Monday, June 06, 2005

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH!
[sung to the tune of "don't worry be happy"]

Here's a little ditty I wrote
You might want to hum it note for note
DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
In this life we all got tsouris
Sure, but there's a reason for this!

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH

no place to pray or even daven
don't worry, who's countin'?

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
The world says it's getting late
So where's the messiah already, mate?

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
Look at me I'm JEWISH
You're Jewish!
We're Jewish!

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
Here's my cell number
If you worry, text me
I'll set you, set you, free

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, YOU'RE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, WE'RE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH.....

There's jewish salami and Jewish style
So make every day count and smile smile smile
But don't worry, be Jewish
Cause when you're bluish
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down

So don't worry, be Jewish (forever!).....


There is this little tune I wrote
hope you learn it note for note
Like all good Jewish dreamers

Don't worry, be Jewish!
Listen to what I say
In our lives expect some trouble
(of course! so what else is new?)
But remember what Signmund Freud said
If you worry too much you'll disturb the dead!

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
Put a smile on your door
Give us a free soul tour
Don't worry, life's a test
.....Whatever THAT means!

DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, YOU'RE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, WE'RE JEWISH
DON'T WORRY, BE JEWISH.....

(end)

(c) 2007-3007 You're Jewish Inc.


Yes, Virginia, there is a Bubbie and Zadie!
Our new Bubbie and Zadie book for 2006 and 2007 is here:
http://bubbieandzadie.blogspot.com

BUBBIE AND ZADIE COME TO OUR HOUSE -- 2006 edition
with artwork by Israeli artist Alex Meilichson

Hanukkah story touches family in Virginia

Internet News Agency
December 13, 2006

Norfolk, Virginia

Twenty years ago, when Susan Anderson was given a cassette tape of a children's Hanukkah story titled "Bubbie and Zadie Come to My House", her first child Ryan was about a year old and the family, including Anderson's husband, Jim, began listening to the tape every Hanukkah at their home in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

In the story written by children's author Daniel Halevi Bloom, Bubbie and Zadie -- Yiddish words for "grandma and grandpa" -- embody the spirit of all grandparents. Every December, on the first night of Hannukah, they leave their little tailor shop and fly magically through the sky to visit Jewish children. At each house, Bubbie and Zadie sit and chat and share a snack, advise children to have good hearts and tell them stories about the Jewish faith. Anderson recently told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that when she was only six weeks old, she was adopted by parents of mixed religion. Her adoptive father was Jewish, her mother Methodist. Anderson was brought up in the Jewish faith but never practiced Jewish traditions. Then, before her own children were born, she had a blood test and discovered that she had a genetic fluke carried only by Jewish people. So then she knew she truly was Jewish-born. That discovery made her determined to embrace the traditions of the Jewish faith. Her husband, a Presbyterian, understood and agreed.
That's why, over the course of 18 years, the small cassette tape grew to be very important in the Anderson household. Every December, they would listen to it in the kitchen, in the car, snuggled together on the sofa. "I wanted to create my own little magic with Hanukkah," Anderson said. "It's all about lighting the candles. With kids, it's all about the presents. If they think these little people come, it just makes it all the more fun."
So, every night, after the family lit their Hanukkah candles, Bubbie and Zadie would leave presents under Ryan, Jordan and Jillian's beds. However, a few years ago, Anderson lost the tape. Her youngest child, Jillian, couldn't hear the recorded story anymore. Still, Jillian always waited for Bubbie and Zadie to visit.
Then in 2005, when her children had grown to be 21, 17 and 8 years old, Anderson saw an article in a newspaper and read that Bubbie and Zadie were the main characters in a children's book written by Bloom and originally published in 1985.

Anderson searched all over forthe book, and finally, like so many children who have written to Bubbie and Zadie over the years at the author's invitation, Anderson wrote directly to the elderly couple -- their address was in the newspaper article -- on New Year's Day 2006. "We still hide the presents under the bed each night, so she does know about them," Anderson wrote, referring to her daughter, Jillian, and then her two boys. "It has been a wonderful, magical, fun experience over the years to hear their little footsteps run upstairs and come down with smiles and excitement that again Bubbie and Zadie were here."

