The last of the Jewish holidays has passed, and with it, the explanation for my absence these last two days. Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah is an add-on to Sukkot (Tabernacles to non-Jews), and celebrate the giving of the Torah. Each year we finish the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings on that day, and start the next one, well, that day.
The holiday schedule has been brutal this year, affecting not only the blogging, but also schoolwork, job hunt, and everything in-between. They are by turns, solemn, joyous, serious, exuberant, and just plain pleasant. For this year, they are over.