60.01/ Week sixty, Sept. 5-11, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 59 (Aug 28-Sept. 4th, oops, 2021) below
60.02/ From last night, mourning the passing of a #Steelers legend and - from what I hear - an all-around good guy, baal-chesed, #TunchIlkin
60.03/ It's absolutely crucial to hear what these conservatives think of women: as "host bodies" of a fetus. Women are objects to them. Dehumanization is the first step to the worst atrocities.
60.04/ I'm not a physician (just a doctor) but I come from a medical family and I recognize the whole MOOD in this.
60.05/ I miss a lot of fun over Shabbos, evidently
60.07/ A condensed, Orthodox Ashkenazic, #machzor for pandemic purposes from Ohr Torah Stone in Efrat, Israel. #RoshHashanah2021

60.08/ My kids learned a lesson this morning - despite my earlier warnings - about why you should always take your own Slichot book to shul. The pain of trying to use a paper Slichot erev #RoshHashanah is a hard teacher.

(image via: commoncrowbooks.com/pages/books/H1…) Image of the cover of a pap...
60.09/ This looks like good news. I hope it is.
60.10/ 100%. There's a weird charity given to white weirdos choking back horse dewormer that absolutely wouldn't be afforded to a non-majority population.

60.11/ Never have I identified with a politician's position on any issue more than this
60.12/ Well, you know what they say: if you nap on #RoshHashanah you'll be well rested through the whole year. Actually, they say the opposite, but (a) the logic should work both ways & (b) napping is good.

#ChagSameach #HappyNewYear #ShanaTovah Goodbye 5781 and Hello 5782!
60.13/ Shavua Tov, Shana Tova. Hope your #RoshHashanah was the right melange of terror and joy, and hope today's purging after binging is an easy fast.

That said, this was a fun thing to read motzei yom-tov:
60.14/ A friend of mine got a deal on some N95 masks because they were in a color/design that wasn't selling the way they expected. She asked me to guess and my immediate, and correct, answer: camouflage.

Why? Because the demography that loves camo gear aren't buying masks.
60.15/ On our recent tour of West Point they said that Lee never had any demerits while Grant had many. That seems to be a good metaphor for what Marshall is describing: Lee followed orders, was superlative at it. Grant went beyond the given limits.
60.16/ Me on RH: OK, I have to write down the shiurim I just taught, even more from new learning, and a drive to implement plans to improve this coming year.

#TzomGedalyah: Oh, hi! Is this a good time to sap your strength & make it impossible to think productively? No? Too bad.
60.17/ First time in many years that my parents were with us for #RoshHashanah as well as my kids. I treasure this gift & powerful mental/emotional drive to recognize the fragility of life.

Note: all are at a self-sufficient ages, so I'm like an Oreo of the sandwich generation.
60.18/ I had a #NiftyIdea: should be a PIN or code for a cell phone that makes it ring if it's on vibrate.

My "lifehack" sensor went off though and told me "this is enough of a not-you problem that it's likely people solved this"

And they have.
60.19a/ I'm a big fan of the genre of "Explainers" (I also collect reference books, esp. quotes & aphorisms). Vox's series is pretty good but the most recent about "Apologies" is a good case to explain (har!) why I find secular "pop" ethics so shallow.
60.19b/ Religion can plausibly claim to base its ethics on immutable truth, secularism by definition can't do that. There's no science in the humanities. Secularism can't assert universality, it must rely on democratic consensus which means it's under constant change & debate.
60.20/ For all those who say Biden isn't doing anything and/or blame the Democrats for stasis and demand they "do something" I believe this counts as "something"
60.21/ In this information age with the savvy spoilery meta-commentary youth culture, the ability to show my teenage son Terminator 1 & 2 and have him not know beforehand about the big reveal in T2 was a well executed, and exquisite, pleasure.
60.22/ Early onset chronic health problems mean being told that "you're too young to be in pain."

Things like that drove my nascent psychology to resist gaslighting & self-validate (through rigorous testing) my perceptions and feelings.

