Twitter acquired Threader! Learn more

Joshua Cypess
+ Your AuthorsArchive @JoshuaCypess PhD social scientist & Orthodox Rabbi. We're all in this together. He/him. #BlackLivesMatter #Steelers #Mets #Resist Jun. 27, 2021 6 min read

50.01/ Week fifty, June 26-July 2 2021, begins here.
#TzomKal, easy fast, for #ShivaAsarBTammuz

Week 49 below

50.02/ File this under "horrifying but not surprising." @AdamSerwer has been doing great work and I look forward - in a clinical, grin & bear it way - to reading his book.

50.03/ Barukh Dayan ha-Emet. My shul just informed us that Rabbi Reuven Bulka z'l has passed away. Rabbi Dr. Bulka was a psychotherapist & shul rabbi who exemplified a life dedicated to his community and to Torah u-Madda. May his memory be for a blessing. 

50.04/ I just realized that what I love the most about "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman is that it's what Springsteen songs want to be but doesn't have - a superlative vocalist that matches the instrumentation.

I will be taking no questions. 

50.05/ A problem with managing anxiety by trying to understand everything is that once you do, and everything makes sense, the bad things continue to exist because the structures that enable the bad things aren't solvable by one guy with answers.

50.06/ I've noticed that disabilities are often found in clusters in a person. There could be genetic/biological reasons for co-morbidity, but IMO it's also from "square peg abrasion": society is designed for round pegs so people with uncommon needs get physically worn down.

50.07/ "Perfect is the enemy of the good" is true. Not only is perfection unattainable, but getting close to perfection requires evolution which by definition means trial and error.

Attaining perfection requires failure, false starts, blind alleys. This is comforting to me.

50.07b/ Great follow-up here: "practice makes progress!"

As we know from science: bad results tell truths, too. Knowing what doesn't work is part of knowing what does, and why.

50.08/ I just showed this to my wife, a newly minted Associate Dean. Her job should evidently be protected by the 8th Amendment.

50.08b/ Re: "Write a horror story for your industry using just four words"
My brother (NIH scientist) @acypess suggests:

"Grant was not discussed"

& for now I, pulpit rabbi, suggest:

"The eruv is down"

50.09/ Very sobering thread, with links to news sources, about the immediate catastrophic effect of climate change.

50.10/ Yes indeed (reposting pic to add alt-text) and her follow-up is right on.

50.11/ I've said before that I'd be a rich man if I used my PhD - and even more, my ordination - to concoct rationalizations that would allow powerful people to be cruel.

A step beyond that is concocting reasons for revenge, as DW correctly describes:

50.12/ This is frightening and insane. An attack in broad daylight, with a gun and knife, in the middle my old community in Boston.

Please pray for Shlomo Ben Zlata Miriam. 

50.13/ Thread I just wrote about my first day back in shul without a mask.

50.14/ This is a fun thread and, ironically, the review for "For the Love of the Game" is accurate! It's such a good baseball movie if you just keep it to the baseball game.

50.15/ This is what social science should do: confirm common sense, especially in the face of cultural cruelty.

Physically attacking a child - especially your own, who loves you and trusts you to keep them safe - warps their reality & emotional health.

50.16a/ #ReshetKeshet Re: 50.13 above, about "pikuach nefesh" - the halakhic requirement to preserve life over nearly every other commandment - today's #DafYomi (Yoma 82) & onwards is the key source & discussion for the mitzvah. 

50.16b/ And, so I won't be remiss, Yoma 81b is one of the places in the Talmud that discusses Indian food (an "electuary from the Hindu place"). It's likely medicine made with ghee & honey.

50.17/ "Reverse racism" is bad-faith nonsense b/c bigotry is a problem of power not of belief.

Hatred is a social problem when it can be systematically acted out with violence & oppression: punching down.

Note, punching up in hate can also be indistinguishable from self-defense

50.18/ This really hits hard for me like a long-forgotten vendetta. I remember being shocked by Miers' nomination and I opposed Alito b/c of his clear cruelty but just thinking about how much better the court would be w/o the doll-eyed Alito... wow.

50.19/ I'm excited about all the first time non-Orthodox #DafYomi learners who'll see tomorrow for their first time, in context, that halakha provides for patient autonomy to override impassive doctors. “The heart knows the bitterness of its soul” 

50.20/ This was a great thread that taught me quite a lot about the political/military purposes of freeing the slaves in the Civil War, i.e. it turned the war from one of 'aggression' to 'liberation.'

50.21/ I'm catching up on my thread reading (one of the reasons I enjoy the threaders, they become an easily accessible, linkable, library of a person's work) and this from May by @lara_putnam is really important & true.

50.22/ My wife calls this a "Happy Birthday Miss Jones" type of question based on the great Electric Company cartoon: 

Why? Because social conventions do the job. They're safe and effective. Originality is unnecessary & ill-advised.

50.23/ There are two types of people: (1) those who care about the consequences of their actions and will change their ideas & behavior if they discover they are wrong, and (2) those who don't.

Even if you have saintly ideas about creating a utopia, if you're in group 2, go away

50.24/ Excellent explanation about sampling bias in this cartoon

50.25/ This was a helpful thread from a resident in the Pacific Northwest about how the #HeatWave2021 feels like on the ground and in general what it feels to suffer through a climate-change catastrophe

50.26/ I resemble this remark

50.27/ Ain't that the truth

50.28/ Absolutely. Trump (ym'sh) - like all populist demagogues - grabs power by giving voice to people who want the worst things on earth.

50.29/ So very true. And I appreciate the stark phrasing.

50.30/ My 12 year old daughter is a really good artist (objective opinion alert). She painted this today and we're thinking of making it into a set of family stationary. #ProudFather

50.31/ #ReshetKeshet. Quick #Pinchas lesson from last year. Moshe asks God for a proper leadership transition in 27:12-21. My kids suggested it wasn't about replacing him but for Miriam because the previous passage 27:1-11 was about the Benot Tzelofchad. 

50.32/ 100% right. That's why we need to describe things as 'structural' racism, not just racism. Just like climate change is about the system not the weather, racism is built into everything in our former slavery-defending republic.

50.33/ Just finished cooking for Shabbos and the days are getting shorter (narrator: one minute shorter than last week) so time to sign off. #ShabbatShalom everyone


please compile.

You can follow @JoshuaCypess.


Tip: mention @threader on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Follow Threader