A shocking revelation struck the Jewish blog velt last week, as blogging rabbi Simcha from Hirhurim finally dropped the increasingly-thin veil hiding his true identity, disclosing what most regular readers had worked out long ago: He is none other than Rabbi Gil Student. Yes, that is his real name! (Does he have a t?)
Everyone's talking about the newly-announced JIB Awards for the best Jewish and Israeli Blogs. Kudos to Israellycool for the initiative.
The Asian tsunami has Out of Step Jew musing about how monotheism and paganism relate to natural disasters, and DovBear embroiled in a debate about divine justice and retribution.
Did the Vatican condemn Israel over Sri Lanka's refusal of assistance from the Jewish state? No, writes Meryl Yourish; it was all a mistranslation. The Vatican actually condemned Sri Lanka. No one can explain how the message was reversed.
AmbivaBlog is far from ambivalent in this scathing critique of the Kabbalah Centre, insightfully contrasting its ideals and those of its founders with authentic Jewish attitudes towards wealth and poverty, while offering a sneak peek at a new book.
Rabbi Jeremy Rosen of Yakar in London discusses how he deals with premarital sex among Orthodox Jewish singles. (He's opposed, but there's more to it than that.)
Dove's Eye View ("An Arab American woman sees signs of hope") had lunch with a Jewish friend of Lebanese and Syrian origins. Her reflections on their relationship include recipes from their Sephardic meal.
Still on the subject of food, the Shaigetz not only doesn't like Chassidim (though he is one); he specifically doesn't like their Shabbos food. Along the way he notes, "I do find it ironic that the likelihood for a girl to have a Bat Mitzva party is in inverse proportion to the likelihood of her keeping any mitzvoth."
The folks at Cross-Currents can't decide which is worse for the Jews: PETA or Mainline Protestants. Love 'em or hate 'em.
At her Makom Kavua, Rashi's Daughter tells us why she calls herself Rashi's Daughter.
Newish Jewish blogger Nushyman (baruch haba!) complains about people who are incompetent at using Janglo, a consumer advice e-mail list for English-speaking Jerusalemites.
Poetry has attacked on multiple fronts. Ladybug is inspired by sunset in Jerusalem. At Mystical Paths, Akiva's daughter meditates on the blessings of dew. Yehoshua Karsh's Jewish soul muses on the Jewish people's abusive behavior patterns.
Tzemach Atlas is saddened by shuls with fluorescent lighting. Lisa from On the Face enjoys the weather in picturesque Tel Aviv.
Allison Kaplan Sommer is distraught over Israel's incoming Interior Minister - specifically, over his potentially-embarrassing name. By contrast, Steven Plaut finds the name amusing, and will no doubt take full advantage of the added possibilities for skewering the new appointee. (Meanwhile, someone should tell the good professor that e-mail is so passe! It's time he moved his missives to his blog for good, and let his old-fashioned readers subscribe by e-mail. The formatting is just too unbearable.)
Soccer Dad takes pleasure in getting the New York Times to issue a correction about Israel's recent prisoner release.
But does Israel really exist? Not according to the official website of the Syrian parliament, notes Patrick at Clarity and Resolve.
We don't buy it, though - Michael Freund reminds us not to believe everything we hear. Somehow we suspect the same applies to his friends at Arutz-7, though.
With that, the third edition of Haveil Havalim (aka Vanity of Vanities) comes to a close. Applicants are welcome for Haveil Havalim Edition #4 - both offers to host the roundup and nominations for the best Israel/Jewish-related blog entry for the first week of 2005 (give or take a few days). Contact the organizer, David Gerstman: Send it to dhgerstman at hotmail dot com and mention Haveil Havalim or Vanity of Vanities in your subject line.