Bloom, an American how living on the other side of the world in Asia, wrote right back, right on Anderson's letter.
"What a beautiful, moving letter!" Bloom scribbled in the margins. "Your letter touches me deeply. I am in tears -- of joy, of course." He knew, of course, that his book had become a fixture in many Jewish homes. And he knew why.
When Bloom was a child growing up in Massachusetts in the 1950s, he had always had the feeling that Hanukkah was overshadowed by Christmas -- the trees, the music, the TV specials, the Santas. He felt there should be more about the Festival of Lights. "But of course, I was only 10, so I had no idea what to do," Bloom recently told a reporter. Then in 1981, in his 30s, he invented an imaginary pair of grandparents and sent out a release to The Associated Press inviting children to write Hanukkah letters to the couple, for free. And they would get a letter in return, for free. The letter idea took off, The New York Times wrote about Bloom, he wrote the book about Bubbie and Zadie and then came the audio tape -- the same tape that Anderson first listened to 18 years ago.
Bloom understood Anderson's passion for the story. After all, children and adults had written more than 10,000 letters to him, and to Bubbie and Zadie, over the years.
He suggested Anderson try to find a copy of the book at Amazon.com. He told her she could download the story for free from a Web site. He even offered to send her a copy via e-mail.
That's because, despite the letters, and despite the popularity the story had attained in the Jewish community for 25 years, the book had gone out of print by 2000.

It was not the first time somebody had said his book should still be on the market. The fiftysomething Boston native is the author of seven other children's books and has worked in several countries as a cartoonist, a newspaper editor, a public relations consultant and freelance journalist. Bloom, nearing 60 but looking more like an elfin 40-year-old, describes himself as a "child-like, ageless, balding, white-haired dreamer." Anderson's letter, he told the Virginian-Pilot, gave him a "kick in the 'tuches'", and that he tried hard to find a new publisher to bring Bubbie and Zadie back into print again.

Bloom had taken the story to 30 new publishers over the previous five years, and they all said no thank you.
One day, by email, Bloom got in touch with Rudy Shur, head of Square One Publishers in New York. "I told Dan, 'Wow, we don't publish children's books,'" Shur recalled. But he remembered reading about a fellow who had written a children's book and was still getting letters from children around the world. "Yup, that's me," Bloom told him. Shur asked for the book. "I thought it was cute and clever," Shur said, "and I thought the art needed to be updated. It needed to be more 2006." Shur's wife had an idea. An art exhibit was opening in just a few days. "She said, 'Go there,' " Shur remembered, "and I said, 'Yes, honey, let's go. Just schlepp me along.' "I went there and passed a small booth with some artwork, and it was done in the style of (Marc) Chagall and had a Jewish name on it. And I said this is really beautiful." The artist, Alex Meilichson, was visiting from his home in Israel, where he had once studied sociology and political science at Tel Aviv University. He didn't do illustrations, he told Shur. He did paintings. "So I said, let me tell you about me," Shur said. "I have a project. The author is in Taiwan, and I think that if we put your style of art in the book, it would be really good. We need 28 paintings, and we need them in eight weeks and we need them done relatively cheap." Three and a half weeks later, the paintings were done. This past September, Bloom's book, in a brand-new edition with new illustrations, was back on the market, ready for grandparents to give to their grandchildren on the first night of Hanukkah.

And Bloom, well, Bloom says he is ecstatic. "Bubbie and Zadie have been rescued and given a second life. That's all I was looking for."

And imagine Anderson's surprise when she received her copy last month, read it all the way through, then found her name on the last page under the author's acknowledgements: "Susan Anderson in Virginia."

It was as if Bubbie and Zadie themselves had flown through the air and left her an early Hanukkah gift.

==============================================

Elaine Soloway in Chicago has a spendid new book out titled:
"The Division Street Princess". Set in the 1940s, the memoir is a coming-of-age story of a girl, a store, and a vibrant Chicago neighborhood. (from Syren Books)
See her blo here for pics and cover page and great article by Tom MacNamee in Sun-Times
http://thedivisionstreetprincess.blogspot.com
----------------------------------------------------------------

84 Comments:

Blogger Franklin Mills said...

Hear's a blog for the Jewish Genealogists

www.JewishGeography@blogspot.com

December 20, 2004 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Franklin Mills added in a later email:

The website has been set up by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.

