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!
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!)
4/ It was a scorching Shabbas but Rabbi Lawrence was a wonderful host & we were treated very well. It was June 30, 2018 & I spoke about the protest I was missing in the USA, about family separations.

5/ At the time, I said that the American Orthodox community was being spared the depredations of the Trump (ym'sh) admin., which gave us the responsibility to speak out since we could act 'objectively.' (This was after Charlottesville, true, but before Pittsburgh rm"l).
6/ Sun. was the longest fast I've ever suffered through, in 90F+ heat & no real A/C. My faulty memory tells me that it was on that day that Anthony Kennedy announced his tragic retirement, but it was actually Thu. Yet in my head it fit the mood of doom.
7/ We felt we should go to a museum because they were usually air conditioned; the British Museum claimed to have A/C so onward we went.

Now, I'm not accusing them of lying, just that they had a different definition of "A/C" than we use in the States.
8/ The British Museum, as y'all know, is like one big crime scene. But thematically it was a very good place to be on a fast day commemorating the destruction of the second Temple and the beginning of the 3 weeks.
9/ These are Roman era coins of the "fiscus Judaicus" - the tax the Jews were forced to pay by the empire as a punishment for the revolt in 70CE that led to the destruction of the Temple that we're fasting about!
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiscus_Ju… A picture I took at the British Museum of 4 coins. The capti
10/ The second coin is for the tax to pay for the second revolt against the Romans in 135CE. One of the main pushes by early notzrim to separate from Judaism was to avoid paying the tax.

In any case, this was a perfect thing to witness on a fast day.
11/ At the end of our visit, though, we saw the artefacts stolen from Mesopotamia and saw items made to glorify Sennacherib, the king who destroyed the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel in First Temple times.

12/ While this was more commemorating the 9th of Av, the 17th of Tammuz begins the three weeks, so thematically it works.

And here I was, 2700 years later: my people were still alive while the Assyrians were literally history.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three… A picture I took in the British Museum of an artefact stolen
13/ It was a positive feeling after a week of deathly heat, tragic news in America - Kennedy, the family separations - and my sermon attempting to rescue my people from the sins of our destruction, especially that of cruelty, injustice & baseless hatred.
14/ This year feels more hopeful, of course. My whole family is vaccinated, the pandemic is quelling, Trump (ym'sh) may soon meet Sennacherib's fate if we work hard enough - as an object lesson of the cost of hatred and inhumanity.
15/ Easy fast everyone. And may this year we have a fleishigs Tisha B'av.

#ReshetKeshet. #ThreeWeeks #17thTammuz

@threadreaderapp please unroll.

@threader_app please compile.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Joshua Cypess

Joshua Cypess Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @JoshuaCypess

20 Jun
49.01/ Week forty-nine, June 19-25 2021, begins here.

Week 48 below
49.02/ 100%. I said this back in the day about dating as well. Only people dull to human pain and effort and/or those who lack functional life experience could say "how does it hurt?" with a straight face.

49.03/ For you music fans, esp. of early music played on period instruments, check out this great review of my wife's album "In the Salon of Madame Brillon: Music and Friendship in Benjamin Franklin’s Paris" by The Raritan Players (Rebecca Cypess, dir.) earlymusicamerica.org/web-articles/c…
Read 18 tweets
13 Jun
48.01/ Week Forty-eight, June 12-18 2021, begins here.

Week 47 below.
48.02/ Not popping champagne corks yet, but the large person with horns could sing at any moment to usher in a post-Bibi Israel
48.03/ Has Bibi taken credit for inventing the question mark?
Read 56 tweets
11 Jun
1/ Thread about a recent #ArtWar I had with my daughter. This game was taught to me by Rob Lebowitz (flickr.com/photos/lebocom…) 30 years ago when we were chavrutas in yeshiva. He's 100x the artist I am, but we worked well together.
2/ It's a "game" for usually 2 people sharing one paper. Player1 draws an item in the center. We called it the "cheftza" (we were in a Soloveitchik style yeshiva), but in English I now call it the Guffin, after MacGuffin.
3/ The Guffin can be anything and the game is basically an improv cartooning exercise. The goal of player1 is to defend the Guffin while player2 tries to destroy it.

The fun is in the creativity, humor, and art.
Read 24 tweets
6 Jun
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.

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
30 May
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

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!