1/ Jude's warning about the "one good man" (in this case, about the NBer trainwreck, see inside) is something I worry about as well: when a cause's fate can rise or fall with the virtue or sins of one single person.
2/ This can be an inevitable consequence of ethical heroics. Jewish law (IMO) emphasizes the severity of Chillul Hashem for this reason: Jews are commanded to act as representatives for God on Earth. Our individual behavior can destroy the entire mission.
3/ Yet an iconoclastic mission will often require salient, brave individuals. How to avoid the problem of Chillul Hashem and the pitfalls of Jude's "One Good Man"?

Same answer: Don't be alone. Don't be "one."
4/ The first task of an ethical hero is to make more heroes until the cause is no longer heroic but regular, expected, normal. Even easy.

This is how I try to avoid the pitfall. Make myself replaceable by making myself repeatable.
5/ Making more heroes requires structural change and education.* This is how I know I can contribute. I see the structures, I work to change those instead of placing it all on my name (and ego).

*Two things that #Literalists don't understand.
6/ I think this is the red-flag for the false heroes Jude warns against. Men who make themselves synonymous with the cause (their "brand") are demonstrating a compromised motive. In halakhic language this is doing a commandment "lo l'shma" - not for the sake of the Name (God).
7/ If done correctly, an ethical hero will make it easy enough to do the right thing that the cause will not rise or fall on their character. That's a robust ethic and should be inherent in the heroism. If not, it's a sign this person is a threat to others.
8/ Arthur has a very thoughtful exposition about how he struggles with this question as well, see below.

Since my expertise is in Jewish law, ethics and sociology, I wanted to add my thoughts to these voices.

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More from @JoshuaCypess

29 Aug
59.01/ Week fifty-nine, Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 58 thread below.
59.02/ Scoring a run on a balk is such sweet victorious humiliation. Like in NFL when a QB gives up a safety by running out the back of the endzone. Thanks Nationals. #LGM
59.03a/ One year without fans in the stands and they forgot how to act right.

The fans can't be abusive, throw objects, hurl slurs. This we know. But we cheer and boo. That's our job. And if players enjoy the cheering they need to fear the booing as well.
Read 29 tweets
26 Aug
1/ These are two very solid threads by @Mandalorthodox about what is evidently a hot topic on JTwitter: a familiar (to me) inter-denominational fracas about authenticity and validity.

&
2/ I usually stay out of these discussions because of my heavy footprint: both as an Orthodox rabbi and a Ph.D. in Jewish studies & sociology. My dissertation deals directly with these topics. See especially ch. 1 & ch. 5 (Conclusion).

academia.edu/15401772/Jewis…
3/ Yet I'll add two points from my expert perspective:
1) Many non-Orthodox claims are as polemical & doctrinaire as the O are presumed to be. Ironically, each denomination has orthodoxies. Saying "Jews believe X" (like "no afterlife") is actually just one side in a debate.
Read 12 tweets
22 Aug
1/ We went on a family trip last week. It was the first vacation we could carve out in a while (see also, Tishrei holidays on Tues/Wed this year) plus the need to relieve the cabin-fever of COVID. Foresight also suggested we should grab time now before the next wave.
2/ In the past we've been able to travel far, but staying close to home seemed prudent this year pandemic-wise. So we went to the Hudson River Valley. Just 2 hours away but it felt like a different world. Which was perfect. Important history there plus great natural beauty. One of us on the Walkway Over the Hudson which was described
3/ The above pic is from the Walkway Over the Hudson, the 2nd longest pedestrian bridge in the world. And I believe it, because while traversing it in the climate-changed heat, I was firing spoons off like an overheated Gatling gun.
walkway.org
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkway_o…
Read 32 tweets
22 Aug
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.
jewishpress.com/judaism/halach…
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.
jewishpress.com/judaism/halach…
Read 36 tweets
15 Aug
57.01/ Week fifty-seven, Aug. 14-20, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 56 thread below.
57.02/ 2 comments about Rav Willig's shiur for Shoftim 5781:
(1) He explicitly endorses Rav Twersky's position for combatting the virus and that's awesome!
torahweb.org/torah/2021/par…
torahweb.org/torah/special/…
(2) Him citing Rav Bleich to defend Zechariah ben Avkulous is [chef's kiss]
57.03/ From May 2020, one of my references to ZbA (as I should refer to him) and how I use him as an archetype.
Read 36 tweets
11 Aug
1/ I try to teach my kids leadership lessons from my observed, taught, & lived experience. E.g. (1) 90% of leadership praxis is communication (yet too often unpracticed, with disastrous results) (2) vision is as necessary as operations but without one you're either blind or lame.
2/ (3) Vision is strategy, operations are tactics, but both are neutralized without logistics, (4) ultimately, a leader needs to put the welfare of the group above themselves; it should be the reason they consent to the imagine oneself capable of making decisions for others.
3/ #4 is about self-sacrifice and without that, leadership becomes exploitative. (5) In order to determine all elements - strategy, tactics, vision, and consent of the governed - you need a system of error checking.

Read 29 tweets

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