On Being ManKind

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a Kickstarter campaign for a collection of books called Being ManKind–an intentional lapse of grammatical convention. The series tries to break free of gendered norms and stereotypes, the toxic masculinity we’ve all come to hate.

I’ve been wanting to write about why I support the project and why I think you should, too, but it’s been busy. So much of the last few weeks has gone straight into dealing with that kind of gender bias (in the classroom) that I haven’t had a second to write.

Now there’s little more than sixteen hours to go, and to be successfully funded, it needs to bring in about a thousand dollars every hour until it ends.

So, sure, there’ll be an ask at the end, but there’s (kinda) a story until we get there, too.

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The First Step

1.16     Rabban Gamliel taught:

Select a master-teacher for yourself so that you avoid doubtful decisions; do not make a habit of tithing by estimate.

It’s interesting that this teaching should fall on this Shabbat: As readers who saw my post this past Thursday should already know, Rosh HaShanah—the Jewish new year—was just days ago. The holiest day in all Judaism is only days away now: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Sabbath of Sabbaths.

The period between these two high holy days is called the Days of Awe, and there’s always ten of them. This is a special Shabbat then, that it should fall in these ten days: It’s Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of Return—a fitting name, being as that the ideal of Yom Kippur is teshuvah, returning to God (in that our sins have caused us to stray from God, to whom we must now return, as we must always do, in the end). I could probably elaborate further, but to do so would lead to an entire post on this special Shabbat, and that is not my intention.

My intention is to speak about teachers, specifically what’s implied by this teaching. And, of course, to state why this is a special teaching for this special Shabbat.

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Time Is All Around

I’m thankful for a lot of things today, for my friends, my family, my fellow ambassadors, and my friends and fellow ambassadors who are already like family. Then I’m thankful for more things, things I can’t yet say here that I’m thankful for but am thankful for nonetheless, though of all these things, and above all these things, today I’m thankful for something else. Something we can hold onto but never touch, something we can have but never keep, something we can live off of but in the end die from.

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