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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

G^d does not need subjugation only

Many Monotheist Traditions might need an update

Why are cathedrals so high? To show the devotees that they’re tiny and insignificant. The very meaning of the word Islam translates as Submission.

Yet, Judaism teaches that there is a strong correlation between how we’re supposed to relate to G^d and how to our fellow humans. We’re supposed to emulate G^d’s benevolent character traits. We’re created to resemble Him, on the inside (Free Will) and on the outside (speaking, acting).

G^d surely demands obedience. Still, He doesn’t want us to force each other to do so. Each should subdue themselves to their Free Will. If G^d wanted robots to obey Him perfectly, why did He create fallible humans?

But, there is more. Here are five iconic guidelines on how we’re supposed to protest what’s going on. G^d demands activism more than passivism.

1. G^d invites Abraham’s input before destroying Sodom. And he doesn’t disappoint. He argues for them to go free. Abraham only partially wins the argument, but at least he tried. And, most importantly, he was invited to disagree and object and so managed to save ancestors of the Redeemer.

2. Jacob gets a most honorable name after wrestling with an Angel (and he won!): ‘He who wrestled with the Divine,’ to tell us our job description.

3. Abraham is told to obey everything that his wife Sarah tells him. But, on the other hand, already earlier, we humans are told to be ‘each other’s helpers opposite of us.’ Our primal Commentator explains: When we want to do good, to help us; when we want to sin, to go against us.

4. The Talmud, the details of the Hebrew Bible stuffed with questions.

5. After the fact, we need to resign to what was decreed. But, if it was absolutely terrible, we get time to rage and mourn. We don’t need to quickly swallow our objections or feelings.

And if you w/should say this trains an army of people who always disagree with everything, I’d tell you: Therefore, Jewish Law is prescriptive and very strict about our obligation to answer Amein to show our agreements.

However, I believe that the Hebrew of the whole of the Torah is written in a style that invites us to think for ourselves if we agree. The issue is not to argue but rather to think for ourselves. Every verse in the Torah has one or two holy Cantillations that invite us to insert our reservations.

(The below numbering 1.-5. is unrelated to the above 1.-5.)

Rebellion is Built-in from the Beginning

My basic interpretation from Biblical Hebrew follows the English/modern Hebrew word order, but not the current English custom to leave out the before certain nouns, and not the American custom to employ synonyms.

To show the revolt, here is first my cautious unpolished rendering from the Bible’s first verses with added words in italics. There are a lot more details than in the traditional ones so you might need some time to take this in.

1. In the beginning, G^d was creating everything with the sky as we know it and, at the same time, everything with the ground level as we know it.
2. But this ground level began showing a built-in inclination toward deterioration and then, all kinds of shadows on some surfaces of all kinds of low places; but then, look: this Divine turbulence is hovering over these surfaces of the water as we know it.
3. And then, G^d began saying: all kinds of light should be coming into existence; and then, much later, all kinds of lights were coming into existence.
4. And then, G^d began relating to this visible light that was good; and therefore then, G^d began separating these lights from these shadows.
5. And then, G^d began calling this light daytime, yet earlier, these shadows He already had called nighttime; yet, unseparated dusk developed, and then, unseparated dawn developed, on the first Day.

In this basic translation of the first five verses, you see that the basic meaning is much richer than common renderings reveal. Now, it became an intelligible story, not just some loose verses thrown together without any rationale.

Now, at every pause, we could insert a qualification. I will add some examples of critical thoughts and possible objections between square brackets. Don’t memorize my second thoughts. Generate your own!

1. In the beginning [of the world but not of G^d], G^d was creating everything with the sky as we know it [but we won’t go into that for now] and, at the same time, everything with the ground level as we know it.
2. But this ground level began showing a built-in inclination toward deterioration and then, all kinds of shadows [but, what light was throwing shadows? Perhaps the G^dly turbulence did?] on some surfaces of all kinds of low places; but then, look: this Divine turbulence is hoovering [but why so close?] over these surfaces of the water as we know it.
3. And then, G^d began saying [but only to Himself]: all kinds of light should be coming into existence; and then, much later, all kinds of lights were coming into existence.
4. And then, G^d began relating to this visible light [but not all light] that was good; and therefore then, G^d began separating these lights [so, only good lights] from these shadows.
5. And then, G^d began calling this light daytime, yet earlier, these shadows [that preceded these lights] He already had called nighttime; yet, unseparated dusk developed, and then, unseparated dawn developed [but, this is rebellion!], on the first Day.

Monotheists who don’t struggle, rebel, and resist imperfection just fake it. (It seems to me that fake Atheists also exist, as I wrote before.)

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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