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