Hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Laura's Links.
I don't know about any of you, but I'm not sure I am ever going to tire of seeing people's faces. When I went into a local coffee shop earlier this week, I saw little groups of seniors with their bagels and coffees, sitting and talking, having normal social activity, as humans should. I went to a mall today – the same mall where my disabled son was harassed in the Apple store for not wearing a mask just a few months ago – and it felt reasonably normal, reminiscent of pre-March 2020. I asked my husband if he felt happy to see faces as well and he kind of just shrugged but I was definitely the more militant anti-masker of the pair of us so I guess that makes sense. I am still loving seeing every single face, and every single smile.
In Jewish tradition, there is an activity called "chavrutah". The word literally means "companionship" or "friendship" or "fellowship" (from the Hebrew root CH/V/R), but it refers to two people or more learning holy texts together or for prayer. I have a weekly chavrutah with a fine Woman of Valour from America and our sessions are just wonderful. We are learning about Jewish prayer together from the book On Prayer: The Teachings of Rabbi Shimon Schwab z"l on the Siddur. He notes that within the Jewish morning prayer, we thank G-d for clothing the naked, for giving the gift of garments to Adam and Eve. Furthermore, he says (p. 34):
"The human being is the only creature on earth that has free will. He has the ability to overcome his animalistic urges. Clothing then, symbolically distinguishes men from animals. Thus the concept of tzenius (modesty) was born. One covers the portions of the body which humans have in common with animals. However, the face, which portrays man's superiority over animals, and the hands, with which we control the world, need not be clothed."
By forcing us to cover our faces, they tried to turn us into controllable animals and it was purely evil and a repudiation of the godliness of our human spirit and human bodies. But hey, let's keep pretending it was for our health. Let's all keep pretending this is fine.
While at the library a few weeks ago, picking up one of my usual robust stashes of books, I wandered over to the religion section and a book about Joan of Arc pretty much jumped off the stacks and into my bag. I have a lot of catching up to do about Christian history and thinking.
Kathy Shaidle, of course, used to be my go-to Catholic for all my questions and observations, and me likewise for her on Judaism. Of course that's just one of the seventy gazillion million things I miss her for. Truth be told, I still cannot handle the fact that she's gone. But anyway, I picked up The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc by Larissa Juliet Taylor and was mesmerized. What a moving story, what a strange and magnificent tortured life. Joan moved me tremendously.
Concurrently, I was reading another tremendous book called Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel's Classroom by Ariel Berger. Imagine my surprise to find inside the book that Wiesel was a huge fan of Joan of Arc (and many other historical figures that one would not immediately suspect of a Holocaust survivor).
These were strange coincidences and I can't yet connect the dots completely, other than to say, keep the faith, hold the line, keep up your prayers, G-d is good and north is always north no matter the storm around us or how disoriented we feel.
Take care and I'll see you in the comments.
"The true threat to normal kids life is irrational policymakers; the virus is just the scapegoat."
The great VDH: "America is more fragile than the left understands." A very well-written and very dark article, but it does assume that the left doesn't understand the fragility. I'm not sure about that. I think the left is very clear about wanting utter destruction and chaos.
Just when you thought the Uvalde story couldn't get worse-you learn there is no worst. Put another way: "they're never going to forgive this women for being braver than them".
Jews and Israel:
"Judaism is Emphatically Pro-Life". Indeed.
They hate you. They really, really hate you.
I love Batya's style. This is a great interview and I love the redneck-Jewish romance here toward the end. Super fun.
From Mormonism to Judaism, a really interesting lady!
Today in Satan:
PURE EVIL. What kind of psycho does this?
The Formerly Great Britain:
"Dutch farmers saying no to the globalist agenda." Has anyone seen this anywhere in the news?
Ahh the joys of multiculturalism and immigration: "First relax in the outdoor pool."
I'm not at all convinced that freedom is winning, but this is still good.
THIS IS FINE. Nothing to see here. I mean she was literally almost necking with him at some party but ya, for sure, she can't find anything. OKEEEEEEE.
Murderous, Barbarous, Nazi China:
"China's killer doctors." (This article is truly not for the faint of heart, so be forewarned: this is your official "trigger warning" as all the kids say nowadays..) The murderous Nazis are the people that Justin Trudeau admire. This is the society that manufacturers all of our products. This is the society that our betters in government, in Gates and in Soros and in Schwab, want for us.
Conjuring. What could possibly go wrong?
Child Grooming, Predatory and Perverted Left, Wokestapo and Trans:
Nothing to see here.
What kind of pathetic, weakling, useless excuse of a man pretending to be a woman puffs out his chest, and is proud of beating a teenage girl in any kind of sporting competition? Only a complete loser behaves this way and only complete loser kooks applaud this.
Jewish family repays the Greek family who saved them from the Nazis.
Finally, a Google engineer does something good.
When you're the GOAT.
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