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.
46.04/ This is a good example (see the linked thread as well) for why "we're all in this together" is my motto

46.05/ Not sure if I sent this out before, but I agree with the need to reassess many relationships that have been revealed to be passively threatening. I saw a house of a someone in my shul with an anti-mask sign. That person is dangerous to everyone.
46.06/ I use this line multiple times a week with my kids: "What is your fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery?"

(Also this from Ocean's 12: "Look, it's not in my nature to be mysterious. But I can't talk about it and I can't talk about why.")
46.07/ I'm not surprised by what this thread reports. NYT matches their credulous Tr*ump coverage with how they cover H*mas. And we're caught in the middle.

46.08/ Year anniversary of the Able Archer of the Trump (ym'sh) administration: the assault at #lafayettesquare when peaceful protesters were violently cleared for a militaristic photo-op.

IMO the most scared I got during the whole #TrumpCrisis.
46.09/ The 11th of Av, if you're counting.

46.10/ It sounds like a longshot, but it would be very nice if Peretz would win. #IsraelPresident
46.11/ #ReshetKeshet

I will try to expand on this soon, but I recently uploaded my conference paper from a billion years ago about #MetaHalakhah

academia.edu/49060174/Varie…
46.12/ "Obscure" and "500 years old" here refers to the age of the physical book. Pirkei Avot is the cornerstone of Jewish ethics and has been included in prayer-books for over 1000 years.

Good for Lander for the Kiddush Hashem.

46.13/ This is a good graphical layout of the "Sedition Caucus" (I don't know if there's alt-text, so I converted it to OCR and it can be downloaded here)
drive.google.com/file/d/1MbbIN6…

See also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition_… &
nytimes.com/interactive/20…

46.16/ Didn't see this about the juiced baseballs but it explains a lot. It was basically my theory as to why Diaz, who came to the #Mets that year, had a terrible debut. DeGrom was the only guy who could handle the change.

46.17/ In the past I described this attitude as trying to create a society where some people have 100% freedom, which consequently (and purposefully) makes many people have 0% freedom.
46.18/ Thank you to @chick_in_kiev for teaching me that those insane "food on the counter" videos are a purposeful troll by, as she describes it, an "evil magician."

It's performance art for rage-clicks.
46.19/ This new finding supports what Homer Simpson learned about finding 20 bucks instead of a single peanut: money is useful because "money can be exchanged for goods and services"


46.20/ This is a good way of putting it:

"I think the problem is that everybody needs gentleness right now and also everybody is too tired to be gentle with others"

46.21/ One step closer to getting rid of #Netanyahu! Here's Lapid & Bennett calling the Israeli president to say they have been able to form the weirdest coalition in modern politics.

46.21b/ Here's a closer look at the coalition:

Center: Yesh Atid (17 seats); Blue & White (8)
Right: Yisrael Beytenu (7); New Hope (6)
Far Right: Yamina (6 of its 7 MKs)
Left: Labor (7)
Far Left: Meretz (6)
Right Wing Arab: Ra’am (4).

timesofisrael.com/lapid-informs-…
46.22/ I feel right in the middle of the Venn diagram for this type of website

46.23/ This is a very good piece in the WPost by Prof. @SarahEBond about the history of the anti-Jewish yellow star and it's current antisemitic (and morally horrible) misuse by the usual brutes.

washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/0…
46.24/ This is a heckuva quote by Obama:
"Trump is for a lot of white people what O. J.’s acquittal was to a lot of Black folks — you know it’s wrong, but it feels good."
46.25/ Follow-up to 46.10, alas the next #Israeli president will not be a woman; Herzog won 87-26 (egad). He was the son of a former president. I also was roommates with his first-cousin (who shared the same name).

&
46.26/ Important thread that gives heft and context about the #TulsaMassacre and other anti-Black pogroms in American history. See links to articles as well.

46.27/ Very sharp comment and comparison.
46.28/ Use sparingly...



[Many follow-ups are good, and I especially like this one]
46.29/ Note to congressional Democrats: the hoaxed up Whitewater & Benghazi investigations were jarringly effective at defeating Ds in 2000 & 2016 by casting them as suspicious.

Right now the GOP has become full bore fascist. So it's both the right & smart thing to do.
46.30/ Sorry to see that @TunchIlkin is retiring due to his declining health. Like Myron Cope, Tunch is the voice in my head for #Steelers games. He was a great & coach and is a great broadcaster & humanitarian.

Refuah sheleimah for a speedy recovery!
46.31/ Good thread with insight to the historic nature of the upcoming/possible/bli-ayin-hara coalition government in Israel. Even beyond the golem-mixture of Meretz & Yamina, the inclusion of an Arab party is a breakthrough for coexistence.
46.32/ I'm not going to link to the clickbait article, but "And we don't know why" is straight up gaslighting (i.e. using cultural or local power in an attempt to force a person to deny the reality of their experiences and/or senses).

Hey, Red-Brown Horseshoe, get your boy. Tweet from Vox (@-voxdotcom...
46.32b/ Follow-up to the "we don't know why" nonsense. This is a good point:

"It's not actually new. It's just being experienced by a wider swath of the Jewish community."