It is http://www.JewishGeography.blogspot.com

Our organization's wehbsite is http://www.jewishgen.org/jgsi

And my email address is franklinmills@earthlink.net

Yours,

Franklin Mills, [age 74 years young]

December 20, 2004 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Franklin Mills added in a later email:

The website has been set up by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.

It is http://www.JewishGeography.blogspot.com

Our organization's wehbsite is http://www.jewishgen.org/jgsi

And my email address is franklinmills@earthlink.net

Yours,

Franklin Mills, [age 74 years young]

December 20, 2004 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Smooth said...

Hi - you've got a good idea shaping up here. I'd like to pitch my pro-Israel site, Smooth Stone, http://smoothstone.blogspot.com. Also, "JPerspective", "JRants", "Boker Tov, Colorado" and "The Raphi" are some other Jewish sites too.

December 20, 2004 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

Danny, you can email me at myurbankvetch@hotmail.com, and we can talk about all three of the blogs I run: JDaters Anonymous, My Urban Kvetch, and The Berkshires Blog...

Thanks for commenting!

December 20, 2004 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Yael said...

Welcome to the blogosphere.

I wanna be listed as a Jewish blognik! My blog is Boker tov, Boulder! at http://bokertov.typepad.com/btb/
It was just named Jewish Blog of the Year at Jewish Current Issues (Rick Richman's MustRead blog at
http://jpundit.typepad.com/jci/ ) --highly recommended.

And then there's Leah Guildenstern
http://leahguildenstern.typepad.com/

Harv Weiner's Isralert at http://www.isralert.com/

JewishComment.com where I especially love to read Carol Gould

and RogerLSimon.com
kesher talk at http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/
Meryl Yourish at http://yourish.com/
Imshin at http://imshin.blogspot.com/
MyOrbiterDicta.blogspot.com

There's more, but I'll give you a minute to catch up.
--Anne Lieberman, blogging under Hebrew name, Yael
from Boulder, CO

p.s. can you use a larger typeface? I'm getting older and have to squint. or wear glasses. and i hate that.

December 21, 2004 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Anshel's Wife said...

I thought I signed up for Jewish bloggers. Is this something else?

December 30, 2004 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Yetta, yes, this IS "
something else." But we will list you on Sunday. Get ready to fly!

December 30, 2004 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger dan said...

http://www.ou.org/other/5765/tsunami3.htm

What Was God Thinking?

By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

It is the question of questions for religious belief. Why does God permit a tragedy such as the Indian Ocean tsunami? Why does He allow the innocent to suffer and the guiltless to die?

It was just such a disaster ?the Lisbon tragedy of All Saints' Day, 1755, in which as many as 100,000 people died as a result of an earthquake followed by a tsunami and fire ?that led Voltaire to write andide,? satirizing religious faith. The butt of his irony, Dr. Pangloss, is generally thought to be modeled on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the German philosopher who held that ll is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.?

What incensed Voltaire was that there were religious believers who thought that the quake represented God's anger at Lisbon's inful?ways. After all, didn't the Old Testament speak of divine anger? Were catastrophes not interpreted as punishment against sinful nations? Is there not justice in history? Yet, in the end, that interpretation was unsustainable. Why Lisbon and not other cities? Why were the young, the frail, the saintly among the casualties?

Even the most dogmatic found it hard to answer these questions. In any case, the suggestion is morally unacceptable. It blames the victims for their fate. After the Holocaust, such thoughts ought to be unthinkable.

Jews read the Bible differently. One of its striking features is that the most challenging questions about fate come not from unbelievers but from the heroes of faith.

Abraham asked: hall not the judge of all the Earth do justice??Moses asked: hy have you done evil to this people??The book of Job is dedicated to this question, and it is not Job's comforters, who blamed his misfortunes on his sins, who were vindicated by heaven, but Job, who consistently challenged God. In Judaism, faith lies in the question, not the answer.

Earthquakes and tsunamis were known to the ancients. Job said: he pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke; by his power he churned up the sea.?David used them as a metaphor for fear itself: he waves of death swirled about me. . . . The Earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook. . . . The valleys of the sea were exposed, and the foundations of the Earth laid bare.?In the midst of a storm at sea, Jonah prayed: our wrath lies heavily upon me; You have overwhelmed me with all your waves.?Yet God taught Elijah that He, God, was not in the earthquake or the whirlwind that destroys but in the still, small voice that heals.

