Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #reshetkeshet

Most recents (24)

1/ Nearly every Shabbat & Yom Tov since I left the pulpit I've prepared a drasha & shiur that I know I won't be able to deliver. I've described that for many artists the need to produce the art overwhelms an actual audience. The art compels them.
2/ I define art broadly to encompass every creative faculty that arises from the multiple intelligences, talents & perceptions in human capability. We know singers or painters are artists, but so is a teacher or philosopher. IMO society doesn't define an art, humanity does.
3/ Not everyone who has artistic talent or drive or vocation needs to have a feeling of compulsion. My chiddush (intellectual innovation) is to say everyone with that need to create has the soul of an artist whether they are recognized or not.
Read 26 tweets
1/ Since the beginning of the #TrumpCrisis, I've had ever increasingly difficult #YomKippur davening because of the burden I feel to act as a 'sanegor' (defender) for my community and for the Jewish world at large.

(This is in addition to the vast ways I need to improve myself)
2/ I'm not a gadol, a posek, or anything close to a tzadik. But after seeing so many rebbeim & gedolim openly support Trump (ym'sh), erase women from Jewish life, and encourage anti-vax shtuyot, I considered the tenuous possibility that I would need to act as a communal sanegor.
3/ With the established leadership descending into avoda-zara (DJT), shefichat-damim (COVID denial) & arayot (dehumanizing women), I needed to step up - out of safek-nefashot - and use all of my halakhic, rhetorical & philosophical ability to devise kappara for the Am Kadosh.
Read 17 tweets
1/ My son, new freshman at his high school, got the cover article in the weekly Torah journal, which was an awesome piece of nachas over #RoshHashanah

A few comments I feel I should make (and download available at this BE"H static link):
parshasheets.com/newsletter/bko…
2/ I did not help him directly in any way. Despite my eager offer to discuss and/or proofread, he successfully shielded himself from my relentless, avid desire to help him with a D'var Torah.

I say this because (1) it's a really good piece & (2) all the language is his.
3/ However, as a gift to me, he did say that he learned "tautological" from our many conversations (yes!) and from my meta-perspective, I see he followed the advice I give to all my homiletics students based on my decades of speeches, articles, classes & other media.
Read 9 tweets
61.01/ Week sixty-one, Sept. 11-17, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 60 below
61.02/ I am a fan of the professional sport of American Football and, as a child of Pittsburgh, a particular avid supporter of the #Steelers. I apologize ahead of time for some intemperate comments that may be made during the season which could be non-sequitur for non-NFLers.
61.03/ From last night at the #Mets-Yankees game, a scandal that Fox's cameras lingered on that hateful flag. Ironically it symbolizes the way 9-11 was perverted by corrupt bad-actors from day one.

Read 38 tweets
1/ #ReshetKeshet
Before #RoshHashanah there's a common practice to utter a blanket request for forgiveness. E.g. "To everyone I know or encountered please forgive me. OK bye!"

You're correct in thinking that this depersonalized superficial "apology" is hollow & thus ineffective.
2/ How can I forgive someone if they don't know what they did to me? Doesn't admit real guilt, express regret, detail how they will work towards restitution, or describe how they will fix their mentality/behavior to avoid hurting me in the future.
3/ However, #RoshHashanah is a dangerous time of year. Tradition understands the stakes are the highest possible. It's an annual review before the King of Kings, arbiter of justice, and we treat it like the final exam worth 100% of our grade.
Read 16 tweets
1/ Jude's warning about the "one good man" (in this case, about the NBer trainwreck, see inside) is something I worry about as well: when a cause's fate can rise or fall with the virtue or sins of one single person.
2/ This can be an inevitable consequence of ethical heroics. Jewish law (IMO) emphasizes the severity of Chillul Hashem for this reason: Jews are commanded to act as representatives for God on Earth. Our individual behavior can destroy the entire mission.
3/ Yet an iconoclastic mission will often require salient, brave individuals. How to avoid the problem of Chillul Hashem and the pitfalls of Jude's "One Good Man"?

Same answer: Don't be alone. Don't be "one."
Read 10 tweets
58.01/ Week fifty-eight, Aug. 21-27, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 57 thread below.
58.02/ This article, sporting footnote numbers in superscript without any accompanying - um, ya know, actual - notes, has big "lazily plagiarized from Wikipedia" vibes to it.
jewishpress.com/judaism/halach…
58.03/ OTOH, this is an absolutely crucial piece in the Jewish Press by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman, explaining and expanding on the ruling of Harav Hershel Schachter, that getting the COVID vaccine is halakhically required. Demanded.
jewishpress.com/judaism/halach…
Read 36 tweets
1/ I try to teach my kids leadership lessons from my observed, taught, & lived experience. E.g. (1) 90% of leadership praxis is communication (yet too often unpracticed, with disastrous results) (2) vision is as necessary as operations but without one you're either blind or lame.
2/ (3) Vision is strategy, operations are tactics, but both are neutralized without logistics, (4) ultimately, a leader needs to put the welfare of the group above themselves; it should be the reason they consent to the imagine oneself capable of making decisions for others.
3/ #4 is about self-sacrifice and without that, leadership becomes exploitative. (5) In order to determine all elements - strategy, tactics, vision, and consent of the governed - you need a system of error checking.

