20.01/ Nov 30, 2020: Week 20 thread will start here. For those who are looking for previous weeks (narrator: nobody was), here's 19:



and the big one
20.02/ I was this years old when I learned that many families use Thanksgiving as the official "kick off" for Xmas season, and that's why eschewing it (this year) is esp. hard.

I've also heard people say T-giving is the "Holidays" for "Happy Holidays"... ah, no. It's Hanukkah
20.03/ I just donated to the Internet Archive, the world's largest digital library and home of the Wayback Machine. Join me and chip in what you can! archive.org/donate?iax=ctx…
20.03b/ The two best things on the internet are archive.org and wikipedia.org; one preserves the web & stores free material, the other allows knowledge to be accumulated & to grow. They're the sunshine & water that makes the web sustainable IMO.
20.04/ Just working through my Torah writings (which I've been diligently doing ever since the last DafYomi cycle finished) and putting this out there The 'Change My Mind' meme w...
20.05/ We've been watching the British Baking Show & b/c I've kept kosher all my life I just don't image the full variety of tastes one can combine

Hence why I would never imagine doing this: "(cream cheese rolled in ham or beef + a pickle)"
20.06/ Here's a good application (go up 1 tweet) of my 3 Step Refusal process:

Step 1: "No"
Step 2: "No [with logical reason]"
Step 3: "No [with illogical reason]"

#1 should be enough with mutual respect. Sadly, that's very rare. So save time & go to #3
20.07/ Going through my notes (big backlog from last week) and seeing Trump (ym'sh) freak out at reporters while seated at his wee little desk actually makes me happy

"Don't ever talk to [me] that way"

Oh, baby, just you wait.
20.07b/ Follow up by Parker, who knows what she's talking about (she's one of the commando journalists at @mmfa who needs to stare at the abyss for our protection)

20.08/ Trump (ym"sh) holding our national security hostage because he's paralyzed with impotent rage about people saying mean things about him online? Yup. Checks out. Petty treason.

20.09/ The #Literalist thinking I've identified in 'conservatives' (itself a chicken-egg problem with lack of empathy) manifests in a surface understanding of fiction

So it's predictable that people who cheer the villain in "Wall Street" love Scrooge too

20.10/ As I've said before, for the coup to have worked, there needed to be fewer moving parts and/or more people getting direct benefit from crimes. Moreover, the 'normalization' of the #TrumpCrisis made these crucial actors think the coup was wrong to do
20.10b/ Follow-up of the GA official calling out the national GOP for stirring up, in his words, Un-American violence.

Republicans like him don't think civilization will collapse if Trump (ym'sh) loses, so they were treating this like a normal election.

20.11/ Inferring from Peter King's reporting, the Ravens were clearly angling to push this game off until week 18, thus increasing their odds for the 8th seed and probably eliminating the bye for the 1st seed (currently the Steelers)
20.12a/ It's bonkers to accuse the Democrats of running on "Defund the Police" because they didn't. Nor is Biden a socialist. The GOP has a massive propaganda machine that lied to voters & it was aided by a flaccid MSM. That's the story. Stop enabling crimes and/or bad faith!
20.12b/ The Dems get hit by the MSM, yet the *actual platform* of the Republican party is (a) forcibly take children from refugee parents & put them in cages (b) let a disease run rampant and kill hundreds of thousands (c) no stimulus bill AND allow evictions in December. Gevalt!
20.12c/ BTW, a great example of how a system changes the behavior/identity of individuals is the MSM: most reporters are 'liberal' but the news market is anti-liberal (& the owners/publishers aren't) and that system makes reporters behave anti-liberal
20.13/ #Vayeitzei: Rashi needs to say Yaakov spent 14 yrs in yeshiva between parshiyot b/c of a #Literalist approach to textual questions. That it's farcical to imagine in real life is besides the point (see: Rivka at 3 yrs old). Here's a good explainer:
20.14/ Lest you think #Literalist methodology is confined to illogical parshanut, it's in halakha as well.

