15th. Come laugh and check out my site for more.

Ok, let’s jump right in…


Lady Light details her head-to-head battle with a squirrel to claim supremacy over her sukkah.

Jack, the godfather of Haveil Havalim, takes a look at some of his friends’ lives and asks “what are you willing to do?” to make a relationship work.

Ruti Mizrachi of Ki Yachol Nuchal! gets thoughtful when recapping her time in the Sukkah.

A Living Nadneyda makes a case for donating your hair, posted at Nad-ned Nad-ned.

Batya of Shiloh Musings is used to interviews with foreign journalists in Shiloh. She shares a touching story from one of her neighbors with one journalist.

The holiday season is now behind us. Muse of Me-ander takes us through the end of it.

Rickismom of Beneath the Wings gets excited about Hebrew slang.

David of Treppenwitz makes you think before eating meat again.

If you thought it was hard being shomer chag, wait till you read Carolyn’s story on her blog Juggling Frogs. Observing chag or appearing on television? Wow.

The Rebbetzen’s Husband talks about a strange piece of mail and a recent Simchat Torah prank.

Batya of Shiloh Musings reflects on the reading of Kohelet on Sukkot Shabbat.

Did you build a sukkah? Cosmic X in Jerusalem shows one you may not have seen.

How about on a boat? Check out Lizrael Update.

Ilana Davita posts about her Yom Kippur and the role of women in Orthodox shuls.

SuperRaizy does the same with a plea to Orthodox shuls after Simchat Torah.

Ever seen a sukkah on wheels? Now you have, thanks to Mrs S. of Our Shiputzim.

Sukkot and Simchat Torah in Peru with Israelis? Check it out through Mottel’s two posts at Letters of my Thoughts.

Ellison of Blog d’ Ellison recaps his amusing morning in shul on Simchat Torah as we start over from the beginning.

Esser Agaroth addresses a recent poll dealing with “pritzus” during Sukkot.

Rickismom gets philosophical about schach and the Sukkah.

How much would you pay for an etrog? Jameel of the Muqata can’t believe it.

It’s almost election time….in Israel as well. Cosmic X points out an endorsement for Jerusalem mayor.

Soccer Dad gives examples of America not standing up to the Palestinian Authority under multiple governments.

Sammy of Yid with Lid worries about what role George Soros might have in the next administration, and questions the judgment of some American rabbis regarding their political endorsement.

Want to vote in the US election from Israel? Aussie Dave of Israellycool tells us how. If you are eligible to vote, you should!

Daled Amos talks politics as he wonders why the media investigates critics more than the candidates themselves, examines the power of the Israeli vote in the US election, and looks at Alan Dershowitz’s comments on American aid to Israel.

Guess where Obama lives? Yitzchak Goodman reveals the truth on Judeopundit.

Check out Carol’s cool drawings of a Tel Aviv jazz show at Drawing Tel Aviv.

Everybody knows where to get your rugalach in Jerusalem. Meet the man behind the chocolate in Jerusalemite’s interview with Marzipan bake-master.

Still haven’t seen the Israeli hit show “Srugim”? Esther of My Urban Kvetch tells us that it’s coming to the States.

Ruti Mizrachi welcomes her boys home and continues to celebrate her first sukkah in Israel.

Inspired by election talk, Material Maidel talks about racism.

How did you spend your Sukkot holiday? “(I’ll Call) Baila” took the family to Caesaria for a fun outing.

The holidays are now behind us…here are a couple of short video clips from Me-ander from the last week.

The Israel Situation rediscovers a well-known book about the Middle East and the world.

Planning a trip to Russia anytime soon? If you live in Jerusalem, your trip could be shorter than you think. Jerusalemite has the details about this and beautiful sukkot in Nachlaot.

A Living Nadneyda recaps a decision made by the Israel Land Administration here.

Sammy of Yid with Lid posts an interview about the (in)famous Muhammad Al-Dura video from a few years back.

Ra’anana Ramblings has a hilarious description of where your tax shekels are going.