Read 29 tweets
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.

sefaria.org/Sukkah.23a.3?l…
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"
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penguins_…
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?"
Read 8 tweets
1/ #ReshetKeshet

I had intended to write a lot more this week, especially about #DafYomi because some of my favorite topics are being covered, so I want to at least say something quick today about Sukkah 14b & "emergency halakhah":
sefaria.org/Sukkah.14b.9?l…
2/ During the height of the pandemic, especially before Pesach, many rabbis needed to issue extreme leniencies. I've been asked why we don't allow these lenient positions all the time.

If it's permitted once, why not all the time? If it's fundamentally wrong, why allow it now?
3/ Today's daf has the rabbis saying to Rebbe Yehudah: "How can you bring proof from emergency times?" meaning that this type of ruling is automatically presumed to be contingent & conditional to specific, desperate circumstances. sefaria.org/Sukkah.14b.9?l…
Read 17 tweets
1/ A thread for #9Av 5781. #ReshetKeshet

I've noticed, now having three b'nai mitzvah kids, that nobody gives a kinot book as a gift. Can't blame them, of course. We have a necessary ideology that 9Av can change to a holiday very soon, so why gift a book?
2/ I like Rabbi Dr. @NatanSlifkin's nuance to what "sinat chinam" - normally translated as "baseless hatred" - means. It's hatred that brings no gain; it's hurting yourself in order to hurt your perceived enemy more.

Sounds familiar in our day, no?
rationalistjudaism.com/2021/07/sinat-…
3a/ OTOH, this story by Dinah Paritzky is horrifying. Not only is it cruel & abusive, not only can the lesson be taught in less violent means, it's the wrong lesson! The impulse to concentrate on the physical building is #Literalist, as is the cruel act.
rationalistjudaism.com/2015/07/relati… This all changed for me when I was 17. I went to Bnei Akiva
Read 11 tweets
1/ Today was a big milestone day. My oldest had his first driving lesson, something that was put on hold for the pandemic (these poor kids growing up in this strained world), but a bigger step was that I was able to go maskless to shul.
2/ As of today, my whole nuclear family has had our full course of the vaccine (#PfizerFamilyForTheWin) and my area doesn't have community spread, so it was safe (enough) to go maskless.

I had planned to do this in order to demonstrate an object lesson.
3/ I have no idea if people actually look at me for guidance. But being frum, & kal v'chomer a rabbi, means that all of my behavior should be an object lesson.

Even more: I'm a sociologist of health, which means I need to teach/act out lessons about medical halakha.
Read 11 tweets
50.01/ Week fifty, June 26-July 2 2021, begins here.
#TzomKal, easy fast, for #ShivaAsarBTammuz

Week 49 below
50.02/ File this under "horrifying but not surprising." @AdamSerwer has been doing great work and I look forward - in a clinical, grin & bear it way - to reading his book.

@AdamSerwer 50.03/ Barukh Dayan ha-Emet. My shul just informed us that Rabbi Reuven Bulka z'l has passed away. Rabbi Dr. Bulka was a psychotherapist & shul rabbi who exemplified a life dedicated to his community and to Torah u-Madda. May his memory be for a blessing.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuven_Bu…
Read 36 tweets
1/ Erev Shabbat #Balak, esp. when the fast of #Tammuz is on Sunday, carries a special memory for me and this pandemic year(s) makes me feel especially nostalgic, so here goes.

In 2018 my wife was given a grant to do research in Europe which allowed us to plan a summer trip.
2/ She spent the first week in Germany and then I joined her in England for a second week with the kids. Just in time, in turns out, for a historic heat wave. World travelers know that American air conditioning is unheard of in Europe. They're proud of it!
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Brit…
3/ My old yeshiva friend, Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, invited me to give a guest sermon at the Finchley Synagogue (aka Kinloss). That night was the 17th of Tammuz (and UK time to begin the fast was around 1am!)
kinloss.org.uk/rabbi-jeremy-l…
&
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finchley_…
Read 15 tweets
47.01/ Week Forty-seven, June 5-11 2021, begins here.

Week 46 below
47.02/ Congratulations to my sister-in-law, @LeahCypess, on being nominated for a Nebula for her Novelette "Stepsister” (from F&SF 5-6/20).

I'm thinking of holding a press conference at Four Season's FantasyLandscaping to question to vote tallies.

tor.com/2021/06/05/her…
47.03/ Totally agree with this. Basically, this is how McCain ended his career, and Romney knows this game too. It's what ego-driven politicians are supposed to know to do!

