Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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 omnipotent except for ….

A Hellenist philosopher once asked a Sage of the Talmud: “If your god can do anything, can he create a stone he cannot lift?”

With this trick question he implied: If he can’t create a stone like that, he’s partly inapt for his inability to create this. And if he can, he’s partly inapt for his inability to lift this. An omnipotent god cannot be.

The answer to this challenge is as follows. There cannot be such a thing as ‘a stone that G^d cannot lift.’ And you can’t say that G^d is incapable of making something that cannot exist. He also can’t create a square or triangular circle.

Still, I found something G^d cannot do.

Tonight is the last night of the ritual mourning of the loss of my dear brother. I received dear friends who came to comfort me. It turns out I need other people to comfort me.

It wasn’t even what they said or how well they listened. What was so moving was their presence and their effort to take time from their busy, finite life to come and spend some time with me. And their presence reminded me of our relationships. I wasn’t utterly alone or unloved.

Surely, they wished me the classic blessing: “May the One Who is everywhere comfort you amidst those who mourn Tziyon and Yerushalayim.” They humbly asserted that comfort will come from G^d. But could He accomplish that without people, my friends?

Maybe this is the same as G^d saying after the Creation Story that it’s not good for a human to be alone with him[self]. What did G^d mean? This first human was not alone. He had G^d, for starters, to relate to. And the whole of Creation, custom-made for him.

From there, we see that being only with G^d is called being alone!

My parents emotionally survived the Holocaust as follows. They and another couple of close friends shared a giant bed, and, night after night, the four of them took turns crying. They didn’t need to explain to each other why they cried. There was nothing the others could have said that would’ve made the genocide less bad. (Or that could have compensated for the whole of Dutch society not caring about them or for them at all.) Enough survivors came out much more emotionally crushed than them. They could never have done this amount of healing on their own.

Comes to mind that G^d uses Angels and Prophets. Doesn’t that show an inability to do everything Himself? Heaven forbid! But, if He would do everything by Himself, nothing would be special anymore. So, on the night the Jews were allowed to leave Egypt, He Himself smote the firstborn of the Egyptians. In most other cases, He uses the Angel of Death. And, by presenting Angels, He shows us how to be a proper boss. How to lead without being oppressive or dictatorial. At the Mountain of Sinai, He spoke to the People. For the rest, He mainly used holy spokespersons and texts.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He makes his readers laugh, and be mad, and think he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. 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 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. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), 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), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating 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. * 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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