Doing some post-Ramadan shopping? Cosmic X tells you where to go in the Old City….

Rickismom puts things into perspective when it comes to learning a new language.

Heshy of Frum Satire asks how you shake your lulav and asks how your rabbi discussed the uncomfortable topic of sex.

Raizy wonders how in the world THIS happened.

The Rebbetzin’s Husband examines Silly Season all over the place.

How do you know you live in Israel? Stephanie of Stefanella’s Drive Thru tells us here.

Some guy named Benji laughs at the name of an Israeli restaurant.

Batya of Shiloh Musings says it’s more of the same at the UN when it comes to Israel and the Jews.

Batya of Shiloh Musings shares a story from Simchat Torah and how you can invest more than just money in hakafot.

Leora in Highland Park explains Kohelet and Ozymandias of Sukkot and the meaning of “Haveil Havalim” itself.

Jill of Writes Like She Talks writes about….yikes. You’ll have to see for yourself.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Haveil Havalim using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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The next issue of Haveil Havalim will be hosted by Esser Agaroth.

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Leave a comment
  1. Rachel October 26, 2008 at 3:15 am #

    Re- the roaches. When I was in Israel, I was informed those Mid-Eastern two-inch long roaches FLY. Tears, anxiety, nightmares, and terror would describe the feelings this information evoked. Does that explain it?

  2. Mrs. S. October 26, 2008 at 3:31 am #

    Great job! Thanks for the link.

    And, Rachel, I can personally attest that yes, they DO fly.

  3. Ben-Yehudah October 26, 2008 at 4:52 am #


    Thanks for the links and for hosting.

    But, I must tell you that the Aroma Cafe is the Israeli incarnation of the evil Starbucks.

    Do not go there! It is a trap!

    First Mahane Yehudah, next the The Temple Mount!

    Run! Save yourselves!!!!!!

    HH #188 Is Up!

  4. muse October 26, 2008 at 5:14 am #

    Great job, but, and a big but. Jack didn’t start Havel Havelim, Soccer Dad did, so please edit in a correction.

    Jack graciously took it over and is doing a fine job, but hakarat hatov, we mustn’t forget to give credit where it’s due.


  5. Jack October 26, 2008 at 5:17 am #

    Well done. Thank you for your help. BTW, Soccer Dad is the founder of H.H. I am merely the current admin.

    BTW, I am told that the bearded lady is hanging out with the Minahel Shel Waffalim.

    See what happens when you are booked as entertainment for the carnival but also happen to be the ushpizin at Jameel’s.

  6. rutimizrachi October 26, 2008 at 5:42 am #

    Years ago, I met this scary Marine, who explained it like this: “When the world comes to an end, there will be only two things left standing: a Marine and a cockroach. [Pause for effect, slightly psychotic blue eyes leveled.] And the Marine will eat the cockroach.”

    Maybe that’s why. Or maybe that’s why we’re more scared of Marines than of rats OR roaches.

    Thanks for hosting!

  7. Benji Lovitt October 26, 2008 at 5:48 am #


  8. Leora October 26, 2008 at 6:02 am #

    Thanks for adding some needed humor to HH. I have memories of an achbar running through a fried chicken shop in Haifa…just because it has a hecksher, doesn’t mean no visitor critters.

    Great job, thanks for my link.

  9. Mia October 26, 2008 at 6:30 am #

    1. I think we discussed the topic of roaches in Israel here once and concluded that Israeli roaches are yukkier because they fly.
    2. Ahbar is mouse and has a cute childrens song about it. Huldas are rats and are said to try to bite off peoples toes in Heil Hayam bouts and in Gaza. My husband remembers really mutant rats in Gaza (but they don’t do ninja like the Mutant turtles)
    3. You think there are no rats at Aroma? Oh you naive, naive Oleh!

  10. rutimizrachi October 26, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Well, that cheered me up, Mia.