What distinguished the biblical prophets from their pagan predecessors was their refusal to see natural catastrophe as an independent force of evil, proof that at least some of the gods are hostile to mankind.

In the ancient Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish, for example, Tiamat, the goddess of the oceans, declares war on the rest of creation and is defeated only after a prolonged struggle against the younger god, Marduk. Essential to monotheism is that conflict is not written into the fabric of the universe. That is what redeems tragedy and creates hope.

The simplest explanation is that of the 12th century sage, Moses Maimonides. Natural disasters, he said, have no explanation other than that God, by placing us in a physical world, set life within the parameters of the physical. Planets are formed, earthquakes occur, and sometimes innocents die.

To wish it were otherwise is in essence to wish that we were not physical beings at all. Then we would not know pleasure, desire, achievement, freedom, virtue, creativity, vulnerability and love. We would be angels ? God's computers ?programmed to sing his praise.

The religious question is, therefore, not hy did this happen??but hat then shall we do??That is why, in synagogues, churches, mosques and temples, along with our prayers for the injured and the bereaved, we are asking people to donate money to assist the work of relief.

The religious response is not to seek to understand, thereby to accept. We are not God. Instead we are the people he has called on to be His artners in the work of creation.?The only adequate religious response is to say: od, I do not know why this disaster has happened, but I do know what you want of us: to help the afflicted, comfort the bereaved, send healing to the injured and aid those who have lost their livelihoods and homes.?We cannot understand God, but we can strive to imitate His love and care.

That, and perhaps one more thing. After an earlier flood, in the days of Noah, God made His first covenant with mankind. The Bible says God had seen  world filled with violence?and asked Noah to institute a social order that would honor human life as the image of God.

Not as an explanation of suffering but as a response to it, I will pray that in our collective grief we renew the covenant of human solidarity. Having seen how small and vulnerable humanity is in the face of nature, might we not also see how small are the things that divide us, and how tragic to add grief to grief?

January 9, 2005 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Ruby said...

Thanks for listing my blog - Ruby's Rants & Randomness - on the "Other" section, but I am actually Jewish! As long as you have no requirements that I actually practice, you can list me among the other full-blooded Jews. ;} I am now what some call a JuBu, a Jewish Buddhist.

Thanks for compiling this list. It's an interesting way to slice the blogosphere.

January 17, 2005 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Ruby,
You're on. Thanks for the note. A JuBu? Who knew?
-- Danny

January 18, 2005 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger dan said...

"Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand."

- This sums up the power of blogging. Somebody said that. I forget who. But it's good.

January 18, 2005 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Good frief, wherever did you find Which Surprised Her??? Thanks for including me regardless of point of origin, it's nice to have so many I read neatly ordered.

January 23, 2005 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Also Jewish:

Noorster:http://noorster.blogspot.com/
Squarepeg: http://squarepeginisrael.blogspot.com/
Savtadotty: http://savtadotty.blogspot.com/
Elswhere: http://elswhere.blogspot.com/
Dany: http://goisraelgo.blogspot.com/

January 23, 2005 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Dear Lioness, Thanks for your comments above and duly noted. Onward and upward. We go. Danny.

January 24, 2005 at 3:32 AM  
Blogger dan said...

CLOUDS: a poem

with photos of cloud formations around the world!

Like human fingerprints
No two clouds are alike
They soar in the sky
like majestic towers
turkey towers
the weatherman calls them
beautiful
splendiferous
incredible
spacious
ever-mutating
crying out for attention
hungry
passionate
full of pizazz and verve

yes, summer clouds
are a delight to the eye
white mushrooms of smoke
set against a blue, blue sky...

Are you a summer cloud?
Do you have summer wings?
Summer flings?
Of all the clouds in the world
(and there are millions of them)
Which cloud pattern are you?
Proud?
Content?
Happy?
Sleepy?
Ready to do battle?
Humongous?
Passionate?
Lovelorn?

Whatever you do
and whoever you are
remember this:
There is only one you
and one universe
of which you are an integral part
-- and while there are many summer skies
and many summer clouds
the cloud you choose to be
will transport you
to the realization of your dreams

Be the best you can be
and live up to your accolades
Smile when the photographer says "Cheese!"
and give it your best shot.
Life, that is.

