58.01/ Week fifty-eight, Aug. 21-27, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 57 thread below.
58.02/ This article, sporting footnote numbers in superscript without any accompanying - um, ya know, actual - notes, has big "lazily plagiarized from Wikipedia" vibes to it.
58.03/ OTOH, this is an absolutely crucial piece in the Jewish Press by Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman, explaining and expanding on the ruling of Harav Hershel Schachter, that getting the COVID vaccine is halakhically required. Demanded.
58.04/ Thread about some aspects of my recent family trip to the Hudson River Valley.

(NB: There were so many colleges up there too, I had no idea. Vassar, Bard, Marist, West Point, and, of course, the CIA.)

58.05/ I know a number of people in #HurricaneHenri2021's way. Praying for their safety and security. We didn't have many negative effects here except for steady, light rain. And my consequent fake-French accent which only poses a danger to me from irritated family members.
58.06/ Gentlepeople, start your engines! Full FDA approval for #Pfizer. Mandate, require, demand, insist, do whatever it takes. Green light, let's make it to the finish line!
58.07/ OK, yay for the science and tech people who got the vaccine tested, manufactured and approved by my representatives in self-government (aka The Deep State aka The State aka Me). But the marketing guys need to be given a refresher course. Comirnaty?!
58.08/ Ranking things should be by tiers not a pure ordinal list, but now I notice the gun. Sigh. OK:

"Ooh... short answer: 'yes' with an 'if;' long answer: 'no' with a 'but.'" (S8e8 "Hurricane Neddy")


Genius level re: theodicy.

58.09/ At this point I basically assume that any 'famous' psychological case was either ethically or methodologically flawed and should be seen as merely confirming bias: Milgram, Stanford Prison, John Money's gender reassignment, Stockholm Syndrome, etc.
58.10/ Yes, I agree with this: the propping up of a corrupt government undermines any moral posture of rule of law.

The 20th Cent. is littered with US foreign policy doing this over and over with the same results.
58.11/ Springsteen, Dylan, & Leonard Cohen demonstrate there’s an inverse relationship between lyrics and singing quality (where an unpolished voice was been taken as a sign of sincerity/authenticity), yet this is rarely seen in comic strips. In this essay I will show that XKCD…
58.12/ Having read @MattiFriedman, it doesn't surprise me that the American press decided on a particular narrative about a situation in the Middle East and will ignore anything that contradicts their predetermined winners/losers bad/good guys.
58.13/ This is a very solid, sobering answer by Biden about how he sees the mission of the US military, establishing what I would imagine is The Biden Doctrine.

58.14/ A thread from last year about parshat #KiTavo and the #Tochecha:

42 Posts.

58.15/ Aha! I knew it!

(It's a tale as old as time, seeing Google and Amazon start off as effective, special companies and then devolve into corrupt crapulence)
58.16/ Periodic reminder that the buzzard, which has a noxious name, does not look like a vulture. The birds have become synonymous in the city slicker mind (heck, I used to think sheep & goats were the same animal). But buzzards look a lot like hawks.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_bu… Picture of a brown buzzard ...Turkey vulture, black body,...Buzzard in flight. From htt...Beaky Buzzard, a character ...
58.17/ My hot take about Indian food (& almost any topic in angry food discourse) is: I *wish* I could have an opinion but it's hard to find kosher food in any of these cuisines that remains faithful to the original ingredients. But I'm very willing to try
58.18/ A sense of calm falls over me when I finally diagnose a problem caused by others that results in my Weltschmerz. That happened tonight when the #Mets manager pulled the SP in the 7th. That was panic. Now I grok at least 1 reason why the team has choked the past few weeks.
58.19/ CW: abuse

Just put up a published piece of mine from 2000 about clergy abuse and how victims are ignored due to cognitive dissonance. Original title "Prisoners of the Inexcusable" & it was my first Shabbas sermon as a rabbinic intern at CKJ.
58.20c/ The Crazy Muppet Rabbi is on a roll.
58.21/ I haven't been a student in a number of years, but as a former-kid it offends me when the school year begins in August. It feels so wrong.
58.22/ 1960s music conversation:

1. Beatles: You say you want a revolution? (Revolution 1)

2. Rolling Stones: Yes. Yes we do. (Street Fighting Man)

3. The Who: Um, no, bad idea. (Won't Get Fooled Again)

4. Rolling Stones: Don't listen to those guys. (Sympathy for the Devil)
58.23/ Re: #Afghanistan, this is a top-notch thread. Pretty much agree with every point.

58.26/ Spot on thread by Rosenberg about the bias in coverage about the Temple Mount and what amounts to an erasure of Jewish history. The NYT's narrative in effect nullifies the validity of Judaism's central beliefs in favor of another religion's beliefs.
58.27/ Thread about a recent debate about authenticity in Judaism. Adding just two points from my perspective as an expert. Then a short #DvarTorah because it's #Elul. #ReshetKeshet

58.28/ A theme for this week has been how the MSM, once they all agree on a set narrative, won't deviate. This is terrible for building up trust in a free press because the bias is overt. Here's a moldy oldie: no matter what, everything is good for the GOP
58.29/ His mind is filled with felt, that's important to understand.

58.30a/ There are certain moments that you know will encapsulate the moment or era. Bush's "Mission Accomplished", Trump (ym'sh) & his violent Bible stunt, Charlottesville, etc. For the anti-vax movement I feel it will be #HorseDewormer.

See this thread:
58.30b/ That said, "dewormer" reminds of three things:

(1) the funniest joke I ever heard from my veterinarian father involves a tape-worm

(2) The synonym for magic, dweomer, from my D&D days

(3) And this guy: Dean Wormer from the movie ...
58.31/ The #Mets just collapsed right before the All-Star break. It's been a slow train wreck. As MacLeod notes, it's not a good sign to be worse than the 1962 Mets.

My reaction to that?

58.32/ I need to spread the halakhic rumor that if you refuse to be vaccinated then Kol Nidrei won't work.

[TBH it's very hard to do teshuva for infecting someone after you refuse the vaccine. And spreading misinformation is "causing the masses to sin"]
58.33/ Shabbas is getting earlier & earlier and it's starting to thunderstorm outside (one of the blessings of a gas grill is that I'll still be able to cook, but it won't be fun). #ShabbatShalom everyone & #ShanaTova

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More from @JoshuaCypess

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):
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
13 Sep
1/ A thread to catalog my stray comments about the NFL yesterday (as part of my academic 'obsessive archiving' heritage).

Overall, the #Steelers had an amazing road win over Buffalo mainly because of a stifling defense, which is fun in retrospect but during the game is stressful
2/ The comment below is actually from my sports-watching partner, my sportsman son, who is wise & savvy beyond his years.

Melvin "Boy Named Sue?" Ingram draws a holding penalty instead of getting a de jure sack but de facto it is one.
3/ BAL & NE are experts in bad-faith rulebook exploitation. Examples abound (see CBS link). 2 most common: the "Flacco Ball" (badly thrown deep pass designed purely to draw DPI) & having the OL hold on every play to DDOS the refs.
Read 11 tweets
12 Sep
61.01/ Week sixty-one, Sept. 11-17, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 60 below
61.02/ I am a fan of the professional sport of American Football and, as a child of Pittsburgh, a particular avid supporter of the #Steelers. I apologize ahead of time for some intemperate comments that may be made during the season which could be non-sequitur for non-NFLers.
61.03/ From last night at the #Mets-Yankees game, a scandal that Fox's cameras lingered on that hateful flag. Ironically it symbolizes the way 9-11 was perverted by corrupt bad-actors from day one.

Read 28 tweets

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