Abraham J. Twerski passes away


Covid-19 has taken away from us a well-respected man who was one of the more respected authors to wield Peanuts in a significant way. Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski died today in Israel, Twerski, the son of a line of respected rabbinical schoolars who became a psychiatrist specializing in substance abuse, wrote four books using Peanuts examples to discuss psychological issues, making the texts very approachable:

  • When Do The Good Things Start? (1988) looks at life’s ups and downs
  • Waking Up Just In Time (1990) is a guide to twelve-step recovery
  • I Didn’t Ask to Be In This Family (1992) looked at sibling relationships and how they shape adult behavior and relationships
  • “That’s Not a Fault… It’s a Character Trait” (1999) teaches us to face our weaknesses

These books use Peanuts well and not frivolously. Twerski, who was a real fan of the strip, recognized the insight it so frequently gave. He and Schulz became friends, and Twerski visited Schulz just days before Sparky’s own death. The people I know who met him found him fascinating. I always hoped that I’d get to meet him at some point, and I’m glad he was around. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

Twerski, wearing a Peanuts tie, holds a photograph of Schulz
Image from Tablet article on Twerski and Peanuts. Click picture to go read it.
Maybe he just has a really powerful comb

I know that it can be hard to interpret the Peanuts characters for 3-D, and particularly to stylize them, but in this new set of blind bag ornaments from Hallmark, Linus appears to have cornrows.

Twerski’s fifth book

AAUGH Blog reader Asher asked me about the reference in the Tablet article that I linked to yesterday to Rabbi Twerski having written a fifth Peanuts-illustrated book, What’s the Big Deal?, which was issued translated into Japanese but never in its native English. He was wanting more information on it, …

that girl, that ball, that quality

I was walking through the early morning, getting my exercise and listening to the most recent episode of Amicus, my first sampling the podcast of the great journalist Dahlia Lithwick, This episode (and it looks like a few episodes in a row before) was focused on the various ways in which …