October 31, 2010

Haveil havalim #288 - the good name edition

Whoops. for those of you keeping score at home, this is Haveil Havalim #289. I am very sorry.

Isramom hosted edition #288.

A few years ago at a Jewish blogging conference there was a discussion whether J-bloggers constituted a community. Events of the past few days I think have answered that question.

Jack has done a wonderful job of administering Haveil Havalim over the past nearly 4 years. But after a time it gets hard to find hosts. Bloggers get interested in other projects and a blogging carnival is a lot of work. But his work has kept the community together.

The focus of the j-blogging community has changed a bit over time. But in recent weeks, the focus had been on RivkA of Coffee and Chemo. About a week and a half ago I saw that she was in the hospital and not doing well. I only found out after Shabbos, that she had passed away Friday morning. (via Twitter)

I talked with my mother before she left for a very special simcha in Israel and asked me if I knew about Coffee and Chemo. RivkA and my mother had something in common. They were both alumnae of Barnard. (My mother graduated a couple of years before RivkA.) Apparently she had been written up in an alumnae journal. I think it must be here. (Page 34-35) Plus I found this.

The Jerusalem book group began almost three years ago, when alumnae at a Barnard Club lecture series decided they wanted to continue discussing ideas together on a regular basis. Members noted the paradox inherent in the eligibility requirement for membership. On one hand, only Barnard graduates may join the meetings; not even women who attended Columbia College, which shares a Hillel House with Barnard, may attend. On the other hand, any Barnard alumna is welcome, regardless of age or religious or political affiliation.

The diversity of the women's backgrounds is one reason that Rivka Matitya, class of 1989, is attracted to the book club. "The common denominator ... is a sincere intellectual curiosity about a diverse range of subjects, both fact and fiction, the ability to discuss things freely and openly even when we disagree," she said.

If the reporter's name doesn't mean anything to you. Maybe this does.

It's sad to read this post from Friday morning at Coffee and Chemo.

Anyway the tributes for RivkA came from those who met her and those who hadn't.

Those with less to say and those with more.

From the north to the south.

One with pictures; one with a shared experience.

Recent Olim and veterans.

Political bloggers and personal bloggers.

Also of note is Jameel who was taking care of RivkA's blog and West Bank Mama who linked to several other tributes.

I am not going to pretend that I have all the tributes to RivkA, but please check the sidebar at Coffee and Chemo. Or feel free to leave URL's in the comments.

But just looking at all of RivkA's friends it's a reminder of what a community J-bloggers are. And the tributes remind us of the words of Rabbi Shimon, (Pirkei Avos 4:17) "... the crown of a good name exceeds them all."

UPDATE: I knew I forgot many so I will use the update section to link to others whom I've missed. Frume Sarah thinks about RivkA across Time and Space. Elder of Ziyon remembers RivkA's trip to Kever Rachel..

There are many who are paying their respects in the comments at Coffee and Chemo.

Please also check out the comments for those who included links to their own memories.

Posted by SoccerDad at October 31, 2010 5:06 PM
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Beautifully done. Thank you.

Posted by: Frume Sarah at October 31, 2010 11:29 PM

Soccer Dad, thanks for your wonderful special edition for RivkA Havel Havelim.

Posted by: Batya at October 31, 2010 11:49 PM

I'm so glad that you did this - thank you!

Posted by: toby at November 1, 2010 2:03 AM

Thank you!

Posted by: Jack at November 1, 2010 2:43 AM

Thanks for doing this.
For a long time I though doing HH was a lot of work and I was afraid to try. Last week I tried it and while it did take a bit of effort, it wasn't all that bad. Stop scaring people off. If I can do it, you can do it!
Today I posted this about Rivka Isramom: What Women CAN do!

Posted by: Risa at November 1, 2010 2:52 AM

Ooops! My HH was #288! Do you want this to be 289 or 288a?

Posted by: Risa at November 1, 2010 3:30 AM

Even though I'm sorry it was for such a sad ocassion, it was nice to see your name at the top of an HH again.

Kol HaKavod.

Posted by: treppenwitz at November 1, 2010 7:07 AM

thank you!

Posted by: LeahGG at November 1, 2010 7:07 AM

Wow. This was so thoughtful. Thank you.

Posted by: rutimizrachi at November 1, 2010 7:42 AM

Thanks. I would say I'm astounded by the number of people who have written tributes to RivkA, but the truth is, I'm not. She was just that kind of person.

Posted by: A Living Nadneyda at November 1, 2010 8:19 AM

What a beautiful, poetic post and lovely tribute to both a person and a community this is.

Posted by: trn at November 1, 2010 8:44 AM

Great job!

Posted by: westbankmama at November 1, 2010 10:17 AM

Thank you Soccer Dad for keeping the HH blog carnival rolling. This is a wonderful tribute to RivkA.

Posted by: Cosmic X at November 1, 2010 11:11 AM

I've written a few more words: http://www.amotherinisrael.com/memories-rivka/

Posted by: Hannah @A Mother in Israel at November 2, 2010 3:57 AM

I didn't know Rivka z"l well enough to write a blog post about her. I wish I had. But I did meet her once, and we too, had something we shared. We were both alumni of the Conservative movement's Nativ program. We both had taken a more Orthodox path, and had both made aliyah. So when we met at a Nativ Thanksgiving Dinner reunion in Jerusalem, she was a real hero for me. The room was full, but her presence seemed to take up half the room, if not more. The smile so many have written about permeated everything.

I felt intimidated then to go over to her and say "me too!", but with the gift of all of this hindsight, I truly wish I had.

Thanks for the forum for me to also say my tribute and goodbyes.

Posted by: ima2seven at November 2, 2010 9:32 AM

well done. thanks for stepping back up.

Posted by: neil fleischmann at November 4, 2010 9:28 PM
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