Sunday, January 22, 2006

The week that was - The Muqata Madness Recap.

Just 7 weeks ago, I blogged about my perceived decline of the fun and wackiness of the JBlogosphere...how I missed the boat. Thankfully, so as not to sound that pathetic, I noted with a bit of cautious optimism that maybe things would turn around.

Since then, there has a been an explosion of excellent writing all over the JBlog world. I didn't know the JIBs were just around the corner, and little did I know how much things could change in such short time.

As you know, I was threatened with severe bodily harm if I blogged before my son's bar mitzva, so I invited 16 blog friends to guest blog at The Muqata over the past week and a half. I was a bit hesitant at first -- how many of them would actually accept my invitation? Yet within hours of sending out my email invite to them, I was overwhelmed by their bubbly enthusiasm to guest blog.

"Be careful what you wish for - it may come true"

Had I been able to go back in time only 7 weeks ago to when I wistfully wrote about the JBLOG heyday party I missed, and tell myself that a huge new carnival was only a few weeks away, and would be on MY blog...I doubt I would have believed it.

A quick reminder of their posts as as follows:

Jack from Random Thoughts, recalls his first trip to Israel...and how that amazing experience left its indelible mark on his soul. Whenever you are ready to come back Jack, we'll be cheering for you on this side!

Zeev from Israel Perspectives, already living in Israel (who I've had the pleasure of meeting) invites us to the Cafe Kitzoni - the comic cafe of the radical right. Actually - a place for bloggers to meet and have have some hot soup on a cold Jerusalem evening sounds like a lot of fun to me.

And then there's Chana, A Curious Jew. This enchanting and prolific younger blogger routinely manages to amaze me by her depth and breadth of knowledge. While she definitely did not belong at Templars, maybe she can find a place of learning here in Israel...that will inspire her even more.

Must Gum Addict. I found this blogger commenting on Orthomom's blog not too long ago, and as my kids are fans of "MUST" gum, I started reading his blog. Definitely a person with the right aliya orientation -- his recollections of a trip here (with great pictures) shows us where to be.

When I found my blog listed on Zion Report under "Blogs I would pay to read" -- I knew this was someone I had to connect with. He poignantly reminds us of the high price a committed Jew can pay for living in in Chutz LaAretz.

My good friend Jerusalem Cop who quit the Israeli Police Force, so as not to participate in the Disengagement this past summer, talks about Aliya -- and issues surrounding it, and why it's an option for everyone. Guess the movie his post titles come from, and you can chose what he'll blog about next.

Mirty HaBlogger has a great series she's currently writing about her stay in Israel in the early 70s. Feeling a bit under the weather at the time, she extrapolates on world peace via chicken soup. See her blog...she's a fantastic writer, and code scripter and fairy blog mother.

LabRab - the Yeshiva University synthesis of Torah Umadda writes about his visit to Israel as part of Operation Torah Shield II. This was of particular interest to me, since I celebrated my aliyanniversary last week as well, having come on Operation Torah Shield I in Jan 1991. Ever the nice guy, LabRab throws in an extra post with a DafYomi song. Thanks LabRab -- your calling for JIB support was very kind!

JoeSettler wrote a great political piece about Jonathan Pollard and how he should be smack in the middle of Israel's consensus. Joe also tries to get extra site visits by posting a photoshopped picture of me from my son's bar mitzva...I apologize on behalf of Muqata Management that he shamelessly used this tactic. And no, you can't tell its me in the picture either.

My left of center blogging friend, the Artist Formerly Known as the Purple Parrot treats us to a great culinary experience of Palestinian Burgers. Its always best to discuss politics on a full stomach...makes the conversation alot more relaxed. Thanks Parrot - your writing is always great!

Guys! Its 18 minutes before shabbat, and you haven't yet read this outstandingly funny post by Shifra? Drop everything and read it now! This post has been linked to everywhere...and I feel guilty that such a fantastic post was guest blogged at the Muqata...when her site should have received 100% of the credit. Do check her site regularly for her weekly soap opera, "The Modern and the Orthodox" and read all about questions to the "Dear Abby" of the JBlog world.

