Joshua Cypess Profile picture
Aug 8, 2021 45 tweets 21 min read Read on X
56.01/ Week fifty-six, Aug. 7-13, 2021, thread begins here.

#ChodeshTov everyone! Happy #Elul, the "deep breath before the plunge" (as Gandalf says).

Week 55 thread is below.
56.02/ Excellent shibboleth action here from Rabbi Ruttenberg, in a benevolent, non-murdery, way, of course.

56.03/ Honored with #haftara yesterday but it had been so long since I last did one that my eyesight has gotten bad enough that I was juggling a mask, fogged glasses, & the too small print of even a full-size Artscroll. And why did Yeshayahu have to make up so many weird words?!
56.04/ Need to write a thread about a way to understand moral choices, especially choosing the lesser of two evils, using the heuristic of "hutra or dechuya" which for now I'll define as "negated or suspended."

Good def. here:…
56.05/ Starting following @kmcshane because of the following cartoon. Good art, good mind. Thanks for your work.
56.06/ I know the adage of "offense sells tickets, defense wins championships" and my teams are famous for defense (#Steelers, #Mets, #NYR) but when they have seasons of bad D/good offense I find the games less stressful to watch. #LGM but they're not remotely watchable right now
56.07/ Watching Wheeler tear the #Mets apart, knowing he left us because of the Wilpon-Brodie Clown Show, thus suffering the indignity of being a fan of a team where a revolving door of bad leadership can doom us for years, I especially appreciate the stability of the #Steelers.
56.08/ Success in sports is still largely a black box to me, even taking into account that the best a non-member of a team will know ~30% of what's going on inside, but there comes a point when a team's bad performance feels like a negligent insult to the fans. Hi #Mets!
56.09/ Them: Psalms are so beautiful!
Me: Do you like Psalm 27?
Them: Yes, of course. Wonderful imagery. Why do you ask?
Me: Oh, no reason, I'll check back with you in 50 or so days.

#ChodeshTov #Elul #LDavid #PsalmsOverdoseIsInevitable
56.10/ I assume it's the power of the Ark preserving him in the same way that its power killed the rats in the hold.
56.11/ I started with Anthro (observing the infinite variety of humanity) added philosophy (ideas about best way to live) and ultimately added social science because ideas are cheap, solutions need to be tested.

This is why I reject many asserted utopias: prove they work, please
56.12/ Dr. Mack describes my position precisely. This isn't last year's pandemic, it's Delta, but our hell on earth of 2020 can be used to help us survive 2021

And, again, please stop saying "we had a deal!" about masks/shutdown. Delta is different, worse
56.13/ Didn't think the violent oaf had the guts to resign. Whew. #ByeCuomo…
and this will be kinda cool:…
56.14/ With the #InfrastructureBill passing the Senate and #Cuomo resigning, all before 1pm, we're getting a little nostalgic taste for what every single day was like during the #TrumpCrisis admin.
56.15/ It is kind of Biblical in its beauty
56.17/ "They've left every single light on: A father's lament" is a well known song I've inherited from my ancestors. Quite similar to the winter classic "Who touched the thermostat?"
56.18/ (1) Perfect description. (2) I'm *so* glad Trea Turner is out of my division #LGM
56.19/ Thread that combines lessons about leadership, Torah, and public health. Also about why self-defined religious people can be the most stubborn about sacrificing for the greater good.

56.20/ This thread is just filled with win. Re: Batman alternative future.

(It also relates to my assertion that the difference between supervillains and superheroes can just be about mood.)

56.21/ A new tool I used for the first time today when writing the thread in 56.19 is @wordhippo and I highly recommend it. It's a dictionary, thesaurus, antonym-aurus, rhyming dictionary, and more. Scrabble & crossword app, too. Thanks, pachydermate!
56.22/ From #MetsTwitter last night, even if you don't correspond the lineup with actual people, it's so accurate.

& this response is even better IMO. #LGM
56.23/ Ah yes, Twitter changed font and inverted the follow-unfollow colors. It's from the Microsoft school of antagonistic updates that make the user hate the product and the leadership team. Guys, some advice: as a company, it's better to be loved than feared. #TwitterFont
56.24/ I feel sad for an adult who has such a zero-sum, toxic, understanding of the parent-child relationship. "Tethered"? Is that how you understand love? Multi-generational families are healthier, stronger, & history's norm. And these are two of the more moral 'conservatives.' Image
56.25/ I'm conflict averse as a matter of survival training (Diaspora Hebrew with kids) but when I read this thread my reflexes for righteous indignation triggered into battle mode. Note, those fights are what've cost me the most. But that's also LIVING.
56.26/ This was an excellent piece vis-a-vis the social-psychology of victims of con-men (which includes cults, a communal con-game). I'm an easy mark, as it were, for Erving Goffman and well-sourced social science in popular magazines.…
56.27/ XKCD nailing it again, re: a fallacy experts fall into about familiarity with their interests. Applies to every subject, not just academia. E.g. politics, foreign policy, etc.
56.28/ Good thread about some of the structural forces for why the media/reporters will unquestioningly recycle government PR, even from consistently unreliable sources like PDs.
56.29/ For Parshat #Shofetim, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt'l's essay "The Human and Social Factor in Halakha" (Tradition, 36:1, 2002, pp1-25). Link via @AlHaTorah…
56.30/ This is making the rounds, an op-ed in the NYT from 1984 in favor of drunk driving. Just in case you think the 'hot-take' nihilism is new to the internet era.…
56.31/ OK this is really fun.

