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 is good and innocent

Open letter to my teacher and friend Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo

De mensheid lijdt het meest Humanity suffers the most
Door het lijden dat hij vreest By the suffering, they fear most
Dat nimmer op komt dagen That never will appear
Zo krijgt hij meer te dragen That never should be here
Dan G^d te dragen geeft. That G^d never meant to post.


Dear Rabbi Cardozo,

You probably thought, if G^d contradicts Himself, I can do it too.

You have told us countless times that G^d is not good in the sense of what we humans understand by good. That He is not limited by that. I remember that so clearly because I disagree with it.

And today, I may read from you in the JPost that G^d should be put on trial and convicted because He created evil.

Which of the two is it? Is He not limited by our sense of evil, or should He refrain from what we understand as evil?

If you have the courage (and you do) to file such a lawsuit, I hereby sign up for His legal defense team.

Before such trials, judges always want both parties to put their cards on the table. Here are mine:

  • To question G^d’s Goodness is not a sin. It is honest to deal with our demons (pardon the pun). G^d likes honesty. Rather, it’s a mistake. The only way to erase the error is to investigate I find that valid.
  • G^d gave us a brain and intelligence. All He told us was an invitation to understand. You can’t say that His Norms are not like our norms. We are created in His likeness. If we don’t understand Him, this is not because He’s beyond us (which He “is”). We just must think
  • G^d created the whole universe for humans to profit. We are invited to team up with each other and Him to perfect it. All our reward is in relation to our efforts. This is 100% fair to human standards.
  • When we are uncomfortable doing good, the reward becomes 1000-fold. You can’t scold the Fitness Trainer that your muscles hurt—without that, you won’t gain from the exercises. If it wasn’t hard, it would also not be so important a job.
  • He gave us a need for autonomy. Obedience is hard on us. Not only will we gain more reward for obeying, but He also ‘overlooks’ how we feel about complying before we do good. Generally, we feel mostly happy after we did well, and only that goes to our bottom line!
  • One of the greatest teachers of therapy in the world in the previous century, Harvey Jackins, famously said: “It is better to live in great pain for only a short while than never having lived at all.” This is his conclusion after listening to the worst suffering We are supposed to feel terrible when we see terrible suffering (empathy) brought on by nature or human nature and be extra motivated to do something about it. Declaring life worse than death is not part of that.
  • The greatest Evil in the world is human death. Any human death. (Not just of babies!) We’re all created innocent. We’ve all always done the very best we could, if you take all circumstances into account, so we deserve no punishment. Most of us know we are overall innocent. (The others are mistaken.) Discomfort is only unfair if you see it as punishment or a lack of reward. You don’t need to take it like that.
  • But as long as life gets us sick and needy, the recent new creation of the Sandwich Generation shows G^d’s wisdom and mercy in having our parents and grandparents die so we can spend all our energy on raising the next generation. He has promised us numerous times and in numerous ways that in the end, physical healing and immortality will reign. And he invites us to team up with Him to get there. Medical Science is doing it. Everybody knows: “If the end is well, all is well.”
  • If life was already perfect (including humans), we would have no self-earned reward; physicians could not heal, no one could repent, etc. There is no greater reward than being able to perfect our character traits and behavior. Then, don’t complain if it was worse before.
  • I’m not denying that, at times, we can feel abandoned by G^d and humanity. However, some of us live long enough through tragedy to have the pain diminished and even understand what good it did.
  • If we manage to exterminate all humans (in wars, climate destruction) that would be a waste. But, no doubt, G^d will show new intelligent life what not to do. There is no proof that now, all is lost.
  • Just human law must be a statement of society saying: you should have done better (not: you could have). It is to hold up moral ideals. It does not take revenge. We’re all innocent and good. A rabbinic Grand Court that would give out more than one death penalty in 7 (or even: 70) years is a bunch of murderers, tell us the Sages. G^d obligates us to put exceptionally wicked capital cases on trial—and to look for ways to exonerate the alleged perpetrators. That’s how dear life is.
  • The idea of a stern G^d is not a Jewish concept. Thousands of years living among Christians (too scared to pray directly to Him) and Muslims (terrified to disobey) made this faulty notion creep into Judaism (assimilation). G^d is good, fair, mild, and nice in the long run and the best Buddy we could have now.

Who wants to join the defense team?

May the Best win!

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 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 too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors 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:
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