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Joshua Cypess
+ Your AuthorsArchive @JoshuaCypess PhD social scientist & Orthodox Rabbi. We're all in this together. He/him. #BlackLivesMatter #Steelers #Mets #Resist Jul. 30, 2021 1 min read

1/ Quick thread about today's #DafYomi TB Sukkah 32.

First, a story where Rabbi Akiva, who can be a big know-it-all in front of his teachers, gets put in his place trying to build a sukkah on a moving ship. Even if it had to be by Rabban Gamliel. 

2/ Next is what I refer to as a "Skipper Sugya." Skipper is my alter-ego from one of my favorite movies ever, The Penguins of Madagascar. In one scene, he barks out an order with his customary bravado "not [to fire] until we see the white of his eyes" 

3/ His second-in-command, Kowalski, protests that the leopard seals attacking them have "they're mostly pupil, very little white, almost none"
Skipper: "they got to have a little bit of white, right?"
K: "None whatsoever!"
S: "What if they look really far to the left?"

4/ This interchange is great on it own but it also animates the spirit of a Talmudic debate. One side will often be reasonable, suggesting common-sense replies and situations, while another scholar will present outlandish cases in an attempt to prove a claim can be possible.

5/ So when Skipper says "what if they look really far to the left?" - while the three heroes are in imminent danger of vicious predators - he's trying to make his hasty order plausible. Yet Kowalski, panicking, is trying to use logic and evidence to refute the goofy claim.

6/ A "Skipper Sugya" is where one side tries to be reasonable while the other side invents weird hypotheticals to try to show a claim is possible. So today's case? Whether an elephant can be used as a wall for a sukkah. 

7/ Ultimately, our interlocuters are deep in the weird weeds debating whether an elephant, hoisted with block and tackle, would be acceptable as a wall even if it meets an untimely demise. Skipper would be proud.

8/ #DafYomi #ReshetKeshet #ElephantSukkah


please compile.

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