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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’s never angry

Some positions of Orthodox Judaism about G^d are fairly unknown.

1. I know, we’re told the Torah says that G^d is angry. Yet, that means: He seems angry. He wants us to know that some things are beyond the pale of the pale. Anger implies He’s not in charge. But, He is in charge. And knows it. Idols are presented as moody and irritable. G^d is mellow and loving. Yet, when we’re angry, He likes us to tell Him exactly. No need for flattery.

2. They say that when disaster befalls us, Heaven forbid, G^d is hiding His Face. For some people, He seems to hide His Face but, He’s not. Just talk to Him. He cries with us. We couldn’t even fall since He’s holding us so close.

3. We’re told the Torah says G^d changed His Mind. He did not. It means that He changed course to say: your behavior doesn’t jive with My original Plan. Nothing can make G^d change His Mind. Rather, He arranges things so that what He does seems to react to and ‘answer’ our prayers and pleas.

4. We’re told that we can’t grasp G^d’s Mind. That is not true. He would never have created us with a brain that only can handle logic if He was beyond logic. Created in His image means that we think like Him.

5. We’re told that Angels (and G^d) have no Free Will. Not true. There is no greater Freedom than always being able to be true to Oneself. And the Fate we humans grapple with is His Will, which leads to all goodness.

6. We’re told that we can’t understand why Evil exists. That is not true. It’s harder to understand while we are hurting. But, everything, including Evil, we can recognize as part of a Benign Plan with a happy ending.

7. We’re told that G^d and Evil (the Devil) are polar opposites. Untrue. The Satan is a faithful Angel who only does G^d’s bidding. Like the resistance of a home trainer helps us, he trains us to get moral muscles and win.

8. We’re told that Faith is to accept whatever He wants. The very opposite is true. G^d presents us with facts and futures He despises. He does us the honor to oppose them. More than dialogue, He expects us to argue Him.

9. We’re told G^d and all His works are perfect. Not true. The world is raw and unfinished as a perfect invitation to team up and jointly finish the job. And, He’s perfectly fine with us making mistakes. We’re here to improve the world and ourselves. Once we’re perfect, we’ve overdone our stay.

10. We’re told G^d is mysterious, beyond this world. That is too limiting a description. However, all we can notice, His footsteps and fingerprints, His fresh whispers, and Old Scripture are all we need to get Him completely.

11. We’re told that G^d needs us. You should believe it if that helps you help Him. But, He delegates and allows us to join Him for our sake only.

12. We’re told that G^d always expects the impossible of us. Never. He just challenges us to say He knows His Shoulds enlarge our coulds.

13. We’re told that without humans, He couldn’t be King. But, His kingship doesn’t depend on humans. Not. G^d is the Ruler of the whole Universe.

14. We’re told that the highest form of giving is to humans who worked for it. So, to be the most generous, G^d needs us as recipients. That is untrue. That assumes He could have not created us. There are no parallel realities.

15. We’re told G^d likely is a psychological projection of the perfect parent we never had. More likely, we projected a perfect G^d on our parents.

16. We’re told that we always must obey G^d and only Him because He’s a ‘jealous G^d.’ Some fools would comply but not submit to their wives. Some would honor the King but not His princes as if that could please Him.

17. We’re told that we must believe in G^d. This is untrue in Judaism. We only need to act as if we really believe in Him. Our feelings are up to Him. Important is rather that He may believe in us. As long as we live, He does.

18. We’re told that G^d closely watches us to score whom to reward and whom to punish. But the Rabbis teach that G^d is thousands of times more merciful than stern and rewards thousands of times more for good deeds performed during distress. Hell is to deter and purify only, not to punish.

19. We’re told that G^d favors the Jews. Not true. Our specialness consists of higher obligations and expectations, getting more strictness, not favors.

20. We’re told G^d loves the righteous the most. But He also scrutinizes them most. He’s on the side of even wicked victims, even of the righteous.

21. We’re told that G^d is silent now, that the era of prophecy has ended. That’s only partly true. G^d speaks to us whenever we read to Torah out loud. When we study the Talmud, it is as if we argue with Him. And, when we pray to Him from the bottom of our hearts, He surely answers. Not in a booming voice but, Who do you think gives us the new ideas befalling us?

22. We’re told that G^d never changes. If He would change, we could not understand it. But He appears to us differently all the time as we change. Like the moon that ‘walks with us’ when we go for an evening stroll.

23. We’re told that G^d is no One to take lightly. However, did you never notice that He has a great, mild sense of humor and that He teases?

Don’t just believe everything you hear or read.

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. * 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. * 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.
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