MC Aryeh of "A Whispering Soul" offers some hilarious top secret insight into the history of the Muqata and how I chose the Jameel moniker for blogging. I feel totally outted...not. And then, after such a great guest blog, he further embarrasses me with a blog review that made me blush. Though up for lots of JIB awards, MC Aryeh ignores the limelight and helps showcase many great blogs.

One of the more senior bloggers out there, I only realized recently that I know Soccer Dad (and yes, we did meet in person). He writes about some special doctors in Israel and why everyone should know about these private tzaddikim. Coincidentally, the same day this was posted by Soccer Dad, I bought a book about historical sites around Jerusalem, which was published in memory of Dr. Shmuel Gillis.

And last...in the list. Not expecting anything like this in the slightest, comes a personal and touching guest post from R.X at Suburban Hymns, simply named "For Jameel". If anyone ever dreamed of orchestrating an episode of "Jameel @ The Muqata: This is Your Life" -- they could not have written a finer example of quality literature. Hanging on to every word throughout this posting, this was a fabulous present which I will always treasure.

And now...to all of you guest bloggers - I salute you! I would be honored if you would remain as contributors to my blog - even if on an annual basis. Seeing all your names on the "Contributors" list makes my day every time I see it.

Thanks for such a wonderful week of blogging; I look forward to meeting you all in Israel!

You Bloggers ROCK!

(...and I'll post about the bar mitzva later -- it was great!)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael and Israel Perspectives (?) along with JoeSettler's Jerusalem compass, Soccer Dad's home page (though his keyboard is still in the West), Shifra's husband when he davens late Friday afternoon; Purple Parrot's nice sentiments; LabRab's funny songs point to Rechov Sumsum; and J-cop even without cellcom reception...

13 comments:

Jerusalemcop said...

thanks for letting me invade the muqata

J.

ifyouwillit said...

It's been a week of high qualuty writing, and wonderful reading. Welcome back to the blogsphere!

Chana said...

And we, in turn, salute you, Jameel! Wot, wot? *chomps on carrot* ;)

(Thanks for the compliments *smile*)

Chana said...

Oh, you obstinate person (the seminary reference.)

By the way, (although this is in no way your fault) you are linking to the "wrong" creation post (my first one, which I didn't mean to publish) under the word "routinely," maybe you can fix it?

*smile*

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Chana: Stubbornness is a virtue, right?

Link fixed!

Jack's Shack said...

It was a lot of fun.

MC Aryeh said...

Thanks for the stay at the Muqata blog (and for the kind words)...but very happy that you are back!

Ezzie said...

Uch, now we have to read Jameel?! (yawns) ;)

These guest postings were a lot of fun to read, and it's great to have you back.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

MCA: Thanks! lets see what the Muqata has in store in the coming days -- its also good to be back.

Ezzie: A yawn? heh heh...wipe that yawn off your face. YOU'LL see!

Jack: thanks! Glad you participated!

MUST Gum Addict said...

It was an honor Jameel. A pu pu platter of posts that whet the palette for what I'm sure you'll continue to delvier as the entree.

Hadran Alach Muqata

Tovya @ Zion Report said...

Thanks for the kind words... and I'm glad to see you back in action.

Greg said...

Jameel, I'm sorry to say i didnt' read the posts while you were away; I just figured I prefer to read what you, yourself have to say(absolutely no offense meant to the articulate, and Zionist bloggers who contributed while Jameel was gone).

Mazal tov on your son's Bar-Mitzvah! All the best to you, your family and the people of Israel.

בתקווה,איתן

p.s. I told you I'd be...u know. I changed my mind(again) and am focusing on improving my Hebrew(I've been here for almost 5 years and yet it's still not that great mostly since I have the option to talk English or Russian most of the time.)

Batya said...

You didn't invite me to the party.

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