So last week was Pesach, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar, because it commemorates the foundational myth of the exodus from Egypt as prologue to the revelation of the Torah at Sinai. This fascinating thread goes into great length about how we continue to find significance in biblical stories despite the lack of archaeological evidence that pretty much any of them actually happened. As the rabbi says, you have to transcend the Sunday school understanding of the stories, the simplified versions made accessible to children and palatable to parents. The story of the exodus is about the mistreatment of refugees and immigrants and the ruthless application of that mistreatment in the service of wider empathy; the fact that the rest of the Hebrew bible tells you this over and over again is only one way to know it. After reading some intriguing books about biblical authorship and other forms of academic context, I’ve come to consider the Tanakh in some respects the founding document of a system of ethics more than a religion, from a time when people wouldn’t have recognized a distinction — made deeper, wiser, and more subtle by the last several millennia of Jewish literature. For adults to continue to cling to simplistic conservative interpretations doesn’t only lead them to morally abhorrent conclusions, worse, it’s boring.
Todd Weber brings word of an amazing find: the Catholic church has been holding its own Infinity Gauntlet in a convent in Mexico. The question is, what did Santa Teresa de Ávila do when she snapped her fingers?
Speaking of, the new Avengers was fun and all, but I kind of feel like Samuel Beckett’s script could’ve used some tweaking.
I have been told that there are areas of Reddit that are not the exclusive domain of neo-Nazis, MRAs, gamers, TERFs, or toxic fanboys. I was skeptical, but then I saw some comment sections on r/Relationships and r/AmItheAsshole, and I must admit that there are some pretty wholesome comments to be found, even if some of the folks on AITA don’t appreciate their awesome children.