tonight and tomorrows hebrew date - 11 shevat - marks my uncle moree’s seventh yarzheit. it always does catch me by surprise, how quickly time passes while we mourn and grieve the people we love. (1/13)
in this week’s parsha, parshat beshalach, the israelites stand on the shores of a roaring sea — in front of them lies certain death, and behind them the egyptians inch closer and closer. (2/13)
as they cry out in fear, moshe placates them, and the Cloud of Glory - that has been guiding them on their journey so far - moves from in front of them to behind them, enveloping the egyptian forces in a thick darkness while the israelites move forward into the water. (3/13)
a famous midrash takes place here: with the egyptians on their tails, the sea refuses to split and the israelites can’t safely pass to the other side. only when nachshon ben aminadav steps into the water and wads through until it rises around his head does the sea split (4/13)
according to this story, the greatest miracle of all time doesn’t happen through moshe’s staff, but through one man’s proactivity, belief and bravery. (5/13)
it would be far too easy to try and compare uncle moree to nachshon. but uncle moree was more of a background kind of guy, he’d never put nachshon-level attention on himself. so i like to imagine the story slightly differently. (6/13)
the sea roars before the israelites, and the egyptians advance behind them. the sea isn’t splitting, and the people are terrified. nachshon is in two minds about stepping forward. it’s not his place, he’s nervous, anything could go wrong. (7/13)
someone places a steady hand on his shoulder, helps him calm his breathing before he steps up to the plate. courage isn’t always innate, sometimes it has to be kickstarted by kindness and compassion. (8/13)
i think, maybe controversially, the world has too many nachshons. uncle moree was this new, unnamed israelite, who gave nachshon just that little bit of courage he needed before venturing out. (9/13)
uncle moree was a safety net. he was the guy who’d help me with homework on a sunday afternoon, who you’d go to for any kind of school fundraiser. for some of us (not me!) he was the guy you called when you needed a parking ticket paid and didn’t want your mum finding out (10/13)
he’d cut my bagels and smoked salmon way beyond the age one needs help cutting bagels and smoked salmon. he was there for every birthday, every chag, every time you needed him. he was a background kind of guy, and he was a pretty damn great one. (11/13)
it can’t have been easy, essentially inheriting two kids overnight, and uncle moree never pretended it was; he always did blame us for his premature grey hairs. he was a wonderful, kind and loving man, and one of the people i hope i’m making proud. (12/13)
sometimes i think it’s a shame my cousins and the world didn’t get to know uncle moree like i did, but mostly i’m just happy i got to experience his generosity, humour and love. on his yarzheit, i’ll do what i do most years: miss him a little more than i do most days. (13/13)

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More from @TheTonightSho

27 Dec 21
why yes i did choose the frog plague to present on in class so i could talk about the Giant Frog of The Nile
but also this plague is turning out to be a really great metaphor for the jewish people in egypt and i’ve learned a lot a lot from this small chunk of text
first we have 2 very interesting words used when referring to the frogs: שרץ and עלה. both of these words are used in the first perek - bnei yisrael swarm in their expansion, and one of pharaoh's fears is BY alah-ing 'min haaretz'. v specific imagery that binds them together
Read 8 tweets
20 Dec 21
i guess i’m a tired of the whole “jews fight god behind the dumpster of a wendy’s” shtick bc how can you read the torah and not see a God so wholly and fully obsessed w the israelites who just wants to love and be in relationship with us
one of my favourite pieces of torah i’ve learned this past year is from my friend @claire_ism: God knew that being alone was bad for people, because all God knew was being alone. God created people to know them - dude doesnt wanna fight, dude wants to love and chill.
i think i just don’t like the way people have come to fully identify bnei yisrael’s relationship with God as “let’s fight this bitch” because it’s not that. i understand struggling and questioning but that isn’t our entire identity, nor our main relationship w God
Read 4 tweets
5 Dec 21
when the chazzan decides to sing all of the long hallel tunes
when the rabbi’s dvar torah is longer than all of davening
yitzchak, when avraham is crying and hesitating before sacrificing him:
Read 4 tweets
19 Oct 21
ImageImage
looking at photos of myself from high school ImageImage
a meme template? Image
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct 21
ive just been informed it's coming out day. there are so many days now.

anyway.

identifying as anything outside of the cisheteronormative frameworks that govern jewish communities can be really fucking hard and super isolating. i've been there. sometimes i'm still there (1/6)
i dont think we ever fully leave the struggle behind. but we choose our derech, we live our lives and we love ourselves as best we can.
and if you're at a place where you can't do that yet because you feel unsafe or unsure or like you couldn't possibly be LGBT+ and jewish: (2/6)
i was closeted for a long time and i always had guilt about it: i should've been out and showing other young jewish kids that you can be gay and frum at the same time.

at the time, i wasn't ready. i chose myself over my community. but i like to think i'm that person now. (3/6)
Read 6 tweets
26 Sep 21
i bloody love that the last chapter (or in the very least the last 3 pesukim) of the torah reveals that it's actually just a really long love letter to moshe.

bereishit is basically just a prequel -- 'look at the great people who got us to this point' (1/5)
and then bam, shemot hits and all of a sudden it's about this new dude moshe. he puts up with a lot. but God loves him and he loves God and despite their faults he leads bnei yisrael through thick and thin (2/5)
we watch him evolve as a leader and shape the nation. we watch him make mistakes and repent. we have a front row seat into the life of this man whose entire being was dedicated to God's nation and Godself. (3/5)
Read 6 tweets

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