Here's my favorite explainer, from a great teacher @RabbiRoss, for why we begin to say Tal u-Matar in December (teaching this makes my brain hurt)

20.15/ Re-watching two movies during my grueling cardio workouts (narrator: I won't dignify that description with a response) & they're only enjoyable as "audience cuts" i.e. I watch only certain, great, scene (usu. action only, no family goo). The 2: Tombstone (1993) & True Lies
20.16/ May it be Your will, Lord who cares about trivial things like football teams, that the future generations will talk about the 2020 Steelers in this way as well (heh)
20.17/ Harbaugh doesn't shake hands when he loses. Which is the mark of Cain for a cheater. Even if he didn't game this whole week trying to get a Wk18, he's notorious for exploiting the rule book to win without honor. His bad faith is ugly.
20.18/ Theological problems in #Vayishlach I struggle with every year:

1) The terrible fate of Dinah
2) The massacre at Shechem
3) Reuven did what?!

Problems others have that I'd never think of, nor consider serious, b/c I hold that the Avot were human:

4) Yaakov was scared
20.20/ #Shabbas starts super early again. #ShabbatShalom y'all, see ya on the other side.

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More from @JoshuaCypess

25 Nov
1/ Before I forget, I gave a long Dvar Torah/shiur at lunch on Shabbat about the key question in last week's parsha (Toledot): why did Yitzchak want to give Esav a bracha of supremacy?

A key source for my answer is this shiur by Rav Dror Brama

2/ His main point is Yitzchak wanted Esav to avoid the fate of Yishmael. I want to quickly add key support to this idea.

I asked my kids what was the worst day of Yitzchak's life?

My clue/proof is knowing where Y chose to live when we meet him at the end of Chayei Sara.
3/ They suggested the worst day of Yitzchak's life was the Akeidah (the binding of Isaac) or the death of his mother. Good guesses.

I believe the worst day was the expulsion of Yishmael. This was his older brother, almost sent to his death, because of HIM. The guilt was painful.
Read 12 tweets
22 Nov
19.01/ #ShavuaTov everyone. Big Football day. #Steelers win, Patriots lose, and Ravens not only lose, but their coach demonstrates (again) just how bad a sport he is

19.02/ Tom Joseph's point is crucial. 21 Republicans would be enough, plus the 47 Democrats, to remove Trump (ym'sh). They aren't "worse" than the 30+ GOP who don't reject DJT, the former are cowards the latter are outright fascists
19.03/ What I love so far about Biden's proposed cabinet is that I haven't heard of a single one of them. It's so nice to have professionals back in charge (I'm a lifelong Democrat because I know governing requires expertise)
Read 16 tweets
20 Nov
1/ I love #Thanksgiving but #Purim is pretty awesome too & the pandemic hit my town right on that holiday. We were supposed to go to someone's house for seudah & of course traipse all over town delivering mishloach manot. We didn't b/c, thank God, I understood disease
2/ Unbeknownst to us, my whole family were COVID19 positive on Purim. If we had gone to the seudah, if we had given out shlach-manot, we would have been passing disease to dozens of people. I was already using sanitizer heavily but nobody wore masks in March.
3/ I told my family (and anyone who would listen to me) that we had to not only assume that every person was infected but that WE were infected & contagious. Sadly, I was right.

As people have been saying, we needed to follow zombie apoc. rules.

Read 15 tweets
15 Nov
18.01/ Shavua Tov, all. In 2020, our reporters have replaced action heroes.
18.02/ Since his entire presidency has been conducted through Twitter, his saying "He won" constitutes a concession. Let's go!
Read 30 tweets
13 Nov
1/ Now that Biden-Harris has won, I want to make two points before I forget:

#1: Joe Biden is a midwife for spurring the USA transition to a anti-White-Supremacy future

#2: Of the 3 countries in right-wing populist crisis - US, UK, Israel - we've pulled out of the tailspin
2/ First: whether or not Harris succeeds to the presidency, Biden's role in supporting the ticket of our first African American president & leading the ticket for the first woman & women of color, makes him a singular role in history for transferring power to a new majority
3/ Profs. Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt in "How Democracies Die" claim:

"[no] democracy [has] made a transition from one in which a previously dominant majority ethnic group loses its dominance status and remain a democracy. It is unprecedented."

Read 12 tweets

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