Type-A bureaucrat who professionally pushes papers in the Middle East. History nerd, linguistic geek, and devoted news junkie.
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Rand Paul Thanks Tom Cotton for Replacing Him as Most Hated Person in Senate

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Andy Borowitz jokes that Tom Cotton has replaced Rand Paul as the most unpopular person in the Senate, after Cotton said in an interview that slavery was “a necessary evil.”
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hannahdraper
2 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Twitter debate ensues after Metropolitan Museum of Art labels tefillin as Egyptian amulet

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(JTA) — The first time the Metropolitan Museum of Art tweeted a picture that appeared unmistakably to Jewish followers to be a ritual object used in Jewish prayer with the label “amulet,” a single follower responded with a correction.

“That is not an Amulet it is a Jewish tefillin,” wrote an account from a New York City rug gallery.

The object, which the Met says it acquired in 1962, is listed as part of the museum’s Islamic Art Department as a sixth-century amulet from Egypt. It is dated at A.D. 500–1000.

But a photo of the piece in the collection looks unmistakably like one piece of tefillin, the leather boxes and straps used in prayer by observant Jews. A shin, the Hebrew letter on the portion of tefillin that goes on the head, can be seen in the picture.

That was in November 2019. The second, third, fourth and fifth times the Islamic art collection shared the image, no one responded at all.

But over the weekend the image became the subject of an explosion of interest on Twitter after multiple accounts with many Jewish followers picked up on the item in the museum’s holdings and requested corrections.

One of the first to post it, a Jewish genealogist named Caitlin Hollander, offered a correction and tagged people who might be able to work with the Met to revise the museum’s description.

Other people who shared the image were less constructive in their criticism. And after the account @StopAntiSemites amplified the issue, criticism of the labeling included charges that the museum’s categorization was offensive to Jews.

The museum, which is currently closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, did not respond publicly over the weekend.

But Raphael Magarik, a English professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago whose studies have included the understanding of tefillin by non-Jews, posted a thread Sunday explaining that while the object pictured is likely mislabeled, there are historical arguments for the label.

“There’s no reason not to call tefillin an amulet,” Magarik wrote. “Lexically, the Greek term now commonly used to refer to them (‘phylactery’) originally meant just that, and had a long history of usage in that sense before referring to the specific Jewish items.” He added that while tefillin have been invoked in anti-Semitic discourse in the past, the Met’s labeling more likely reflects how museums catalog objects.

He also added one more point:

The post Twitter debate ensues after Metropolitan Museum of Art labels tefillin as Egyptian amulet appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.



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hannahdraper
7 days ago
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The Infamous Class 3 School Illustration (1976-1979)

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On 7 September, 1976, dozens of children, including every single pupil from class 3, Scarfolk High School, vanished on their way to school. A police operation was launched but no clues were ever found. The children were pronounced dead the following Monday, a mere three days later.

Every year thereafter, the police commissioned their sketch artist to draw, in the style of a school photograph, how the missing children might have looked (albeit with their faces removed) had they not disappeared in mysterious circumstances. This was sent to the bereaved parents of class 3 at an exorbitant cost of £31.25.

In the 1979 class sketch, one parent noticed a small label on one of the faceless figure's clothes that contained a code word only their child could have known. 

Under mounting pressure from parents, the police eventually raided their artist's studio and found 347 children in his cellar where many had been held captive for several years. The police immediately seized and confined the children as evidence in a crime investigation, which, after much dithering, ultimately never went to court leaving the families no choice but to pursue a private prosecution against the kidnapper. 

As the children had already been pronounced dead and the cost of amending the relevant paperwork was high, they were given away as prizes in the Scarfolk police raffle, which helped pay the legal fees of their sketch artist, who, it turns out, was the son of Scarfolk's police commissioner.

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hannahdraper
7 days ago
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Off-limits places.

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The post Off-limits places. appeared first on Indexed.

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hannahdraper
8 days ago
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https://screenshotsofdespair.tumblr.com/post/624309274677493760

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hannahdraper
12 days ago
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Ain't it the truth.
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In My Divorce, I Lost the Family Zucchini

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And because its never just food, this vegetable was, surprisingly, one of the losses that hurt the most.
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hannahdraper
16 days ago
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Washington, DC
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