Read 44 tweets
46.01/ Week Forty-six, May 29-June 4 2021, begins here.

Week 45 below:
46.02/ Attempting the "Not starting every email/tweet with the word 'so' challenge." This is comes after "Not starting every etc with 'well'"

I understand this is common for academics. In my observation: "well" is to state your hypothesis, "so" the next step in analysis.
46.03/ I just spent hours writing a thread and for some reason the screen skipped and I lost everything. It's hard to explain how destructive this is. First time it's happened and now I will know to continuously back up writing in a side document. But I'm mildly perturbed.
Read 52 tweets
1/ #ReshetKeshet

I've been dwelling on the concept of 'fear' recently, specifically as it relates to my religious community and COVID, but it has application to all areas of morality as well as civic life.
2/ In Jewish ethics, we talk about being "Yirat Cheit" which translates into "Fearing Sin" and "Yirat Shamayim" which translates into "Fearing Heaven"

They are related but not equivalent. But fearing sin is the minimum to be considered reliably religious according to Jewish law.
3/ "Fear of Sin" generally means the lowest minimum acceptable level of religious observance because that kind of person doesn't buy into the ideology, doesn't understand the purpose of the system, but will still follow the rules before they fear the consequences.
Read 45 tweets
42.01/ Week Forty-two, May 1-7 2021, thread begins here.

Week 41, April 24-30 2021, below.
42.02/ I'm an NFL fan, so I don't lament these numbers, but it's a fascinating datum nonetheless. And 'watching the draft' doesn't encompass the interest people have (e.g. I couldn't watch over Shabbat, but I woulda if I coulda)
42.03/ #ReshetKeshet. I just uploaded a dvar Torah I wrote 16 years ago about this week's parsha (with connections to Avot, Ruth, and the Simpsons)

academia.edu/47938394/Wexne…
Read 32 tweets
41.01/ Week Forty-one, April 24-30, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 40, April 17-23 2021, linked below:
41.02/ From last night, re: #JoshFight2021. I claim victory by dint of the battle being on Shabbas. Then again, on Shabbas I could be Hanokh.

41.03/ A thread about an important episode I experienced that demonstrates what higher education is about, to me.

Read 27 tweets
1/ This pinned post will serve to be a topical index of my threads in order to make it easier to showcase my writing.

My Torah site: eparsha.com

My thread compiler pages:
threadreaderapp.com/user/JoshuaCyp…
&
threader.app/@JoshuaCypess
2/ A thread of my weekly writing digest threads:

3/ A thread of my Torah writings (which I try to label by my rabbinic name #ReshetKeshet)

Read 3 tweets
1/ A short thread of a funny interchange. It starts with this NYT dive into the ridiculously unlikeable Hizzoner Gov. Cuomo

nytimes.com/2021/04/13/mag…
2/ Maggie H sent it out with this line that I'm bleeping:
“[he was] especially irritated about an event celebrating Sukkot, the Jewish harvest holiday when the faithful gather outdoors beneath temporary shelters of branches & greenery. ‘These people and their f-ing tree houses.’”
3/ That led to this great response by Dr. @PhD_femme (with a 'tree column' added to the famous Jewish holiday chart)

Read 10 tweets
39.01/ Week 39 thread, April 10-16, 2021, begins here.

Last week's thread, week 38 - April 4-9, 2021, below.
39.02/ Well, #YomHaatzmaut came early this year!

apnews.com/article/middle…
39.03/ While I'm sorry I missed the #DeGrom work of art over Shabbas, I'm not sorry to miss the heartache in real time of the loss

Games like this could burnish his HOF bid, b/c who doesn't appreciate bravery in the face of impossible odds (#LGM offense)?
Read 35 tweets
1/ #ReshetKeshet. An entry for the food issues on #Passover

Here's Rabbi Dr. Slifkin's 2021 post about the size of a k'zayit (olive) with links to a number of articles. IMO his sizes can be used b'shaat dachak

rationalistjudaism.com/2021/03/monste…
2/ The seder is a locus for many issues in the #DisabilityShulchanArukh, esp. for every kind of eating issue.

Firstly, the food: allergies, alcohol issues, diabetes, obesity, sensory overload (smells/taste/texture). It's key to know levels of obligation.
3/ The four cups are rabbinic commands for the purpose of (1) freedom (2) joy & (3) remembering the miracle. D'rabbanans are neutralized through a second leniency & esp. if it countermands the original intent of the command

So we can't force someone to drink that violates 1 or 2
Read 11 tweets
37.01/ Week 37, March 29-April 2, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 36 is linked below
37.02/ This looks like a fruitful account. This particular entry has an intro that displays a kindred spirit IMO

37.03/ While I'm grateful that Coca-Cola has gone through the trouble to make their products kosher for #Passover, I cannot understand drinking Diet Coke willingly. Honestly, if unlabeled, I'd assume it was some drug-store's generic cola.

TL;DR: Diet coke is nasty.
Read 36 tweets

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