53.01/ Week fifty-three, July 17-23, 2021, begins here. #TishaBeav today, so no real greeting. May next year, we have a fleishig #9Av

I've been making these organized threads for a year. Fitting that anniversary should be on the saddest day of the year.

Week 52 below:
53.02/ To listen to music today, I have the leining of #Eicha on a loop. One source is the Eidut Mizrach version from Mechon-Mamre:
Direct link:
Ashkenaz via Virtual Cantor:
53.03/ Thread from yesterday, #TishaBeav, on some thoughts about the day.
53.04/ Yes. That's why I called them #TrumpConcentrationCamps, because they were designed to punish and ultimately to kill.

I was radicalized against G.W.Bush when he authorized torture and against Trump (ym'sh) with these camps.

53.05/ This is what happens when you take the 2nd Amendment literally
53.06/ Hemingway's mother did WHAT? Oh my.

As this thread explains very well, that ur-fact explains so much in his writing and life.

53.07/ It's chatzot! Thank God. Now I can simultaneously shave, listen to music, while eating a burger. Theoretically.

TBH, it's music first. One thing the #9Days will do is show you how many things bring unthinking pleasure & what it means to lose them.
53.07b/ Related: one of the first things I do after 9Av/YK is wash my face. I'm that guy who fully gets the pleasure of rechitza (washing). I still haven't absorbed (har) the pleasure of sichah (anointing) but I'm giving myself time.

(First song played? "Won't Get Fooled Again")
53.09/ This is a good thread about the infeasibility of states "seceding." Yet, even if doomed to fail, the attempt would cause horrible suffering & death. These are antivaxer types who clearly don't understand cause & effect nor care about others' lives!
53.10/ I feel this entire thread but especially this:

53.11/ I can't wear this but I feel the sentiment

[T-shirt that says: "I'm vaccinated but still wearing my mask cause I got trust issues and y'all nasty"]

53.12/ Trying to figure out if I could care less about the hyped fake achievements of billionaires going into the upper atmosphere. I do care about their hoarded wealth taken from their employees & from all of us. So I could "care" less because I'm outraged bad people are lauded.
53.13/ OK, I didn't know this wrinkle before and it both makes sense and, once full FDA approval is reached, we can start using more stick, less carrot against the anti-vax brigands.
53.14/ Very true. Making news profit dependent has ruined the product by distorting it's fundamental value: it's trustworthiness. See also how the profit-drive ruins government (the GOP dream), education, the military, the prisons etc.
53.15/ This is a very good piece from Michelle Goldberg, one of the small group of writers for the NYT Op-ed page who doesn't make me despair for humanity (e.g. Bret, Brooks, D*wd, Friedman, Bru*nig)

The social science appears sound, and convincing.
53.16/ Very useful primer about authoritarian cults by one of the world-class experts, @ruthbenghiat

53.17/ Oh my yes. And this is why non-fiction has always been more interesting to me than fiction because it doesn't need to pass a plausibility test, just confirmation authenticity.

53.18/ This is a useful mini-thread for how to think about the real utility of a vaccine. It's not a force-field against the disease, it prevents the catastrophic effect of it. (Note: it's #Literalist to render a potential loss as effectively non-existent)
53.19/ The Cheater Brady was a friend of Trump (ym'sh) for years so his recent mocking of TFG is way more likely a sign that the smart money is in rejection than the previous caginess.
53.20/ This sounds so cool! Now I gotta get my local kosher stores to order from them. I'd love a decent kosher (vegan) cheesesteak
53.21/ Funny thread about the Star Wars sequels. Good stuff. (I'm a mixture of Rose & Chewbacca)
53.22/ Shazbot, they're bringing Familia for the 9th. This is the difference b/w Rojas & Collins. Collins is an old-school romantic like me: he'd know the value of giving a pitcher the chance for a complete game 1-hit shutout. Rojas likely wants Familia to exorcise his yips #LGM
53.23/ This is a pretty excellent description. Maybe too good, I'm now curious to eat it just to see if it matches up. Because I've had some really bad falafel in my day.
53.24/ Just wrote a thread about today's #DafYomi and the nature of emergency halakha and why these leniencies can't be made permanent.