  11. Ben-Yehudah October 26, 2008 at 6:41 am #

    Yeah, Mia’s right, but I don’t know how hulda developed into meaning rat, exactly. There was a time when I believe it meant weasel. Rat is akhbarosh.

    I won’t mention what Haza”l says about why Devorah {bee} and Huldah received the names they did. I’ll surely get banned from HH for life.

  12. YMedad October 26, 2008 at 6:49 am #

    Way to go!

  13. Benji Lovitt October 26, 2008 at 6:54 am #

    Aroma: OUT. Cupa Joe, HERE I COME!!!

    Still, nasty as it is, you can step on a roach. A rat is an ANIMAL. With TEETH! (I’m about to make myself throw up by the way.)

    I’m now sure how you say it in English, but in Hebrew, it’s pronounced “EEEEEEECH-SAAAAAAA!!!!!!|”

  14. Ben-Yehudah October 26, 2008 at 6:58 am #

    Cupa Joe? Dude, didn’t you mother teach you anything? Cupa Joe is a chain, and chains are evil.

  15. SuperRaizy October 26, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    While roaches give me the heebie-jeebies, mice and rats scare the royal crap out of me. I once had a mouse in my house, and like you, I kept screaming over and over again “That thing is an ANIMAL!!!”
    Blech. I feel the need to go shower.
    Anyway, thanks for including my posts!

  16. Mia October 26, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    I agree mice and rats are much much worse than jukkim. I do screem and jump on the couch when I see a roach but I will eventually come down and hit it with a shoe or spray it with something. No chance of that happening with a rodnet. That is what men are for. I would wait (jumping and screeming on the couch) for either my husband or my daddy.

    by Heil Hayam bouts I meant Israeli navy boats/ships. I have been told that they always sleep with thier boots on.

  17. lilu October 26, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    I was raised by an Israeli mother in Connecticut who drilled the fear of jukim into my head from an early age… its genetic to Israelis – jukim are the worst!

  18. Susan October 26, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    I love the mouse post. I’ll never forget your reaction to me telling you I had a mouse in my apartment.

    I don’t really know how these blog carnivals work, but I want to respond to the last one, the “anti-semitism” one. The middle school where “Hit a Jew Day” happened is a few miles from my house. It’s shocking to me that they say that there are only 35/850 Jews there– I wonder if that is correct. Anyway, the Jewish community in St Louis is very vibrant. Knowing the area and the type of students that go to Parkway West, I feel like the ADL and others are totally overreacting. Saying that this is behavior that is related to the Holocaust? Of course these kids crossed a line that shouldn’t have been crossed, but who among us didn’t do stupid stuff when we were twelve? If they were 25 it would be a different thing, we hope 25 year olds’ critical thinking skills are higher. Its good that they were reprimanded, but I think the fact that it has made every nationla news network is pretty ridiculous.

    And there’s my rant. I enjoyed reading the carnival :)

  19. Daniel October 26, 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    A roach is easy enough to handle because you can either step on it or smash it wit a newspaper. The problem with a rat is that you have to go find a 2X4 to crush it with, and usually that can be inconvenient. Also, you can’t just flush it down the toilet, and the twitching corpse might be hard to handle.

  20. Baila October 26, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    Pull–eeze!!! Your rat has nuthin’ on mine–I’m posting on it later (after homework). Check it out.

    Great job with HH.

  21. A Living Nadneyda October 26, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    LOL… multiple times. Thanks for the links.

  22. Cosmic X October 26, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    Thanks for the links.

  23. Mimi October 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Agreed, all rats should immediately drop dead. But roaches and mice, I can handle. Step on the former, scoop the latter outside and tell it to go on its little mousy way.Let the cats and crows get it, I can’t bring myself to kill a mouse. If I had any sense, I’d kill mice, too, but they’re actually…rather cute. And small, and helpless. Just not really welcome in my house.

  24. Carol Feldman October 26, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Thank you for my official inaugural
    link. Fun!