Summer clouds
summer sky
By and by....
Hello! Goodbye!

January 24, 2005 at 3:47 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh and:

- Rua da Judiaria by Nuno Guerreiro, http://ruadajudiaria.blogspot.com/ - Jewishness in Portuguese AND English (one can read translated posts)
- http://onlyinisrael.blogspot.com/ (IDF soldier)
- Not another Israel blog http://notanotherisraelblog.blogspot.com/
- Me's http://wishfulsys.blogspot.com/
- Attila's Pillage Idiot,http://pillageidiot.blogspot.com/
- Simulev, Swedish blog, http://simulev.blogspot.com/
- Brian Blum's This Normal Life
http://www.brianblum.blogspot.com/
- http://barefoot_jewess.blogspot.com/

I did ctr+F before posting these so I think they were missing. If not, apologies (and tell me if you want me to stop!)

(that last bit of your poem reminded me of E. Dickinson for some reason)

January 26, 2005 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Lioness, I put them all up. Thanks. The list is growing, evolving. Please tell your friends. And yes, EM was my next door neighbor, long ago. SMILE.
-Danny

January 27, 2005 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger jmm1966 said...

www.BECAUSEofROMEK.com

Synopsis

BOOK TELLS OF NAZI ATROCITIES THROUGH A CHILD’S EYES

A young boy, 13 years of age, witnessed his family being tortured and murdered by Gestapo soldiers during a dark time in history: Poland during WWII. At that time, David Faber did not know that he would not only survive countless horrors over the next five years, but would grow up to write a book about his experiences during the war. That was the promise he made to his dead mother: to survive
and tell the world what happened. Faber survived eight concentration camps, and was liberated by the British in April, 1945, from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. By this time, he was 18 years old and weighed a mere 72 pounds. After the war, Faber moved to London, England, and eventually settled in the United States. Today, Faber lectures throughout the United States about his experiences during the Holocaust. During his lectures, he relates the Holocaust to events of recent years, emphasizing the dangers of hatred, as well as the need for mutual understanding and compassion. Over the past 15 years, hundreds of book stores have hosted book signing events with David Faber, who has also spoken at many schools and colleges, as well as civil and religious organizations.
Because of Romek conveys Faber’s story of courage and survival through Nazi atrocities. The book is also a useful, educational tool for history, humanities, social studies, and English courses in middle schools, high schools, and colleges; Because of Romek is a required text in many educational institutions throughout the United States. Faber’s goal is for the public to be aware of the horrors of the Holocaust, so as to prevent such horrors from ever occurring again.

Needs

Vincent Press, in San Diego, is looking for an Individual or Company to assist us in the distribution of "Because of Romek"- A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir written by David Faber. People of all ages need to be educated so that this and other tragedies will be ended forever.
We are also looking to create a curriculum for all students.
We are also looking to create a documentary or film.
"Because of Romek" has sold approximately 150,000 Books over the past 15 years.
Please email me at jeffmuchnik@yahoo.com for more information or any questions. Thank you

Jeff Muchnik-Assistant to Publisher

February 16, 2005 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger dan said...

*** [FINANCIAL ANGEL ALERT: a very good video cartoon genius in New York City has offered to make a cute global Internet video for Hannukah time starring animated figures of Bubbie and Zadie. The Bubbie and Zadie of us all. He can make a one minute video cartoon that will be cute and warm-hearted and full of nachos ... and everyone will kvell over their own memories of their own bubbies and zadies... and this non-profit Internet video cartoon will be broadcast worldwide 24/7/365 on a website where people can view the cartoon and the video will wish everyone a ''HAPPY CHANUKAH'' in the final frames!

It's a great idea and to do this, we need a financial angel, as they say in show biz, to back this little video, which will not bring in any income at all, but will bring a nice feeling to many many people who will view it in December 2005 and every year thereafter!

If you are that ANGEL, please contact this website at the email here. It will cost around US$1500 -- peanuts to our angel -- to make this non-profit one minute video by the animation studio in NYC. You can pay the money directly to the genius himself, and we will thank you in the video credits, of course. We need a website to host the video too. Lots of traffic in December. Again, there is no money in this, just a chance to someone with extra cash on hand to help us get this Happy Hannukah global greeting card made for the Internet generation. Guaranteed to get a New York Times mention and make many people kvell with happiness. Want to be our angel? Do it. For Bubbie and Zadie.]

