"What gain is there to man in all the labor which he labors under the sun?"
(Blogging, as described in Ecclesiastes 1:3)
This is a very special installment of Haveil Havalim ("Vanity of Vanities"). First, it is the final edition before the annual synagogue reading of Ecclesiastes (Koheleth), the book from which its name derives. More significantly, though, 41 is also the numerical value (gematria) of the Hebrew spelling of "blog". (It is, however, not the answer to life, the universe and everything. A shame.)
There were lots of great submissions this week, which I've supplemented with picks of my own. As promised, I've preferred posts touching on the holiday season. Keep up the great work everyone, and have a wonderful Sukkot! (Or Sukkos. Or Sukkoth. Or Succoth. Or Succos. Or Succot. Or Sukkes. Or Feast of Tabernacles. Or Ingathering Festival. Or...)
Cosmic X recalls the Selichot experience in the eyes of a ba'al teshuvah: "The bottom line of this post is that you get out of the selichot what you put into them." Amen. (On the other hand, Selichot at the speed of light make him miserable.)
DovBear likes piyutim, those long, drawn-out poems used to pad out the prayer services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. So I assume he wouldn't mind reading mine for me while I take a bathroom break.
Josh Cohen at Multiple Mentality wishes us a Happy New Year before explaining why he doesn't go to shul. Even for the High Holidays. Sorry to hear that, Josh.
Rachel Steinfeld celebrated Rosh Hashanah in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania, where she is stationed for two years on a Harvard University research project.
Psycho Toddler sees new and unusual evidence that we're losing the PR war. As if we needed any.
Elie of Elie's Expositions partakes of a Pre-Yom Kippur Smorg. Pass the carrot sticks, please.
Elisson at Blog d'Elisson contemplates Hineni, the chazzan's prayer before Mussaf on the High Holidays and one of my personal favorite prayers in the liturgy. I hope to recite it myself some day, God willing.
Muse at me-ander whispers during the last minutes of Yom Kippur.
Thinking randomly in his shack, Jack had a meaningful Yom Kippur. Thanks for sharing, Jack.
After Yom Kippur, Ezzie from SerandEz appropriately thinks about death.
Krum as a Bagel has been assigned the task of editing the Yom Kippur machzor for next year. Unfortunately, he seems to think next year was 89 years ago. And I thought I was behind!
Akiva at Mystical Paths brings us a Lulav shortage update. Ze'ev at Israel Perspectives reacts to the Lulav Monopolization Scandal, asking whether such lulavim remain kosher. I sure hope so - I already bought mine!
The Charedi Wannabe poses some Succos trivia questions.
Mirty says Sukkot is a Man Thing. Isn't that obvious?
Aside from dramatically not changing his blog name, Gil of the blog now and formerly known as Hirhurim has been wondering why a bris must be held in a sukkah. (Would that still hold if someone is vomiting? I need to know, Gil. Your new banner graphic turns my stomach.)
Barak Moore at IRIS credits the Bush administration with reports that Afghanistan plans to recognize Israel, and wonders what's up with Syria.
Daled Amos sees Israel's Gaza policy and is reminded of the Cat in the Hat. Too true.
Yisrael Medad at My Right Word shows us how the Western Wall Plaza might look In the Not-So-Distant-Future. If you build it, Winkie, will they come?
Tzemach Atlas at Mental Blog discusses the intriguing suggestion that rabbinic enactments which fall out of practice could be subject to formal abolition by a rabbinical court. Radical? Extreme? Could be, could be.
Tovya Benyon at Zion Report feels the pain of exile, and yearns to be free from Galus. You're welcome here any time.
Yaakov at AliyahBlog observes people who come to shul late, leave early, and socialize in between, and asks, Why Do They Even Bother?
Greg Gershman at Presence points out that Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann, an Orthodox Jew, has published papers about game theory in the Talmud. (Greg's title, "Shall We Play a Game?" is a reference to one of my favorite childhood movies, one whose plot revolves around game theory.)
Gail at Crossing the Rubicon2 brings us Polish-Jewish artist Maurycy Gottlieb.
Chayyei Sarah worries that she's losing her touch, in part because she hasn't been mentioned in Haveil Havalim lately. Don't be sad, Sarah! You made it this time! Just for being unbearably cute!
Josh from Chakira shows us How to Get a Lakewood Internet License. What are they afraid of? That kollelniks will consult Rabbi Abadi?
At Ortho-blawg Judge and Jewry, Jeff Ballabon wonders about Harriet Miers and the Jewish problem. Weird.
This is the last HH for two weeks when it will resume at Shiloh Musings. Over to you, Batya.
Haveil Havalim (The Jewish/Israeli blog carnival) can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's ÜberCarnival.
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