  25. Daniel E. Levenson October 26, 2008 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi, great site – I enjoyed the story about the rat in the supermarket, in a slightly disturbing way. I publish an online Jewish journal called the New Vilna Review (www.newvilnareview.com) which might be of interest to you and your readers. The site is dedicated to exploring themes of modern Jewish identity from an individual and communal perspective. We publish articles, fiction and poetry and we’re always looking for new contributors.

  26. Jill October 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Thanks for hosting and I hope this is okay to comment back to Susan re: the Hit A Jew Day post – that was a link to my blog.

    Susan, since you’re in the area, that is very meaningful what you say. I hope you’ll visit my blog where there are a bunch of good comments, including one from a journalist who knew the Superintendent when he was in Indiana (I think it was IN).

    I do disagree about the kids being kids thing but I don’t really want to argue about it. My feelings about that definitely reflect my kids’ experiences and my experiences and I have a real issue with people dismissing thing as “just” schoolyard taunts.

    I know – I know – there are many people who do feel that way. But I’m not one of them.

    And I do respect “community” standards so to say – which is why it’s good to read what you believe is going on there. Thanks.

  27. Jack Hendrickson October 27, 2008 at 1:30 am #

    While roaches give me the heebie-jeebies, mice and rats scare the royal crap out of me. . once i had a mouse in my house and i kept scr4eaming till thew time he was out of my house.

  28. harry October 27, 2008 at 3:10 am #

    Thanks for the link love Benjamin. When is the big move to J-town?

  29. Benji Lovitt October 27, 2008 at 3:26 am #

    Move? Move? Who’s moving? That’s to be addressed in about 2500 words this Thursday or Friday (along with “Paul is dead” and other conspiracy theories that may or may not be true.)

  30. RR October 27, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Thanks for the link, and thanks EVER SO MUCH for putting some nasty rat imagery in my head. Don’t you know I’m terrified of those things? I once saw a rat (or a big mouse) at a Key Food in NY. Yuck!!

  31. Ilana October 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

    Congrats on the most comments ever! (that’s right, isn’t it?) So I’m just adding my comment so that the numbers will be higher!
    Oh, what about the post? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    Oh, yeah, if you’ll be doing a bunch of new stuff, I will try to make it to Off the Wall.

  32. Sarit October 27, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    Your rat story reminds me of my basic training. When we’d patrol the base in the evening/night we’d see rats the size of cats (no joke!) scurrying around near the garbage cans outside of the kitchen. Thankfully, our patrol route didn’t bring us too close to them but I get grossed out thinking about them even now, over 15 years later.

  33. rutimizrachi October 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Okay, here is my olah chadasha question: How can we have rats in this country? We have a wild CAT problem, for crying out loud! Aren’t cats the natural enemies of rodents? (Maybe they are just the natural enemies of giant tzefardeahs*?) I merely ask for information…

    [*for olim even newer than me, big green dumpsters, frequented by cats, are called “tzefardeahs” — frogs.)

  34. Mia October 27, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    where did you get the nice picture?
    Is it from the Ahava parade?

  35. the sabra October 28, 2008 at 3:14 pm #


    OMG! Thanks for the link, Benji!

    My old workplaceeeeeee! (Don’t ask me about the time I messed up on the sufganiyot fillings hehe)

  36. Benji Lovitt October 29, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    Mia, the pic’s from my good friend Google. Or as they call him here…GOO-gehl.

  37. Lady-Light October 29, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    Thank you so much for the link to my post. You know, I can’t stand them, but jukim is a really funny word (and achbarim aren’t much better).

  38. Aunt Laya October 30, 2008 at 12:45 am #

    OK, you asked. I had the creepy crawlyness of the jukim. There’s a great floor cleaner that gets rid of them and smells good: Ritzpaz Ploos. And a cat is a great remedy for a mouse… who could be cute under certain circumstances but never a big, fat two inch roach. Chodesh tov!

  39. Mia November 2, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    All this talk of roaches and rats and what do i find this morning in the laundry? a rat!!!

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