May 3, 2005 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Why Do Jews Blog? Why Do People Climb Mountains?

by Danny Bloom
http://jewishblogniks.blogspot.com


According to Los Angeles blogger Cathy Seipp, there are over eight million
blogs in ''the naked blogospheric city'', and hers is one of them.
Google the term "Jewish blogs" into a search window and up will come
hundreds, thousands, of blogs and websites maintained by Jews of all
stripes and affiliations, from leftwing pundits to rightwing
conservatives, from Orthodox dreamers to Reform-minded political and
social reformers.

Yes, the Jewish blogosphere is alive and kicking, and 24/7/365, you
can log onto the Internet anywhere in the world -- ''Jewish
geography'' has gone global -- and read, commune and converse (by
email) with Jewish bloggers in almost every time zone on Earth.
Welcome to the new world of Jewish blogging, made possible by advances
in Internet technology and a popular trend to connect with friends,
relatives and even unglimpsed, unknown readers online.

...

For Los Angeles screenwriter Robert Avrech, his blog called Seraphic
Secret is a way to keep alive the memory of his son Ariel, who died in
his early 20s from pulmonary fibrosis. Avrech, who has written the
Hollywood screenplays for several top movies in recent years, is an
Orthodox Jew with conversative political views and an interest in
Chinese cinema.

Avrech, in his 50s, notes on his blog: "My wife Karen and I receive,
on a daily basis, many beautiful and deeply moving letters. The
internet and e-mail have once again made us a nation of letter-writers
and for this we are enriched and elevated. For a long time, our
generation thought that writing letters was something people did back
in the 'olden days.' But now, e-mail being so common, and so easy to
use, people are again investing energy and time into words sent out
into cyber space, ultimately binding people together in ways never
before imagined. Strangers are now intimate friends. Karen and I,
because of this blog, have moved from an abyss of terrible isolation
into a womb of caring friends, most of whom we would not recognize in
a face-to-face encounter."

Blogging is Avrech's part-time hobby, as it is for most people, but it
has become an important part of his life as a Jew in America, too.
Among Avrech's best-known films is the classic thriller ''Body
Double''. His script for the timeless Hasidic fable, ''A Stranger
Among Us'' was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival.
Avrech also won the Best Screenplay Emmy Award for his adaptation of
the young adult classic ''The Devil's Arithmetic''. Author of ''The
Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden", a novel he wrote in 2004 in memory
of his son, is slated to become a motion picture, too, according to
his website.

For National Public Radio (NPR) commentator and blogger Catherine
Seipp in Los Angeles, keeping a daily blog --what she calls "an online
notebook" -- has become a compulsion. Many of her ideas about politics
and the media, she said in a recent radio commentary, have made their
way into cyberspace.

For Seipp, who writes for several national publications for a living,
a blog embodies the fun, stress-free side of writing, she told NPR
listeners, adding: ''Blogging connects me with all kinds of people
around the world who lead lives entirely different from mine. Blogging
isn't really writing, even though it is, it's just fooling around
jotting down thoughts and what I think of as an online notebook. My
blog
about my right wing views, media, conversations I've had with friends
and family, editors around the country who have ticked me off.

Seipp says she normally updates her blog on weekdays, five days a
week, taking time off from her Internet diary on weekends. And while
Jewishness isn't really a big part of her blog, it's a theme that
seeps through, between the lines.

...

"Chayyei Sarah" is the name of a popular blog in the Jewish
blogosphere -- what some pundits have referred to as "Jewish
blogography" -- and it's run by a woman named Sarah who lives in
Israel. The heading of her blog states that it is written by "an
Orthodox Jewish thirty-something ... living,playing, writing and
dating in Jerusalem."

Her blog has received over 70,000 hits since starting up in February
2004, and it regularly gets read online by viewers on several
continents across the globe.
"Mazal tov!" was the headline of a recent entry on the Chayyei Sarah
site, which was followed by this note: "To my dear old college friend,
Roseanne Benjamin, and her husband, Daniel Modell, on the birth of a
little boy, Asher Isaiah. This is their first baby. Congratulations,
guys, and may you be blessed with some opportunities to sleep. Can't
wait to meet little Asher the next time I find myself in New York."

