French Israel

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Just got back from the néts [sunrise] minyan, which not only leaves me with ample time for breakfast, but also for writing a blog posting before shiour in yeshivah at 9:00a.m. Counterintuitively, waking up at 4:45a.m. or so and getting out the door in time for such a minyan also gives me energy throughout the day. I try to do it at least once a week, though seven times would be much better. We'll see how that goes -- the sunrise today was 5:34, and it's getting earlier.

Today my section of the yeshivah is scheduled to go on a tour of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount with Rav and historian Beryl Wein. I hope to have a full report up this evening. [Also, see this link.]

In a bizarre coincidence (or according to rigorously precise schedule, the thought of which scares me), this is exactly one year later on the Jewish calendar from a trip I took with this same yeshivah group (mutatis mutandis) to Tsippori in the Galil, also with Rav Wein. And furthermore, that is exactly where we are in my story of beginning life here in Israel last year. In case you are following that story, you see, the day after Shavouoth is when I flew here. Spent the week galavanting around, including a trip to the Galil and Teveria, and then went to the yeshivah on Friday to register. Spent Shabbath with a family, but on Sunday I joined the programme; on Monday we went on that day trip. That made for two trips to the Galil in the space of about five days. Yes, I was spoiled. Full details of that trip coming up, as well. (Perhaps I should first go back up there to Tsippori in order to do a better researched story...)

And yes, we are spoiled to be doing a tour of the Southern Wall and its archaeological excavations with Rav Wein.

In blogging news, I have been trying to improve the quality and frequency of my postings. To this end I have been poking around the blogosphere, trying to see how things are done right and how things are done wrong. In the latter category, you may have also witnessed the recent, gruesome death of one of the Jewish world's most prestigious blogs. It had been at the top of the list, worth checking a few times a day. But in the last month it was rendered unreadable by a tasteless narcissist who was invited to "guest post", and insisted on sharing his drivel about 50 times per day. Yes, it increased hits, but the net result will not be good. (Though a "guest" stint was supposed to last two weeks, it keeps going.) It is sad to see quality reading plummet into toilet humour, especially in an ostensibly Orthodox and scholarly source of news.

In the former category, I have been spending a lot of time in James Lileks land, observing the art of his craft. His Institute has always been linked in the index on the right, but I have lately discovered his Bleat to be an incredibly good example of personal blogging, and have included the link to it as well.

(I may come along here later and add hyperlinks, but most of the above-mentioned things, you can easily find for yourself.) [Links added today, Friday 4 June.]

I also feel it is my duty to keep track of anglophone Israel blogs and Jerusalem blogs in particular. Will have to make a definitive survey of them in a later posting.
PinḼas Ivri 06:32


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