Joshua Cypess Profile picture
Sep 19, 2021 41 tweets 20 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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)

62.04/ Prima facie this Dr. Braid is a real hero. Let's see how the battle goes, but power to him.

62.05/ Another reminder that many people you see in memes are real. I gave to the charity as well (Tishrei power) because internet fame usually is all downside, so I'll try to help it be a force for good.

62.06/ I'm seeing ppl have trouble with Yonah's "dag gadol" - literally "big fish" - be anything but a whale. If your suspension of disbelief breaks down over that, as opposed to every other wacky thing in the story, then you're missing the comedic point.…
62.07/ #NFL style guide, especially for old-timers like me: It's the Oakland Raiders of Las Vegas, San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles, following the custom of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. As such, Oakland Raiders & San Diego Chargers are acceptable.…
62.08/ AK is an experienced hand with deciphering Tomlin's highly precise code and she's totally right here: the #Steelers may have lost because of multiple missing defensive pieces but we also can't get 1 yard when we need it. Ugh.

62.09/ My son just said that the "Cleveland baseball team beat the Yankees" (always nice to hear) and this dialogue occurred:
Me: "You mean, the Cleveland Guardians"
Him: "The Cleveland who?"
Me: "Guardians"
Him: "Oh! I thought you said 'Garden Gnomes'"

So now, that's the name.
62.10/ Normally, I've had poor #etrog luck but for whatever reason I got a really great crop of plump & yellow citrons this year. Four: One for each kid, one for me & my wife. #humblebrag #etrogbrag #PlumpAndJuicyCitrons #Sukkot Four boxes each with a larg...
62.12/ OK, we've been waiting for this. Let's get it going. #VaccinateKids
62.13/ Almost every #Steelers loss can be tied to our coaches' reliance on personnel over strategy/scheme, so when there are in-game injuries (esp. to All-Pros) doom is close by. Some in game reactions:

62.14/ My grammar skills are poor but my vocabulary game is sharp & has carried me through decades of higher education. Yet, I recently saw "confute" & thought it was a typo for "refute." Nope, they're synonyms. Where once I was confused now I'm confuted.…
62.15/ Did a Hirhurim raid before YK and came across a bunch of articles I missed, like this incredible one about J.R.R. Tolkien which has a great story about his schmooze-chavrusa with Cecil Roth when they were air-raid wardens together during WW2:…
62.16/ There are numerous ethical issues I juggle in order to be a fan of the #NFL & #Steelers but - while two wrongs don't make a right - at least I refuse to use F*acebook because of their ridiculous level of destructive evil.

62.17/ These are fun, humorous descriptions of the Jewish holidays (I don't know if there's alt-text, sorry). The second one has taught me a new one: Seharane…

62.18/ This is a very good essay - with equally good citations - about morality & Jewish law. (While I have extensive comments, I need to save that for an article. I will say that "din" and "halakhah" aren't synonymous.)…
62.19a/ It was asked in another forum about the rope that was tied to the leg of the Kohen Gadol (KG) to pull his corpse from the Holy of Holies if he died. Apparently it's an urban legend as per:
62.19b/ But the Talmud does state that in the Second Temple era the KG had to be replaced every year because wealthy, corrupt pretenders purchased the office and God killed them:…
Cause of death? Being kicked in the face by an angel:…
62.20/ This is part of a give & take that leads to an epic thread/rant (below) by Arthur about the facile underpinnings of Social Darwinism (SD); i.e. by SD's own claims for 'fitness,' weak but social organisms crush the 'strong.'
62.21/ Not everyone toxic operates in 'bad faith' which requires a knowing desire to use a system's tools & values as a weapon to undermine the system's foundations.

Many more people are just stubborn & aggressively dense. (I muted CF many moons ago)
62.22/ We've put up the Nitl, uh I mean, Sukkah lights and next go the paper chains. Cooking up a storm and, please God, the weather will remain rainless and clear. #ChagSameach everybody, have a great #Sukkot
62.23/ The halakha in our house is to play Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" every day of the month as a sayyag for mitzvat zecher kaf-aleph to avoid this problem. Besides, because of the chag, observance is pushed to isru chag (today).

62.25/ We voted as a family and unanimously agree that L'David jumps the shark once we stop blowing the shofar for it.

BTW, here's an excellent article about the minhag:…

And I've been on this for a while
62.26/ After going to Lowe's for #Sukkot prep, I thought of a joke to workshop (har) to connect Lowe's hardware and the Maharal of Prague's famous creation, the golem
Why? The Maharal's name is Judah Loew ben Bezalel aka Rabbi Loew.…
62.27/ Another to workshop: there's got to be a "lulav ha-gazul" joke in here

62.28/ (a) Eugenics is a red-flag for depraved evil - it calls for a passive or active elimination of a class of people.