Just last night, I started showing my oldest this Simpsons episode. It's destiny!…
56.32/ Solid thread about why the Jewish community has a high vaccination rate (side note: thank God for this Kiddush Hashem). I also wrote about this in my dissertation about "Jewish Medical Culture" (see link in my bio)

56.33/ This looks like a fascinating study about the lived experience of Jews of Color (JOC). I look forward to learning from it. (h/t @lilririah)…
56.33b/ As @lilririah says, the results shouldn't be surprising. Yet, IMO, some of the best SOC studies are those that actually confirm conventional wisdom. One purpose of science is to help contextualize our observations to see if they are representative.
56.34/ Next year, 5782, is a shemittah year so I want to remind everyone to distribute your Maaser-Ani to the poor before it's too late. It's a system, all parts need to work together for it to make sense.……
56.35a/ Why do antivaxers run to the hospital when they inevitably sicken, maim & kill themselves & a bunch of others? #Literalism. The virus is invisible, the syringe is visible, so anti-vax. 105F fever e.g. is visible, but until then it wasn't so they cannot conceptualize it.
56.35b/ I've been banging the drum about the #Literalist mentality for years because I think it's the root of many of these baffling behaviors. E.g. It's being pro-technology (visible) but anti-science.

Oh, and most are cruel, selfish egotists as well.
56.36/ My mother, Prof. @CypessSM, will be speaking imminently at the Mexican Cultural Institute about La Malinche. Good luck Doctor Mom! ¡Buena suerte!

56.37/ OK, I had no idea that this lyric was a Dune reference. In my defense, it's a weird song (but great video!). Similarly, I had no idea that "They Might Be Giants" was a Don Quixote reference (the band is named for a 1971 movie).

56.38/ When I would accuse gun-nuts of actually enjoying school massacres, I was told I was exaggerating. But the same people are COVID-deniers, and that's proof enough. Anyway, I highly rec. subscribing to Stoehr's site for a whole team of good writers.
56.39/ This thread is all true, re: why chronical ill people - who have real reason to distrust the medical establishment, also ran to get the vaccine.
56.40/ Is there a phrase for when you try to click on a link but then the page reloads at that instant making you click on some random - often painfully tortuous - location? Sorry, let me rephrase, is there an ancient curse I can invoke to punish the designer of these pages?
56.41/ This is a good thread that describes the fascist mentality and why people who I knew to be normal seemed to flip a switch and become sinister and bonkers. I especially appreciate this point:

56.42/ Whoa, this is the time of year when candle lighting drops precipitously week to week. It's nine minutes earlier than last Shabbos. Yipe. Gotta get cracking.
56.43/ Wrapping this up, Shabbos in nigh. Please stay safe everyone. Elul is time of trepidation and introspection. And in 2021 that means vaccination and masks.

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More from @JoshuaCypess

Apr 7
195.01/ Week one-hundred and ninety-five, April 6-12, 2024, thread begins here.

Week 194 below.
195.02/ Happy #Eclipse2024 Day for all who celebrate. Here's an interesting article about the halakhic implications of an eclipse by Rabbi Dov Linzer:…
195.03/ #Eclipse2024 My extended family went to a place of 100% totality and took this picture a few minutes ago. For me its 90% and can't be photographed (which is one reason I said shehechiyanu). Not paskening for anyone else, but for me this is a religious experience. The total eclipse of April 8, 2024
Read 10 tweets
Apr 2
194.01/ Week one-hundred and ninety-four, March 30-April 5, 2024, thread begins here.

Week 193 below.
194.02/ #ChochmatNashim for #Shemini 5784.
Downloadable PDF with working links to Divrei Torah by Orthodox women scholars on the parsha and other topics of the week. #Shmini #HaChodesh…
194.03/ This is, 'how you say?, "awesome sauce"
Read 5 tweets
Mar 24
193.01/ Week one-hundred and ninety-three, March 23-29, 2024, thread begins here.

Week 192 below. #HappyPurim!
193.02/ This is now my preferred pshat
193.03/ #NachasAlert: Final (so far) tally of times my son leyned Megillah seven times; 3 last night, four times today. Including once for a home-bound Shoah survivor. So proud.
Read 9 tweets
Mar 17
192.01/ Week one-hundred and ninety-two, March 16-22, 2024, thread begins here.

Week 191 below.
192.02/ So today is #ZayinAdar and Saint Patrick's Day during Ramadan. What could go wrong?
192.03/ There's a resonance in having a fast that commemorates a community sacrifice for soldiers fighting a defensive war against raging antisemites. #TaanitEsther

And, hey, it's working already!
"IDF says 650 terror operatives captured at Shifa..."…
Read 14 tweets
Mar 10
191.01/ Week one-hundred and ninety-one, March 9-15, 2024, thread begins here.

Week 190 below.
191.02/ Last #MotzeiShabbatMovieNight of the season. How to top last week, and with a movie my youngest hasn't seen yet? "Fletch (1985)"…
191.03/ I agree with Prof. Simkovich, re: the Oscar guy.

Also, I see people wrestling to make sense of his convoluted phrasing, but I'm not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to a declaration that inherently refuses to give others the same benefit.
Read 6 tweets
Mar 3
190.01/ Week one-hundred and ninety, March 2-8, 2024, thread begins here.

Week 189 below.
190.02/ #MotzeiShabbatMovieNight continues, 2 weeks left before we change the clocks so climbing to the finale. It's "Raising Arizona (1987)" night! I don't need to explain how great it is, right?…
190.03/ #ChochmatNashim for #Vayakhel #Pekudei 5783 (last year; this year it's Vayakhel-Shekalim)

Downloadable PDF with working links to Divrei Torah by Orthodox women on the parsha and other weekly Torah.…
Read 8 tweets

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