Christmas tree & Talmudic law

Learning and questioning and arguing certain points of life, philosophy, theology, etc. are central elements of Judaism. The Talmud (Jewish law with countless commentaries on it) is made up of thousands of arguments rabbis have made about everything that governs life, it’s basically a sacred book (made up of several volumes) of arguments. In yeshivas (Jewish religious schools), the Talmud is studied and the endless laws and arguments are argued about. To give you a little idea, the kashrut (the dietary laws for eating kosher) alone are made up of 613 rules!

Historically, yeshivas have only been open to boys although nowadays in non-Orthodox Judaism women are allowed as well. In the 1983 movie Yentl, Barbra Streisand decided to dress up as a boy, just so that she could try to enter a yeshiva in early 20th century Poland to broaden her learning. Her happiness at being accepted into one is a beautiful moment of triumph in the movie. It also gives you a little glimpse at what a yeshiva looks like…

Anyway, all this yeshiva explaining is just the context for the video I actually wanted to show.

My sister shared a comedy video in our family group chat that is a couple of years old but that I’d never seen before. Watching this, you just know that the comedian, Elon Gold, must have attended a yeshiva himself as the arguing of rules and regulations in it is just so typically Jewish (useful to know before you watch this: “Shecht” = ritual slaughter / “Bracha” = a blessing)…

As someone who grew up around and with Jews and has Jewish family, this just feels so familiar and is really the funniest thing I have seen this Christmas season! I do wonder, however, if it as funny to people who are less familiar with Judaism. Regardless, I thought I’d share anyway, along with just about all the basic knowledge I have of yeshivas and Talmud. And hey, if you’re not familiar with Judaism, at least you’ll have learned something, i.e. it’s a good thing Jews don’t do Christmas trees. 🙂

TDH people doing nice things

Lemme start with Richard Armitage. I loved this video posted to Facebook today on the release of Ken Follet’s new book. Richard’s enthusiasm is so sweet! And he’s looking good too (oh man, I love that hair!)…

The only Ken Follett book I have ever read is Pillars of the Earth which I loved when I read it a long time ago. As this is a prequel to that, I think I may want to give this book a go too. I think Mr Esther will be intrigued as well. I’m also curious about which Follet book Richard is interested in adapting for the screen. Don’t think it would be Pillars as that was done a couple of years ago. I wonder how close that, whatever it is, is to becoming realized!

But Richard is not the only tall dark handsome (TDH) person that holds my attention. In recent weeks I have become more obsessed with Lucifer than I ever thought I could be and there are two TDH actors in there that preoccupy me. First of all, especially DB Woodside has stolen my heart, even more so after that ‘Blackfolx’ interview he did that I referred to in this post. And this picture below from when his now 11 year old daughter was a baby completely sealed the deal. He’s been separated from the mother for a long time but they seem to be co-parenting their daughter very nicely together. I love that.

I’ve been rewatching some of him on Suits and have been collecting pictures for my screen saver… He looks big and fierce but there’s just such a warmth, soulfulness and kindness there, it fills my heart.

Next to that, Tom Ellis also still holds my attention. The second part of Lucifer season 5 is yet to be released and apparently there is a musical episode coming up. Last weekend a sneak peak of one musical number from that episode was released and it looked fun!

And apparently this little moment within that number was improvised. Totally cracked me up!

And there’s also a new season 4 blooper reel that includes my two TDH Lucifer men…

The cast (and for me most notably Tom and D.B.) are very outspoken anti-Trump on social media which is what I’m loving as well. Bring on season 5B of Lucifer!

Of course, Tom Ellis also brings me back to Miranda. I have been re-watching all episodes and man, I still love that series (yes, even more than Lucifer). I also loved the ending of the show which can still bring me to tears and I still miss it and hope for more. Tom and Miranda have both hinted over the years that there possibly could be more one day where maybe they could delve into Gary’s (played by Tom) and Miranda’s married life, but as yet there are no fixed plans and Miranda hasn’t written anything yet. In the meantime, we Miranda fans must make do with occasional small Miranda and Gary reunions…

… and best of all, enjoy the 10 year Miranda celebration that was held in a theatre in London at the end of 2019…

Looking at all that makes me really long for even more (even though Tom Ellis right now looks more like Lucifer than Gary here)!