Like most bloggers, Chayyei Sarah has an email address and gives it
out freely on her website, so that friends, acquaintances and even
strangers can write to her. So popular has her blog become that Sarah
was asked by a U.S. newspaper to write a news article about Jewish
bloggers and it was recently published.

....

For Toronto Pearl, who runs a blog called Pearlies of Wisdom, her path
to blogging followed a route that many others have taken.

In an email interview from her office in Toronto, she explained: "I'd
been reading a blog or two regularly for a couple of months, and then
one day I began
to think, 'Maybe I should try one too. After all, I'd kept a written journal for
years. This is just an online journal.' And so Pearlies of Wisdom was born."

When asked how her Jewish identity plays in her blog life, Toronto
Pearl replied: "Like everything in my life, my Jewishness plays a
substantial role -- even in
blogging. I've listed my blog with Jrants.com, which lists Jewish blogs, and I
tend to read Jewish blogs on the Internet the most and like to add my
comments on other Jewish blogs, too. In my own
writing on the blog, I touch on many Jewish aspects of life, such as
Shabbat, Jewish day schools, Jewish
holidays, customs, and Jewish marriage concepts, among other issues.
This is who I am, and thus, is
reflected in my blog writing."

So just who are her main readers? "I think my main readers are Jewish
Americans, many of them religious Jews,
as well, Toronot Pearl says. "I know I have some Canadians and
American-Israelis reading my blog as well.
My readers, that I know of, are in California, the American midwest,
Israel, Toronto,
Maryland, Pittsburgh,Texas, New York, Michigan, all over!
Most of my posts deal with me and my life, not about the world at large,
which rules out politics and most current events.
I think my readers range from teens to men and women in their fifties and
perhaps beyond. Everyone is welcome, of course!"

When asked about her frequency of blogging, Toronto Pearl, who is a
married mother and who works as an editor for a major publishing firm,
noted:
"I generally post daily, or every second day. Blogging can be somewhat
addictive and
you're almost afraid to miss a day of posts. Some people expect to read your
words every day and get disappointed when there is nothing from you, just as
I get disappointed when there is nothing from them on a particular day."

"For me, blogging is a writing exercise that opens the mind,
gets the creative juices flowing and spits out some good
stream-of-consciousness writing for me," she continues. "I have made
some wonderful offline blogging/online friends as a result -- we
share common interests, have wonderful online e-mail friendships, are
helping each other with advice and information. It's amazing world,
this blogging world."

...

For Los Angeles-based mystery novelist Rochelle Krich, keeping a blog
titled "News, Views and Schmooze" is part of her life as a writer.
When asked why she started keeping a web log, she replied by by email:
"I had always wanted a forum where I could express my views about a
variety of topics and get feedback from others.

When asked what role her Jewish identity plays in her blogging
activites, Kriich said: "It depends on the day, and the topic, of
course. I've blogged about Passover and matzoh
balls, about Paris Hilton, about giving blood, about my tour experiences,
about Philip Roth's latest novel, and also about the inaccuracies in
American TV and film portrayals of Orthodox Jews."

Who are her readers and how to they find their way to her blog? Krich,
who adds new entries to her blog three to four times a week, says she
has no idea, but adds: "I've received numerous comments from blog
readers, all positive, about my various posts. The greatest number of
hits followed my post about a serial child molester who was recently
paroled and relocated to a community that refused to accept him."

Regarding the pros and cons of blogging, and keeping a regular blog,
Krich -- author of several well-received novels, among them "Grave
Endings, a Mary Higgins Clark Award winner -- says that "that blogging

- Hide quoted text -
is a wonderful writing exercise, though it's far more time-consuming
than I anticipated. The ability to touch base with
readers all over the world, of all backgrounds -- I find that exciting and
stimulating."

...

Elizabeth Weisberg keeps a blog and says she started her blog because
she wanted to meet other BT women -- "Women who
were already married and became 'frum' with their husbands and all that that
entails."

