WeThe voting for this year’s Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards is almost done – and it’s down to the wire in several categories. Cross-Currents and its visually lavish and daringly designed Torah blog is leading narrowly in the Best Designed Blog category, beating out the comparitively ho hum Jewschool and the yawn-inducing, well… us. The faithful seem to have heeded the call:

If we aim to be the place you go to find a well-articulated Torah perspective on the issues of the day, we need to be “known.” That is why the “Blog Awards” contest is so important—not for our egos, but for our goal of becoming an important outlet for Torah thought to the world. Please help, by voting!

Clearly, a vote for Cross-Currents is a vote for H@sh_m! A vote for Jewschool or Jewlicious however, is clearly a vote for Satan. Well at least when it comes to design anyway. It’s not as clear when it comes to Best Religion Blog where Cross-Currents has been trailing in 2nd/3rd place behind Hirhurim and Lazer Beams. I guess it makes sense. Cross-Currents is very politically tinged whereas the other 2 are more, as a comentor noted, lishma.

There seems to be a veritable slugfest going on between Cross Currents and Hirhurim. Yaakov Menken of Cross-Currents took umbrage with a large late-night increase in votes on the Hirhurim site in the Best Overall Blog category. He attributed this increase to some sort of undignified technique. No, not like covering yourself in the mantle of the Torah and claiming you are H@sh_m’s fave blog, but rather, he implied the existence of some seedy email campaign. Hello Kettle? Pot calling on line 1! Anyhow, this should be a fun race too! Anything can happen in this three way race between Cross-Currents, Hirhurim and Dry Bones! Fun, fun, fun!

Although I should let Yaakov Menken in on some facts – success in the blog world is not measured by awards. Look at some of last year’s winners – where are they now? The JBlogosphere is a small community where we help each other out by cross linking – this is what gets you good Google rankings and traffic and attention – and no one likes a schnorrer.

Jewlicious seems to be doing OK in the Best Series and Best Post Categories and I think we’re leading in Best Jewish Culture – a close race in good company (Jewschool and Dov Bear.

We’re closely behind Little Green Footballs in the hotly contested Israel Advocacy category, but we are ahead of this Fundamentally Freud dude who not only has a JIB banner on the side of his blog, but also ends each of his posts with an exhortation to vote for him. Wow, Yaakov Menken can learn a thing or two from this guy!

Freud’s schnorring is however kicking butt in the Politics category where there is a 4 way race for third place. That’s also going to be fun to watch because I think we’re in it! Woohoo! Schnorring has also proven successful for Cross-Currents in the Group Blog category – although I think 2nd place, which we are in right now, is still up for grabs.

Whatever. I think we’ll all be glad when this is over. Awards or no awards, we’ll keep reading our fave blogs – y’all know who you are. Hug, hug, kiss, kiss!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Menken’s and cross-currents’ success is proof that traditional Judaism is not only conducive to Quiescent Fundamentalism, but it is, in fact, largely dominated by it. Though I obvously prefer Hirhurim, I hope Cross-Currents wins, so that we will have to stop fooling ourselves.

    As Menken straight out if the earth is really not even 6,000 years old, and if there were living and breathing dinosaurs. Watch him refuse to answer the question.

  • DK: One blog’s success (or the fact that a sucessful group blog includes a certain individual) proves that traditional Judaism is dominated by Fundamentalists? I’d be on better ground arguing that DovBear’s success proves that the Modern Orthodox are dominated by left-wing Democrats.

    Your apparent hate for traditional Judaism seems to be getting in the way of your reasoning ability.

  • Seriously, this competition has been, um, silly at best. It’s been worthwhile to have been exposed to a bunch of new and not so new very fine blogs, but I find some of the current results hard to believe.

  • Anon,

    Yaakov Menken is NOT “traditional,” he is Fundamentalist. There is a difference, as THEY will be happy to point out to you when deriding non-Fundamentalist Orthodox Jews as “Modern”.

  • I didn’t say YM was traditional. I used the term “traditional Judaism” because you did, making wild generalizations about it on the basis of one individual on one blog.

  • Hey, Muffti has a novel idea. Let’s all shut the fuck up about the JIB awards; for whatever good they do, they seem to incur a rather inordinate amount of interblog animosity and jealousy. We’ve had enough of that this year when Jewlicious and Jewschool spatted. Kill the li’l dog, vote Stormfront for best Israel advocacy, whatever. Let’s get to more interesting things, such as Lisa Loeb’s dating life and the toxic waste outside Laya’s appartment!

  • Michael agrees with Muffti. And I would like to propose that, in the future, the JIBAs not be settled by voting, but rather by an old-fashioned pistol duel. It’s a win-win scenario: either people refuse to participate, or they get shot.

  • Wow! I agree with TM for like the second time in only a year! I also thought Mufti’s 13 Attributes was definitely the best Jewlicious post this year.

  • Come on. That’s hardly a slugfest between me and Rabbi Menken. And he actually turned out to be right. Two wise guys in a particular college sent a considerable number of votes my way.

  • Ditto what Gil said. No, there’s no slugfest. No, I did not insinuate some “seedy email campaign” — that would indeed have been hypocritical, as I’ve emailed friends myself.

    What I “insinuated” was direct ballot stuffing, the source of which both Gil and I were equally unaware. And, lo and behold, I was absolutely right.

    Enough said?

  • Hey, look who stopped by? While your here, any direct answer to the dinosaur and “Old Earth” questions, Rabbi Menken, or would you prefer to punt on those two for a change? Why not set the record straight? Surely it can be given a yes or no, at least in terms of possiblity? That it is possible that there were dinosaurs, and it is possible that the earth IS NOT less than 6,000 years young, but is billions of years older than that.


  • Rav Menken, Gil student, enough was said a while ago. (re: Muffti’s directive that we shut the fuck up about the JIBs). DK and TM, thanks for the love, dudes! Muffti liked that one too! And to think that rant could bring you two together for the second time today would warm the heart of the Muffti if he had one.

  • Oh you guys don’t have to flatter me with your reference to your favorite blogs. I know you guys love me, and that is good enough for me.

  • I would not expect Rabbi Menken to take a position that could get him harrassed by extremists and possibly lose funding for some of his projects. So let me take the lead and say unequivocally that my teacher R. Ahron Soloveichik had no problem with an “Old Earth”. He was, however, no fan of evolution. See his book “Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind” in which he discusses these issues.