As Miranda too is TDH, I figured I could fit her into this post as well. I ordered two books by Miranda Hart yesterday evening and finally subscribed to Miranda’s mailing list after watching the whole show again. The welcome message I received in my inbox after signing up made me feel a little emotional (this quarantine is getting to me, I think)…

Miranda very much tries to be there for people with mental health issues, she especially tries to reach out to people who are lonely, and the warmth she exudes is just such a beautiful thing to me. Let there be more Mirandas in this world, please. Yes, I love my TDH people. 🙂

Sarah Cooper’s parodies

I came across this about a week or two ago, these videos have gone viral, and I think it’s my favourite parody of that guy in the white house ever.

This next one is a pretty accurate portrayal of someone talking out of his ass during a staff meeting. I’ve been in meetings like this before…

I am totally fascinated, I can’t stop watching and grinning at these videos. In a way these are tragic too as it beggars belief that these are the actual words of a world leader. It’s not just the words she mimics, it’s the added body language, the gestures, the looks. She’s so good.

Here an article about her in the LA Times, in case you’re interested, and she has a satirical blog too. I’m actually considering getting her 2021 calendar called Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, seeing as I am in meetings pretty much daily and these tricks could really come in handy.

I’ve been thinking in terms of crushes for the last fortnight or so due to the fictional crush challenge I just finished and I think Sarah Cooper has just become my latest crush. I am so glad she’s not fictional.

Thank you of a cynical kind

I had no inspiration whatsoever to do something with saying “Thank you” for the current Mach Was challenge. Of course, the first thing I thought of was saying thank you to all care workers and those in essential services who keep us afloat. However, I couldn’t think of anything special to do with that other than actually saying THANK YOU! So, I now move on to something completely different.

A week or two ago I came across a video by Tim Minchin that I’ve been thinking about sharing for the challenge. I was a little hesitant because the cynicism may be off-putting for some but then I thought, eff it, it’s my blog, I share what I want. Tim Minchin is controversial to say the least but I like him, I can appreciate his outlook on life, and he makes me laugh. He is an Australian comedian and musician and makes musical comedy on the piano.

Tim Minchin

He sings and jokes about social issues and is an outspoken atheist. So, be warned, the video I am about to share really is not for everyone! I assume conservative Christians will hate this man, so watch at your own discretion. The first 5 or so minutes are safe enough (I just adored the line “Love without evidence is… stalking”), it’s when he gets into the song when I think many people will really get offended. I, however, loved this.

So yeah, a bit of a cynical “Thank you” for this challenge. It’s all I could come up with.

P.S. A much safer Tim Minchin video to watch that I think everyone can laugh at is this one on Prejudice…

So, I guess from me on this Sunday it’s a thank you to comedy that can brighten our days and particularly in this case a thank you to Tim Minchin for the laughs.

Comic relief

Comic relief is better than getting super angry yet again at this morning’s Trump news. That man’s a menace! Anyway, yesterday evening our TV was switched off so I forgot about the Comic Relief Big Night In the BBC had put on to raise money for combating the Corona virus. Just a few quick clips here this morning before I get back to my boring work chores.

  •  Miranda is back with tips on how to get through these times of isolation. I loved how she got the primary cast to Zoom in with her. I follow her on Twitter and she posts a lot about mental health. She’s such a sweetie!

  • And Dawn French was back as the Vicar of Dibley, but alas without any Richard Armitage. It would have been nice if she had been able to Zoom with come cast members. Wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped but but I’ll take this too…

I understand the Big Night In has raised over 27 million pounds. Wow!

OK, gotta go, my meeting’s starting!