As for her Jewishness, Weisberg notes: "I can't do anything without
being Jewish. I don't always talk about Jewish
topics on my blog, but that doesn't mean you can't see something Jewish in them
because they are coming from me."
curious goyim. Mostly my readers are in the US, but I do have someone
from Germany who reads
me regularly, and some from Australia and some from Israel, according
to my emails. Most readers are
pretty nice. Sometimes some readers yell at me for complaining too much. People
are quick with advice and kind words."

"Why do I blog? Well, I love
meeting new people and asking them about their lives, "Weisberg said
by email. "I get to see lots of
different points of view. And I just love to read and real people's real
lives are so much more interesting than anything else one can find to read."

...

A blogger who calls herself simply Z, and blogs at
http://www.matzahandmarinara.com, says she got into blogging after
reading Jennifer Weiner's blog.

"I started my blog initially as essays about my life. It turned
into 'Jew View' and has now morphed into 'Matzah and
Marinara'. I feel I am a capable writer who has
something to share."

Z., a 42-year-old mom in Pennsylvania who blogs almost daily, adds that her Jewishness plays a big role
in her blogging activities "since it also has a huge role in my
life. I converted to Judaism in May 2003, and it is a constant
struggle to define my Jewishness as it applies in my
life. My blog helps me make those definitions. It
also allows me to show the world that a Jewish mother
has the same concerns as any other mother."

"I was raised by a B'nai Noach
father and a Presbyterian mother," adds Z. "I was very interested in Judaism
from a young age, and actually, it was the concentration of my history
major in university. My senior thesis was on the Holocaust."

"My son is twelve years old, and is working towards his bar mitzvah," Z notes. "He was recently
diagnosed autistic. In fact, I once did an eight-part series on my blog in
partnership with Shira Salamone from the 'On The Fringe' blog about
children with disabilities -- her son is also disabled."

And who are her readers?

"My main readers are primarily men and women, not
necessarily Jewish, who have children," adds Z., noting: "Around 85% of my
readership is from the US, 8% from Israel and 7% from
Canada. The people who visit my blog seem to react to my writing with
great compassion
and empathy. A lot are parents of disabled children
like my son, Evan. They relate to my stories and
anecdotes because they make them feel less isolated
and less alone. Other readers are just people on whose blogs I
regularly visit. We keep up with each other."

When asked why she blogs, Z. answered: "Of course, there's a degree of
exhibitionism involved. My blogs are anonymous. I use the moniker 'Z'
which
in my little mind allows me to write about people who
are closer to home such as my Sisterhood or the local synagogue.
However, more and more people affiliated with those
are reading or could be reading, so I have backed
off of that. For me, the blog allows me a venue to express
myself. My son is autistic, and my husband is diabetic
and needs a heart transplant. Me? I muddle through.
I get a lot of support from my blog and it allows me a
venue to vent, kvetch, brag, whatever. It's very
satisfying. I would like to write a novel someday.
Through my blog I was able to meet author Rochelle Krich who
emailed me privately and we chatted for a while -- and what
an honor that was! Advice from Rochelle Krich!
Without my blog, I never would have met her!"

Why do people blog? Why do Jews blog? What's blogging all about?

To really understand the phenomenon of modern blogging, it's best to plug
into the Internet yourself, do some random surfing and search engine
browsing, and then call up those blogs you want to read and ... start
reading. From A Simple Jew to Jewish Blogography, from House of Joy to
Five Years Later, from On the Face to Expat Egghead, from My Urban
Kvetch to Help Me Bubby, from Jerusalem Revealed to This Normal Life
and a hundred thousand other blogsites, you will be amazed, surprised,
educated, nonplussed, exasperated, thrilled and filled with naches.
Most of important of all, you will have your global Jewish
conciousness raised to a level you never imagined possible.

Log on, blog on and read on. It's a never ending Jewish story.

June 12, 2005 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Loved the article Danny....now, how do I link directly to it????

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Z, here's the link!

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Hi Dan,

This is a great collection - but have you considered presenting it in a bloglines.com "news-aggregating" page?

A bloglines page can read the rss feeds of blogs, but also of mailing list archives, and a rss feed is a program in xml that automatically adds a record of the new entries in a blog or other dynamic site. Your blog's rss feed is http://jewishblogniks.blogspot.com/atom.xml and I just added it to http://www.bloglines.com/public/ebraismo, a collection of blogs etc in Italian about Judaism.

All the best

Claude

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