1/ #ReshetKeshet. I'm trying to combine my sociological work on disability with my rabbinic role by writing a Disability Shulchan Arukh, as it were: how halakha applies to full variation of humanity. BTW, the gemara is full of this but invisible disabilities are overlooked.
2/ So, notes on the mitzvah of hearing the #Megillah, which is a disability nightmare. Shas deals with things like blindness:
And deafness: rabbikaganoff.com/megillas-esthe…

But what about #ADHD? For a mitzvah that requires total concentration?!
3/ Or people with sensory overload issues, like #autism & others, who can be quite uncomfortable in rooms packed to the rafters with people graggin' graggers and noisemakers and full tumult (pardon my Yiddish)
4/ Halakha, and most rule based religions, have largely been taken over by people with Obsessive-Compulsive personalities & with #Literalist thinkers, which have become commonplace enough to not be considered disabilities despite their 'impairing' in the same manner as dyslexia
5/ So if OCP and #Literalism dominate halakha, I don't feel it's necessary to let those worldviews shape religious obligation or observance.

So, ADHD and #Megillah: how to concentrate on every single word for 40 minutes, especially with loud noises & loud crowds?
6/ I'd suggest that "kavvanah" - the halakhic category of "level of concentration needed to perform a commandment with intention" - needed for the mitzvah of hearing Megillah, may only require:

(1) knowing acceptance of the reader as your agent (shaliach) for the mitzvah
7/ (2) Once the brachot are made, and you say 'Amen' with full concentration, then you need to hear the words are being read. The 'amen' establishes that you accept the entire proceedings as the manner in which you will fulfill your obligation.
8/ In general, halakha is very generous with recognizing the process of "shelichut" - having an agent perform an action for you and by doing so you get full credit. Your agent's actions are yours. See this essay by my old friend Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir: outorah.org/p/7187/
9/ What this means is: you don't need to understand every word, nor follow the words with the text in your mind's eye. IMO, just establish an environment where you're capable of hearing the words, so even if audibility is a passive encounter (out of reflex), you're yotzei.
10/ (3) If you space out (e.g. think about the Megillah story or think about March Madness or whatever), IMO once you've set up the conditions of audibility and mitzvah context (your amen plus sitting there in the presence of a reading), you're yotzei (fulfilled the obligation)
11/ (4) I'd add onto this that try to keep your level of 'doubt' for whether you heard the words as undefined as possible. This is a rabbinic commandment, and in a case of doubt, we're lenient.

I do get that for true OCPD or other anxiety cases this may be difficult. Sorry.
12/ IY"H and B"N there will be more entries in this type in the future, especially for conditions I have some clinical experience with. But in the future, please know that halakha MUST strive to be compassionate ("darkhei noam")
13/ An explanation of what Reshet Keshet means:

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More from @JoshuaCypess

26 Feb
1/ My Torah work is published under the title of #ReshetKeshet which, I don't make the rules, makes my "rabbi name" The Reshet Keshet (e.g. the Chofetz Chaim is Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan & he also wrote the Mishnah Berurah he's named after his first)
2/ In order to embrace hashtag technology, I'll try to label my Torah writing with #ReshetKeshet.

Reshet is Hebrew for 'network' and I use it to reference interconnectedness.

Keshet means 'rainbow' and that's for diversity
3/ Diversity in interpretation, in thought, and of course in inclusion. Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch explains that the rainbow after the Flood symbolizes the totality of humanity, see my rebbe Rabbi Riskin for more on this:
Read 8 tweets
20 Feb
32.01/ Week thirty-two (Feb. 20-26) thread begins here. Week 31 - which was broken into three pieces like Gaul - is linked below:

32.02/ Well put. The key difference is whether they can treat people, any person, as having equal humanity no matter their abilities/background and not as a collection of specific identities.
32.03/ The GOP & 'conservatives' seem to lack empathy & an ability to imagine others having a different mindset from their own. They don't care about right vs wrong, only Us v. Them, so they assume we're the same. Their mentality is insulting but revealing
Read 45 tweets
18 Feb
31.97b/ The third section of this week's thread starts here.

Part one is here:

Part two here:
31.98/ #Parsha thought: is there any two parshiyot where there's a more jarring transition in topic and tone than between #Mishpatim and #Terumah? The whole Torah changes, even. From a set of stories and comprehensible laws to: Architecture! Gold weirdness!
31.99/ Just found out that Dr. Meir Tamari z'l passed away Jan 20, 2021. Just so many leaders in Modern Orthodoxy are being lost this past year.

See: baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-deta…

Read 12 tweets
18 Feb
1/ A thread of comments & observations about the death of the cackling vampire Rush Limbaugh.

My first observations in the main thread are here, but this offshoot is needed because there's been so many wise & witty things I've seen
2/ First, re: those who in their wayward moral obtuseness feel we "can't speak ill of the dead." I've said that this is what abuse enablers say, but I hear that some religious traditions preach this. Oy.
So there's this: & receipts:
3/ Drucker is another great wit, and this carries the proper mood
Read 17 tweets
16 Feb
31.52b/ This is a continuation of the week 31 (Feb. 13-19) thread which is getting too big for stable threading. This is an experiment for this week: to split a thread when it gets to 50 or so.

Part one is here:
31.53/ I've been thinking the same thing (not so well put, of course). How did Skype become the fax machine of this tech crisis?
31.54/ This is good to see! I'm glad the effects are empirically demonstrated.

It's nice when virtue is demonstrably effective. Social science for the win!
Read 51 tweets
14 Feb
31.01/ Week thirty-one, Feb. 13-19, thread begins here. Week thirty linked below
31.02/ I have too much to say post-Impeachment but Goldman's thread helped me understand the sound trial attorney thinking behind not calling witnesses. Yet therein lies their error: Impeachment is a political process not legal. It was bad politics IMO.
31.03/ So many topics over the past 2 wks that've blooped by me because I was sick, so I guess I'll run thru a few of them. Superbowl: Brady can't be the GOAT b/c he's been repeatedly caught cheating. The biggest story, to me, is why his crimes have been normalized & lauded.
Read 57 tweets

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