46.33/ B'ezrat Hashem. Bli ayin hara. And all that.

(Sorry, while this tweet is awesome, I'm just having the "my team collapsed late in the season/early in the playoffs" PTSD from the Rangers, Knicks and Steelers)

46.34/ It's becoming increasingly clear to me that much of anti-trans discourse comes from antagonists purposefully (or ignorantly) conflating trans-gender with trans-vestite.

Typical for #Literalists, it's "Rocky Horror" scaremongering b/c of flattened confusion over prefixes.
46.35/ Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
46.36/ This an actual book!
worldcat.org/title/ducks-an…
& books.google.com/books/about/Du…

I'm avowedly pro-duck; they are my alter-animal. Why? Because they can do everything - fly, swim, walk - but not very well. Ducks of all trades, master of none.

via: Green book cover, letters a...
46.37/ When they're not mimeographing RedRose pamphlets, the Onion can still be pretty funny. This is great:
46.39/ This picture makes me both nostalgic and insanely happy

Oh, and Strawberry Shortcake. Or Chipwich.

Via: Title is "What are you...
46.41/ I know enough observant gay men that having a mincha minyan isn't news to me and yet it's powerful to see.
46.42/ I've needed to drop many people I followed over the years during the #TrumpCrisis. No real RedHats; the biggest revelations were during the 2020 primaries & now in the surge of antisemitism. Masks were ripped off; people who postured as moral but were filled with hate.
46.43/ It's getting clearer to me that many of the RedRose people are motivated by gatekeeping. And that's a symptom of a lust for hierarchy.

Their politics is a gambit to establish themselves as the sole power. They just want to choose the oppressed.
46.44/ #ReshetKeshet My two least favorite parts of Shas on today's #Daf, Yoma 54: (1) #Literalist interpreting of Iyov to establish scientific facts & (2) shmutz.

#2 is fun for many, I know, but it's not tzanua, undermines kedusha & triggers my red flag creep-o-meter.
46.44b/ Good to know I'm not alone in my difficulty with this daf. Maimonides in the Guide (2:26) agrees: "[this literal explanation of Job 37:6 is] more extraordinary than I have ever seen in the utterances of any believer in the Law of Moses."
sefaria.org/Guide_for_the_…
46.45/ First time I've heard this quote and it's amazing:

"If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it." - Zora Neale Hurston

46.46/ As this quote shows, Pinker is a rotten person and scholar. Moreover, elevating Ashkenazi Jews as some sort of super-race is part of the demonic narrative in antisemitism. Race is a nonsense construct; ranking people by 'race' is always racist.
46.47/ OK, I don't know why, but this feels like a schismatic joke: my browser thinks that when I surf over to Chovevei Torah @YCTorah I actually meant Yeshiva University @YUNews. Is this only me? It feels like an elaborate prank. Screenshot of my browser wi...
46.49/ The rainstorm has ended so I can go out and cook for Shabbas (grilling, like nature intended). Be safe everyone. #ShabbatShalom

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More from @JoshuaCypess

19 Sep
62.01/ Week sixty-two, Sept. 18-25, 2021, thread begins there.

Week 61 below
62.02/ A custom on #YomKippur is to wear a kittel, an all white garment that has ambivalent symbolism: men wear one under their wedding canopy and they are also buried in it. I mentioned to a physician friend that it can also be seen as "Jewish scrubs."
62.03/ "But life is ironic" is just boss-level shade. I mean, I have my theological differences with the pontiff, but I can imagine we see eye-to-eye about anti-vaxxers.(h.t. @dick_nixon)

Read 41 tweets
17 Sep
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
17 Sep
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
15 Sep
1/ One more #NFL thing before the Day of Atonement. Last night's #MNF was very satisfying as a #Steelers fan. The ending of the game was nuts and I want to reproduce the nutty live-texts I sent to my sleeping son, not expecting it to become a saga of silliness.
2/ [11:31 PM] 55 yard FG to send it into overtime!

{Little did I know that this would be the least surprising thing of overtime. I should also add that many people expected BAL to go to the Superbowl and the Raiders to get a top 5 pick in the 2022 draft} Screencap from the ESPN app, score 27-27.
3/ [11:40 PM]: RAIDERS WIN
[11:41 PM]: wait hold up
[11:42 PM]: CORRECTION. will be at the half yard-line

{It was so exciting to think LV would get the ball and then just drive down the field and score. Of course, it couldn't be that simple. TD taken back.} ESPN screencap. 7:22 in OT, score still 27-27, LV in red zon
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
1/ MacDonald died? Oh man.

First of all, I wish there was a website to find out if I'm allowed to publicly like a dead guy. Like a list of crimes so I know how to calibrate the right mix of sad, or happy, that he's dead.

[Please do that in Norm's voice]
2/ Certain people who're called "an [artist]'s artist" usually are extremists in that craft, and often unrecognized by all but a niche audience. In comedy, one of my areas of expertise, that doesn't always yield someone I personally enjoy.
3/ E.g. I detest Andy Kaufman's comedy because, for me, the barely disguised intend was cruelty. Other comedians work for "their time" like Lenny Bruce who I wish I found funnier than I do.

MacDonald was in that category.

(and this comment is great)
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
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

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