53.25/ Linked is an incredible video by @TegaAlexander via a thread about how to use office-speak to tell someone to take a hike (paraphrase). See the thread but many of the suggestions are contained in this one video filled with tried & true word-weapons.
53.26/ My attitude to the ice-cream thing is to joke about it (see below) because it's a fiasco that inflamed both sides. What B&J did is not "BDS" nor anti-Israel! Boycotting the settlements still supports a two-state solution which is all I can ask for.
53.27/ There were so many horrible and infuriating moments during the #TrumpCrisis but I think I was angriest - and remain so - about Kavanaugh. We felt at the time that the FBI investigation was a sham and seems there's solid evidence to support that.
53.28/ Considering how much I've learned from @joshtpm over the years, I shouldn't be surprised how much I agree with his analysis in this thread. But I have and I do. Re: the presumed tactics of Biden vis-a-vis the filibuster

53.29/ Back in March 2020, in response to how the pandemic has changed my assumptions of human nature, I re-evaluated my expectation that people would avoid self-destruction:

Another painful realization for me is stated best here:
53.30/ When I analyzed when I would describe a glass as half-full or half-empty, I realized it was based on the initial assumption of the glass' contents. If I assumed it had started full, it was now half-empty, and vice-versa.

53.31a/ The older I get, the more I'm contemptuous of the act of asking a relative stranger (e.g. online) what amounts to "how can you be so bothered by this?"

Variations include "there are bigger problems" or "you have too much time on your hands"
53.31b/ Its based on an aggressive narcissism that believes everyone is the same plus an egotistical need to discount others' lived experiences - esp. their pain.

(Mind you, I don't understand the impulse to interrogate strangers at all. Just read/listen & walk on by, my dudes.)
53.32a/ This top-notch thread has rightfully been making the rounds, re: the corroded worldview of the mainstream political press and how it accepts the GOP paradigm as the default position. Normally that's just bias; in 2021 it's abetting fascism.

53.32b/ I've mentioned before that I'm no longer presuming naivete as an excuse for (responsible) adults. I don't need 3 strikes (a chazaka) to conclude that a racist act, or antiJewish, or in this case pro-GOP, act is unintended. People are what they do.
53.33a/ Yong's point is important: don't conflate unvaccinated with anti-vax. The former includes people without access as well as the most crucial cohort: children.

As for anti-vax, I'm sure we'll hear from them in diners like we did with RedHats.
53.33b/ How can I have sympathy for antivax? Whatever the rationale, their behavior will directly lead to maiming or killing millions!

BTW, the delta's virulence feels like nature wrote it's own 2021 horror-movie sequel of 2020: "The virus is back, and worse in every way!"
53.34/ Going to early minyan tonight. And Happy Birthday to those who celebrate! (heh)

#ShabbatShalom everyone

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More from @JoshuaCypess

10 Oct
65.01/ Week sixty-five, Oct. 9-15, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 64 below.
65.02/ My name was captured by a bot yesterday... so how was your Shabbos?

Note: I have not given an interview about the Mets nor should that be of interest to anybody.
65.03/ Today is the first FootballMas since 2019! The happiest day of the year!

[FootballMas is when there are NFL games on at 9:30 EST, 1:00, 4:00 and 8:00. All day football is fun.]
Read 32 tweets
3 Oct
64.01/ Week sixty-four, Oct. 2-8, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 63 below.
64.02/ I blink & it's October which means 80% of people I follow change their names to something spooooky. That's when I need to put my anthropologist hat on because I just don't understand the whole macabre thing. Gimme Purim's clowns, puns and defeat - not embrace - of horror.
64.03/ For the #ALWildCard, like all red-blooded Americans, I'm rooting for a 4-way tie. This requires the Red Sox & Yankees lose and the Mariners & Blue Jays to win. Why? Uh... love of the game?
Read 31 tweets
26 Sep
63.01/ Week sixty-three, Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2021, thread begins here. #MoadimLeSimcha #Sukkot

Week 62 below.
63.02a/ Cataloging: there are 9 days in this 5782 #Sukkot holiday cluster. 5 are Yom Tov or Shabbat, 2 are the days before. That leaves 2 actual full days to get anything done, Thursday and Sunday. Two day yuntifs are hard! By #SimchatTorah, I'm as spiritually dry as my aravot. Famous parody cover of a Be...
63.02b/ That great parody cover of The Berenstain Bears and "Too Much Yuntif" was evidently made by Rafi Skier as per this link below.

Read 27 tweets
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

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