“Haveil Havalim,” ”Vanity of Vanities” is the Jewish-Israeli blogging carnival consisting of posts from blogs all over the world. It’s hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Soccer Dad. The term “Haveil Havalim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “hevel” or in English “vanities.”And now, for this week's submissions, along with some excellent ones I found while perusing the blogosphere...
Now that the Jewish month of Elul is coming to an end, it is only fitting to note Kesher Talk's Elul Countdown, which has a number of excellent posts about Elul, introspection, Rosh Hashana, and the like. She also points out an excellent post about Tashlich by OnChanting, a blog I've never seen before that is quite interesting. Returning to the Elul theme, Batya has an "Only in Israel" Elul Special on Shiloh Musings about people returning to Judaism.
Batya also touches on an inspiring wedding, which included a bride who had just been released from Israeli prison - far different from the wedding PsychoToddler attended, but which was inspiring in a different fashion. PT also wrote another beautiful song after thinking about Hurricane Katrina for a while.
While he was writing songs, others were writing poems, such as this retrospective by the Velveteen Rabbi. Meanwhile, other bloggers were writing their own retrospectives and thoughts on the year gone by: Shoshana wrote one from the heart, while Mirty sums up her posts about her regrets with a thought on Tashlich (the links to the others are there). If You Will It uses someone else's song to make his point. Elder of Ziyon looks back at a German who saved Jews before Rosh Hashana when the majority were not.
Shoshana also wishes everyone a happy new year and includes some beautiful cards she found along with a message, while Not Quite Perfect (whom Soccer Dad calls the "Haveil Havalim official artist") draws her own card for us all. DovBear tells us what to him is important in a chazzan.
On the Fringe brought up the Akeidah, and discusses how she could never sacrifice her only child - but Mirty thinks that not sacrificing Yitzchak was exactly the point. Paul discusses it on Bloghead as well, then asks another question about the parallels between Rosh Hashana's Torah reading and what we read on Yom Kippur - to which I proposed an answer, though Jack gave a good reason why my answer may have holes. The Velveteen Rabbi analyzes Unesaneh Tokef instead, while Weevil takes apart Isaiah's words about judgement - which reminds Mirty of recent events, and causes Batya to spell out her thoughts at Me-Ander. [EDIT: Jack points me to The Jewish Connection's Unetaneh Tokef as well.]
The Pillage Idiot points out a true idiot, who clearly did not think about his fellow Jew, while Miriam over at Bloghead wants help in nominating which Jew had the greatest impact this year. Speaking of leaders, Gil over at Hirhurim and Dan at Seforim each discuss the "new" Making of a Gadol, which apparently is very similar to the old one, while Gil and the Godol Hador both mention the new YU tag line - and though Gil likes it, the Godol does not seem to have an opinion either way - though I may be wrong.
Though many are discussing the past year and the High Holy Days, some bloggers are jumping to Sukkos: Shifra is already building hers, while Soccer Dad is trying to figure out how big it must be to seat 40. Mirty's husband can build theirs in half an hour, while Jack reminisces about his friend Sam who could put one up in minutes.
On to Israel: Ze'ev (whose brother happens to be in school with me) leads the way, discussing the nice amount of Jews returning to our homeland, and questioning why there isn't a little more pride in our holiest places. New oleh If You Will It... is interested in the tiny margin by which Sharon retained power, while The Dead Pool notes that Abbas is - as always - contradicting himself. Ze'ev also gives his perspective on the Fruits of Disengagement, while I noted that Israel is responding properly - finally. And while Cheat Seeking Missiles noted the typical liberal media bias against Israel, and Depleted Uranium shows the consequences of such bias, Dov Bear and - surprisingly - I found media bias to the right.
And in the Jewish world... OrthoMom puts in her two cents on the "Marijuana Rebbe", while Krum realizes that much of Judaism is a test of physical will. Amshinover finds out that the chief Rabbi of Moscow can't get home, while Mis-Nagid has about 1,000,000 Jewish jokes in one post. Finally, Shira tells us what it's like to finally feel like she belongs.
I hope everyone enjoys! Have a Shana Tova, and Kesivah V'Chasimah Tovah!
Technorati tags: Haveil Havalim, Israel, Jewish, Carnival, Judaism, Rosh Hashana.