21.01/ Continuing my thread project; week 21: Dec 6-11, 2020

Week 20 here
21.02/ Dad achievement unlocked: my thermostat is so low we need to wear sweaters in the house.

Took years to reach this level, I have so many people to thank, starting with my own father (shlit"a)...
21.03/ This is a great point below.

BTW, for me the only way boys have been 'easier' to raise than girls is that I have more first-hand experience (e.g. put your glasses in your kippah by the bedside to protect from breakage). That's it.
21.04a/ #Chanukah is a great Modern Orthodox holiday because while it's about the struggle between Hellenism & religiosity, there's also - speaking as a Jewish Studies scholar - SO MANY DOCUMENTS!

It's an academic dream compared to the other holidays!
21.04b/ I mean, the decrees of Antiochus IV are real, we have them! Scholarship helps solidify faith... that's #Hanukkah for me

See here for some document links:

Here from Rabbi Louis Ginsburg in the JE:
21.05/ My wife got our car's oil changed this morning and now I'm afraid we may have started a weird American #Hanukkah ritual.

For the record, you don't need to change your car's oil to olive oil on the 24th of Kislev, even if they claim it will last 8 times as longer
21.06/ I would get so much more work done if I didn't have such technical problems, but then again my productivity never matches my hoped for output; I'm constantly limited by physics and biology (a motto I could put on my tombstone)
21.07/ The stories in Genesis, esp. Dinah & Tamar, are prompting me to write about the issue of forced-childbirth & how the rights of women need to be protected.

I hope this thread won't be catastrophic. But I take my role as ethical leader seriously

21.08/ Luckily Xmas music is out of my arena (I nearly-literally avoid it like the plague) but I know about the "Baby It's Cold Outside" discourse, and this is one my favorite entries in it. By 'secret.goblin' instagram.com/secret.goblin/… 4 panel comic. First 2 are ...
21.09a/ As Serwer points out, the GOP doesn't think anti-GOP voters count. It ties into my my extended metaphor of the GOP acting like cheaters in sports. The goal is to win by stealing not to play by the rules.

21.09b/ The GOP method is to play the refs (courts) b/c that's actually what wins the game, not playing by the rules. It helps, too, to play the press in the same way.

These final court cases are like those coaches who call for replay on the off chance the refs mess up
21.10/ Lord knows I'm a bad speller, and #Chanukah #Chanukka #Chanuka #Hanukkah #Hanukka has 5 official hashtags, so that's a well-known phenomenon/problem, and I'm pretty forgiving no matter how you spell it.

But Kislev with a C?! (Cislev). No way.
21.11/ OK, I'm not reading this article from Vox on how "Tag" is a professional sport (vox.com/2020/12/10/221…) but it does remind me of this Monty Python skit of professional Hide & Seek
21.12/ Yeah, we're worried about the ogres, oafs & oppressors from Trump (ym'sh) world maintaining prominence when his regime ends, but then I think of Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee & realize that if we work at it, these odious ophidians can be well-shunned thedailybeast.com/history-will-j…
21.13/ In my dotage, I've stopped watching movies where the whole plot revolves around a hero assassin (esp. "an ancient group of fancy killers") b/c mass murderers are horrible people

So too, esp. after Trump (ym'sh), for families of con-men. We see what they're like; it's bad
21.14/ Whenever I see an author/writer whose early stuff I liked go off the rails as they get more famous, and I ask "what the heck happened to [him]?" the answer usually is: editors made him good, he needed to listen to criticism before his fame, now he has no censor & voila!
21.15/ #ShabbatShalom & #HappyHanukkah y'all

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More from @JoshuaCypess

10 Dec
1/ I saw recently the ostensibly "pro-life" position described as "pro forced-birth" & I much prefer that moniker. That's where I am ethically: I'm anti-forced-birth

Morality is about *details* & compassionate lived experience shows me that abortion must be legal.
2/ Ethical rules on a page don't mean anything until they're gamed out in real life. The most fraught questions are when the state (or community) uses force against an individual - to deprive of life, liberty, resources etc., either as punishment or intended consequence of rules
3/ I'm an ethicist with a focus on medical questions. Euphemisms are common, but deadly, in that arena.

e.g. "Rationing medical care" means evaluating an individual's worth & passively declaring a death sentence

(It's happening now as a result of the GOP's COVID diktat)
Read 17 tweets
30 Nov
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…
Read 27 tweets
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

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