(b) I've studied anti-vax for years & it's crucial to understand that it's inherently eugenicist: a core goal of anti-vax parents is to avoid/eliminate autism
62.29/ I'm starting to think that the "true" in "true crime" means the same thing as the "reality" in "reality television."
62.30/ A quick note of a larger piece I need to write: "laziness" does exist as a moral problem despite its ableist history. Dt. 29:18 describes what amounts to the "free rider" fallacy which IMO is what Tanakh derides as laziness.……
62.31/ #Literalist thinking - which expresses itself in solipsism, egoism, and a total devotion to Dunning-Kruger - kills.

62.32/ A combo of life experience & learning the halakha well (what level of "dry" = passul) taught me this lesson years ago.

I think people fight vainly to keep them dry for the same mystical goofiness as being anti-microscopic crumbs on Pesach.
62.33/ In the spirit of "dan l'kaf zechut" I must assume that Mount Sinai is just being very makpid on sleeping in the #sukkah.

62.34/ Totally agree.

It reminds me of something I learned from my mentor, Prof. Peter Brown, about how to learn history from legal codes: when a law bans an act it doesn't mean it used to be acceptable, possibly it formerly was unfathomable or obvious.
62.36/ Brilliant! Not just in itself, but because of the deeper way of understanding a well-crafted narrative. If the heroes go through a portal, the other end should logically treat them as mind-blowing threats
62.37/ The data is stunningly obvious. But it's not about facts.

"Doing my own research" is part of the same code as "law and order." It's a racist, authoritarian, and aggressively selfish; e.g. "no CRT in schools" is code for "I'm so racist I spew bile"
62.38/ Score one for the Guardian.

Alt-text: "Johnny Depp says 'no one safe' from cancel culture as he accepts lifetime achievement award."

Depp has left a trail of intimate partner abuse, among other actions. He's upset he's being held accountable.
62.39/ Re: Dark & gritty superhero stories, specifically a murderous Superman. I totally agree that these stories are not just uninteresting but "evil hero" is a "villain." Misanthropic fiction can miss me #ThankYouVeryMuch.
62.40/ Somehow, it's Shabbos soon. Have a safe and simcha-filled Shabbat Chol ha-Moed everyone! #ShabbatShalom and #MoadimLeSimcha!

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More from @JoshuaCypess

Sep 18
166.01/ Week one-hundred and sixty-six, September 17-22, 2023, thread begins here.

Week 165 below.
166.02/ re: #FireCanada #HereWeGo

(BTW, I think he should go, too, but Steelers' OCs are like GOP presidents, they keep getting unimaginably worse, that I shudder who'll be next).

166.03/ This is my kind of White House.
Read 11 tweets
Sep 12
165.01/ Week one-hundred and sixty-five, September 9-15, 2023, thread begins here.

Week 164 below.
165.02/ In honor of the upcoming High Holidays, here's one of the best humor songs about cantorial music ever, "Hineni" by the Rechnitzer Rejects:

And my crop of just the song:…
165.03/ My sermon-thread from 2020 about #RoshHashana and the passing of Justice Ginsburg z'l (which in retrospect, in a year of lows, was the lowest moment of all for me):
Read 6 tweets
Sep 8
164.01/ Week one-hundred and sixty-four, September 2-8, 2023 thread begins here.

Week 163 below.

(Twitter is so unwieldy & fakakt that I'm finding it harder to write & interact with it, hence why I didn't even realize I didn't start this until now).
164.02/ #ChochmatNashim thread for #Nitzavim 5782 & the first #Vayelech of 5783 (this year has two) which was the first time I converted the thread into a PDF. @ChochmatNashim. #Vayeilech #Vayelekh.

164.03/ #NachasAlert. My son has a long essay in this week's Torah journal from his high school. Enjoy!…
Read 5 tweets
Aug 27
163.01/ Week one-hundred and sixty-three, August 26-September 1, 2023 thread begins here.

Week 162 below.
163.02/ Shavua tov. I checked the Met game Motzei Shabbas and see Carrasco has yet again had a terrible outing. He's been through a lot, medically, but it's getting embarrassing. (His nickname is "cookie" and I found this great gif that illustrates his athletic results)
163.03/ So many consumer comforts I took for granted have recently disappeared. Locally, I lost my grocery store, bank & a favorite restaurant. Online: Amazon Smile & soon Netflix DVDs. Most left because, while profitable, they didn't make infinite growth money. Kinda grim.
Read 7 tweets
Aug 21
162.01/ Week one-hundred and sixty-two, August 19-25, 2023, thread begins here.

Week 161 below.
162.02/ Reposting these links again because one of my kids needed a refresher for a Bugs Bunny cartoon and remarkably this trove is still online.
162.03/ #ChochmatNashim thread for #KiTetze #KiTeitzei 5782 (last year). @ChochmatNashim

Read 9 tweets
Aug 13
161.01/ Week one-hundred and sixty-one, August 12-18, 2023, thread begins here.

Week 160 below.
161.02/ #ChochmatNashim thread for #Shoftim 5782 (last year) @ChochmatNashim. BE"H I will send out the PDF for this year tomorrow.

161.03/ #ChochmatNashim for #Shoftim 5783. @ChochmatNashim.

Downloadable PDF with working links to Divrei Torah from Orthodox women scholars on parshat hashavua and other topics of the week.…
Read 5 tweets

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