Turns out I have one more thing to say about Historian Twitter vs. Jewish Twitter before I'm done. There was a lot of indignation and credential citing by (white, gentile) historians to claim authority in saying that Jews were overreacting to an instance of rehabilitating Nazis.
But I didn't see anyone make a *historical* argument for why it was an overreaction. The closest I saw anyone claiming authority on the basis of historical expertise get was saying that we couldn't *prove* that the unlikely rehabilitation story was false.
For all the mockery of uncredentialed people daring to talk about history to credentialed history experts, no one actually told anyone they were *wrong* about the historical claim that the Wehrmacht wasn't actually in the habit of executing soldiers who once had Jewish friends
Mostly what was being said was that this instance should get a pass because it was a mistake, because the (white, gentile) woman is young, because she's still figuring out how to present herself in public. A history degree is irrelevant to any of that.
What IS relevant is the tendency of those in a position of privilege to protect that privilege in the face of anger from those without it, and the weaponization of authoritative positioning to do so.

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More from @JustSayXtian

14 Oct
Why is this your priority? Why, in creating a history podcast for kids, do you think the *most* important thing to focus on is the message that some Nazis were good? Why are you both-sides-ing the actual Holocaust?
This is clearly something that was put forth as part of the discourse over the past few days - the episode was recorded in February, but you promoted it back to back with your tweet exculpating revisionism. Image
From the parents notes on the episode, it is clear that you aren't actually full-throated Holocaust deniers or Nazi apologists. But the way you are teaching this is what *allows* for those things. I understand that it's hard to teach kids about horrific events. I do.
Read 7 tweets
12 Oct
Jews explaining to gentiles - yes, even gentile Holocaust historians who are usually very much on the right side of these narratives - why rehabilitating Nazis based on nothing more than revisionist family narratives is not, in any way, "punching down"
It's hard to explain how utterly disappointing it is to see someone whose whole career is based on documenting and teaching the history of the Holocaust drop everything to extend the benefit of the doubt to a gentile woman leaning into revisionism and the 'sympathetic Nazi' trope
It's even MORE disappointing to see calls for mass-reporting Jewish people for making "death threats" when what was actually said was not, in any way, a threat at all. Was it extreme? Yes, it was. Was it a threat? No, not even a little bit.
Read 8 tweets
8 Oct
I just noticed for the first time that in the beginning of Parshat Noach, the word translated as "corrupt" in the description of the world, and the word translated as "destroy" when God tells Noach what God is going to do about it are literally the same word.
In Ber. 6:12 the JPS translation reads:
"When God saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its ways on Earth"
Both instances of "corrupt" there, the adjective and the verb, are conjugations of
In Ber. 6:13, immediately following, God tells Noach "I am about to destroy them with the Earth". The word "destroy" is a conjugation of the exact same word:
Read 9 tweets
6 Oct
As someone who is raising kids in this context, I can confirm that counteracting white-Christian hegemony is no small feat. And one of the things that makes it hard is that progressive Christians and Christian atheists sometimes confuse "strong connection" with "indoctrination"
And I do get the fear around indoctrination, especially from people who themselves grew up in authoritarian religious systems and are dealing with the trauma of that. It's a real thing, with real consequences, and it's not bad to watch out for it.
But a lot of the time, when you are raising kids in a non-Christian tradition in a hegemonic Christian culture, you have to be pretty clear and direct about saying 'this is OUR culture, these are OUR traditions, these are OUR beliefs. They are not co-equal options or curiosities'
Read 17 tweets
5 Oct
Cool cool cool. Let's talk about why doing word counts is silly.

First off, I'm gonna guess that the count of 39 incidences in Exodus was arrived at by running a query on a website that provides the text in multiple translations. There's only 16 independent instances I find.
Of course, I am also looking for the English word "smite" - so it could, second of all, be a matter of some translations using different synonyms for one word, or translating multiple words all as "smite". The text isn't actually in English.
Putting that aside, though, of the 16 independent instances of "smite" I find in Exodus:

5 are about what the consequences are when humans smite each other
4 are about smiting inanimate objects
The other 7 are all about one event in Egypt, not multiple events.
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct
There's this thing that happens whenever we discuss generally applicable things about Jewishness where the halacha-heads show up with edge cases and technicalities, and it's an example of what I think is a deep misunderstanding of what halacha is and what it's for.
As @N_S_Dolkart puts it here - halacha means the way of walking. The idea that it's a static, monolithic thing that can be referenced as an Eternal Truth is counter to the whole way (I think) it was meant to be used in the first place.
Throughout the Talmud, rabbis do exactly what we do on Twitter today. Someone says "Here's the rule" and someone else says "Okay, but what about X example that clearly contradicts your rule" and the answer is "Well that's different."
Read 23 tweets

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