Image: A compass stands upright on a map of the world. There are pins in the map, as if someone is marking a journey. (Shutterstock, all rights reserved.)
I haven’t had this kind of fun in a long time, since the early crazy days of the Internet. Twitter went over to the sitra achra, aka the Dark Side, and I skedaddled (see Bye, Bye, Birdie if you want details.) Found my way to Mastodon, a decentralized, all volunteer, nobody’s-making-a-buck-on-me sort of affair, where you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Moderation is done by volunteers who wrangle the servers, and each server/instance has its own rules and standards.
If none of that makes any sense, don’t worry about it. The “fun” I mentioned is that I’m learning a new system, and this one is less polished but so far quite a bit nicer than Twitter. Learning unfamiliar things and mapping new territory makes my brain happy. I’ve located some old friends and made some new ones.
In other news:
Today I stumbled upon a real treasure, Stories from Jewish History, a substack written by Dr. Tamar Ron Marvin. She describes herself thusly:
I’m an intellectual historian with a PhD in Medieval & Early Modern Jewish Studies and currently a student at Yeshivat Maharat. Some of my best friends are medieval rabbis. Want me to introduce you?https://trmarvin.substack.com/about
She posts articles about the rabbis, the Rishonim and early Achronim, the rabbis from about the 11th century to the early modern period. I can recommend a nice video by Henry Abramson at the Jewish History Lab to explain the concept of the Rishonim, and the “generations” of rabbis, generally.
Dr. Marvin is a real-deal scholar, but also funny, and her love for the rabbis shines through every article. I hope you’ll take a look. Enjoy!