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Joshua Cypess
+ Your AuthorsArchive @JoshuaCypess He/his. PhD social scientist & Orthodox Rabbi. We're all in this together. #BlackLivesMatter #Steelers #Mets #Resist Oct. 17, 2021 7 min read

66.01/ Week sixty-six, Oct. 16-22, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 65 below.

66.02/ The #NFL games have not gone my team's way so far, but we have a Scorigami, and that's ALWAYS good. LAR 38 - 11 NYG

66.03/ I plan to save these pictures of a Talmud class being held in the London Underground during the Blitz to remind myself that I've had it pretty good in my life. Pretty good. (h.t. @DBashIdeas)

66.04a/ I've tuned out further Chappelle discussion because he's a proud TERF. That's enough for me to hold him in contempt. His recent shows especially are filled with fragile, frenzied, punching down. He clearly hates anyone who isn't him, or doesn't look like him.

66.04b/ It was only last night that I saw references to his "Space Jews" bit. Which suggests to me that either he's thrilled to just enthusiastically embrace a persona of Tr*mpian bigotry and/or he's revealed a true self of shallow, cruel, ugliness. 

66.05/ Parshat Vayera a good showcase for the excellent resources from the good folks at @AlHaTorah. Each topic, e.g. Banishment of Hagar and Yishmael, teaches the gamut of opinions backed up by online sources. I cannot recommend it highly enough! 

66.06/ Hear me family! I am Dad, the paterfamilias, and I will not turn on the heat until there are icicles on your noses and/or I personally feel cold. Them's the rules.

[Another indicator that Calvins can or will eventually turn into Calvin's Dad when they have kids]

66.07/ Re: 66.05 and the Akeida (Binding of Isaac) my friend submits this stirring graphic commentary

66.07b/ Reposting to ensure there's alt-text: Berenstain Bears father is sharpening an axe and the son is happily asking questions. But the text is the Biblical Hebrew dialogue between Isaac & Abraham leading up to the Akeida. Original here:

66.08/ Looking forward to reading this. The Muslim milieu to #Dune was overt and unmistakable when I read it decades ago (possibly because spice = oil) but this piece seems to provide depth and detail. 

66.09a/ This is making the rounds, so here goes: #Batman is supposed to be Sherlock Holmes not DC's Punisher. Any depiction or story that's primarily about grievous bodily harm - via fists or tech - undermines his heroism, which is to fix injustice.

66.09b/ I many have Unpopular Opinions(TM) so 2 more:

1. Miller's Dark Knight introduced the "#Batman causes his opponents" idea to mock pop-psychology yet now it's become midichlorian level unironic gospel.

2. I found Nolan's 2nd movie to be shallow, grotesque & unwatchable.

66.10/ #NFL My son & I debate the value of going for 2 beyond absolute necessity. Kacsmar touches on my main point: killer 2 yard end-zone schemes are worth more than 2 points. They should be saved for 6, especially 4Q game winning moments.

66.11/ #MelGibson's finding steady, high-profile work despite a well documented history of vile bigotry (see thread, multiple CW, ht @erinbiba). Canceling him won't work until we also go after his enablers. He's odious & his eager helpers must pay for it.

66.12/ Since Jan 2020, I've been trying to write up & codify my parsha work and I see I did almost nothing last #Vayera. Why? Because it was Nov 7 2020 and I was frozen to the news. But that Shabbas was VB Day (Victory Biden). What a difference a year makes! Thank God.

66.13/ My favorite part of Vayera is how Avraham begs for 5 cities to be spared using moral, ethical and legal logic... but fails. Yet Lot manages to save an entire city, Tzoar, by asking nicely. And then doesn't even stay there! See Genesis 19:17-23 & 30 

66.14/ A life lesson I learned from my electronic peripherals: sometimes you need to unplug in order to get untangled. #ModernWisdom

66.15/ Periodic reminder of NPR's list of who's been arrested for the Jan. 6 Insurrection, what charges, a summary of their described actions, & status of their criminal case. Search by state to see crazy neighbors! (we need a Donald's List like nsopw-org) 

66.16/ There's a very warm place in my heart for any TV show that had a cartoon introduction. I remember "Mystery" on PBS very well. Never watched the show - not my thing - and that exemplifies my 1980s TV experience: intros were an art-form on their own.