Don't tell me it's "wrong" to be in pain!
60.22b/ Impetus: I was fortunate to have a mask-only RH minyan. But it was in a room with just chairs, no seat-in-front bookrest. No tables (like I'm used to). So hours of holding up a book, even my mini Artscroll, messed up my forearm. Am I old enough finally to be in pain?
60.23/ IMO it's fitting that Bill Nunn was inducted to the NFL HoF the same year Marvin Miller received the same honor in the MLB. Nunn transformed the game by proving the value of HBCUs. Miller saved baseball by giving a voice/power to Labor, the players.
60.24/ Isn't "na'aseh ve-nishma" just another way of saying "shoot first and ask questions later"?
60.25/ Two #NFL observations: (1) Re: Belichick or Brady debate, as a non-expert yet close observer, the Bucs offensive drives look exactly like Pats drives. It's Brady. (2) Did Collinsworth get extra sycophanty over the summer? Maybe the Cowboys/TB12 bring out the worst in him
60.26b/ This is obvious clickbait, so I have no interest in reading a pro-Avoda Zara piece, with a (non) golden calf motif, in between RH & YK. It's provocative but as Max says:
60.27/ Gotta appreciate a well crafted, being both concise and intellectually cogent, tweet.
60.29/ Dr. Guttman z'l is the great-uncle of my childhood best friend and I heard many mind-blowing insider stories that about his incredible life that I presumed were exaggerations. Nope. It's sorta like only knowing a story via an unpublished prequel.
60.30/ Re: vaccine mandates. I grok why fellow liberals are reluctant to use social force as leaders because autonomy & respect for difference are high ideals. But trust me: there's an unmitigated THRILL in using righteous force against those who are selfishly endangering others.
60.31/ A short thread about my technique in writing alt-text and my quest to find a way to integrate the added comments (an "afikoman prize") in the main reading experience.

60.32/ #NewWord

"schmichel" (rhymes with tichel) (n.) = a tiny piece of bread you tear off your sandwich to make hamotzi on right after you wash in order to be able to speak (which is why you wouldn't take a full-fledged bite) and/or you need to other things before you sit down
60.33/ It took this to learn about the desperately needed "Merc's Law":

"The widespread assumption that only Democrats have any agency or causal influence over American politics."

(As far as I can tell it was invented by @LemieuxLGM)
60.34/ This is egregious OPI (offensive pass interference) right in front of a ref. NFL fans have come to detest the outright bias and corruption that - coincidently - helps Brady win games he was about to lose. Goodell's ignominious tenure continues.
60.35/ I lived in Manhattan on 9/11 & I'm glad the grisly, overwrought memorializing will be on Shabbos so I don't need to be retraumatized every minute of the day. The tragedy and its obscene bloodthirsty aftermath that led to war, torture, unfreedom... it's too much for me.
60.36a/ Sigh. My computer crashed and I'm rushing around. B"N I will try to write up my shiurim on (1) disability in halakhah with a special focus on anxiety & OCD, (2) the Akeida, (3) Sanegor & how to understand judgement, (4) the mechanism of Unetaneh Tokef
60.36b/ (5) Reverse minhagim (when a conceptual reason behind a Jewish practice becomes its main driver, cf. nuts on RH, shofar, and in a weird way Tashlich)

I'll leave with this, though: there's an axis of hard/easy, simple/complex and teshuva is simple but hard.
60.37/ #ShabbatShalom everyone. Please stay safe. Let's make 5782 a year to remember for the good.

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More from @JoshuaCypess

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
10 Sep
1/ One of these days I'll learn how to read alt-text in my standard browsing experience on Twitter. One reason why: when I alt an image on my feed I will try to describe the picture but add extra commentary (1000 char>280).

For example, on the gif below:
2/ This is part 1:
Absolutely no idea what the original source of this gif is. I was searching for variations of "smackdown" or "beatdown." This is of a toddler wearing a yellow jumpsuit - satirizing Uma Thurman's suit in "Kill Bill" I assume - fighting a stuffed animal monster.
3/ Part 2 (but all within the original tweet pic):

The toddler displays kung-fu moves and poses and ends the fight by ripping open the stuffing of the violent antagonist and ripping out what I assume is to represent its heart (a pile of fluff)
Read 5 tweets

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