66.17/ Today's #daf RH 11 is what Gemara is all about, especially masekhet #RoshHashanah: a debate between Rebbe Eliezer & Rebbe Yehoshua about whether the world was created in Nisan or Tishrei & all implications thereof. Our parsha features prominently. 

66.18/ This is a shame. Every day it feels like it's harder to slow the internet's descent into antagonistic decrepitude.

66.19/ Luckily my parenting long-game has paid off: my son was assigned "Hamlet" in English class. Showing him "Strange Brew" a few years ago prepared him to completely misunderstand the story but also to compare it unfairly to the Canadian comedy classic. 

66.20/ Really, really identify with @jeremyfprice's journey of horror-filled discovery detailed below. This encourages me to continue to studiously avoid the trending topics. Gevalt.

66.21/ Mazal tov to the #Knicks for winning the home opener over the Celtics in a truly entertaining game. Double overtime! 134-138. Amazing plays by BOS to tie it up at the end of regulation. Defense wins championships but Offense sells tickets and I wanna see more of this team.

66.22/ Periodic reminder that halakha defines Sodom's sin as that of aggressive selfishness, either theft through malicious compliance and/or a cruelty that rejects another's basic humanity (Tzelem Elokim). See RAL here:  or 

66.23/ 1) I agree with OP, never wear this costume, even for Purim.
2) Didn't have this on my cultural appropriation bingo card.
3) Add "scarf" to the list with "peek-a-boo" Shabbos candles.
4) Reposting pic to add alt-text.

66.24/ It's #BackToTheFutureDay, which I celebrate by playing Huey Lewis and the News for a while. I'm not a big fan of the movies, to my GenX shame, b/c of (a) the creepy Arayot vibe (see Mulaney on this) & (b) I disagreed with its time-travel metaphysics 

66.25/ Today's the 15th of Cheshvan, which in I Kings 12 is a holiday invented by Yeravan (Jeroboam) after the civil war to break the religious hegemony of Jerusalem. The ritual? Worship a golden calf. I am totally not kidding. 

66.26/ In less religiously challenging news, Segula magazine has "This day in Jewish History" from 10-31-1917 (15 Cheshvan 5678), the Battle of Beer Sheva in WW1 when UK forces captured the city's wells, right out of our parsha! 

66.27/ IMO the onus is on anti-Zi*nist groups to unequivocally prove they aren't antisemitic b/c at this point the two ideologies behave almost exactly the same. At best AZ gives cover to bad-faith bigotry. Nuance is a luxury I can't risk my life over. 

66.28/ #Akeida hot-take: #Avraham didn't "pass" or "fail". Tests are to (1) determine the limits of the person/group, (2) develop them to their potential, and/or (3) to turn them into a lesson for others. See my paper below, especially pp12-14. 

66.29/ Excellent!

and for non-fiction context:

66.30/ Re: 66.27 above, this is a good, strong statement by the main organization condemning the DC's chapter's antisemitic exclusion of Jewish groups.

66.31/ I know I've been mentioning this a lot, but this is why October is great for American #sports fans: tonight there's an elimination MLB playoff game, my NHL team, a football game, and tomorrow my NBA team.

66.32/ This is a valuable (and I imagine painful to compile) list.

These offensive actions are part of the WEP ideology to seek out a pantomime identity of persecution based on their founding myths. Cf. the claim that the vaccine is a mark of the beast.

66.33/ So very fortunate and grateful to have the opportunity to hear @Doc_RPS lecture at our community forum. I felt like a kid in a candy store choosing from the topic list; so hard to choose one! Which means, of course, we need to invite her again. 

66.34/ Even putting aside the misogynistic diet-industry propaganda of "moment on lips/lifetime hips," some of my favorite memories are of great meals I've had. Or just stupid but delicious ones. I remember with great fondness eating a bag of cheese popcorn for dinner in college.

66.35/ This looks like an important study. Thank you to @RVAwonk who is a top-notch social science researcher.

66.36/ Nothing soothes the nerves quite like a doctor's appointment on Friday afternoon. Feeling oh so calm. I will sign off before I explode. #ShabbatShalom everyone.


please compile.

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