Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Good things come in twos

There is only One Who is complete on His Own. In His creation, everything can only be noticed in contrasts.

You want Stones Table with engraved the main guidelines , G-d asks Moses. How much does that cost?¬† It’s for free. Then¬† I’ll have two. (The joke has a very deep basis, as many good Jewish jokes. We understood that the Law does not take away our Freedom but rather set us Free.)

Israeli Nature

Ever noticed in Israel that that it doesn’t have the Four Seasons? Spring and Autumn hardly exist.

In Winter, it’s too cold and too dark for much of Nature to blossom. In Summer it’s too hot and too dry for much to flower. However, blooming we find in the Holy Land year round. Trees can do it in December. Citrus trees flower trice a year! And as soon as there is a downpour, desert plants (also outside of the desert) soak it up like a sponge and bloom.

But there is also something very special in how the beginning of Winter and the beginning of Summer resemble each other in Nature in Israel.

Trees burgeon and flowers bud en masse. As soon as the cold and darkness depart, Israel’s Nature comes to life again. But also, as soon as the heat and dryness disappear, Israel’s Nature comes to life again. Again, trees bud and flowers burgeon en bloc.

So, Nature in Israel has two new years! And … the Jewish calendar has two beginnings too. How elegant!

The Jewish Year

The Torah has as the new year the beginning of the Month of the Exodus from Egypt, Passover. Nissan is the first month of the Jewish calendar.

But Jewish life has Rosh Hashanah as the beginning of the year. We reflect on the past year and intend to improve for the coming year. We do that year round, but at no time as intense as around Rosh Hashanah.

At Rosh Hashanah, we commemorate that G-d created Humans.

At Pesach, we commemorate that G-d created the Jewish People.

Directly after that, Jews and Gentiles trade places on the calendar.

The Feast after the High Holidays, Tabernacles, Jews celebrate that we lived miraculously for forty years in the desert.

The Festival after Pesach, Pentecost, we rejoice that Mankind received the Ten Commandments (via us, but in the desert: for all).

(Talking of which, there is one very strange Commandment in the Ten. Shabbat. Non-Jews are not even allowed to keep Shabbat the way Jews must. What is that doing in the universal Ten Commandments?

I think that this line comes to tell us that there is holiness, not only in place but also in time. It even just teaches to pay attention that there is time. If you’re not ware of time, you can’t make changes and you can’t improve well. Don’t let time go right over your head.)

So, soon we’ll celebrate the creation of people and pray for all of them, followed by how Jews miraculously survived the desert and the centuries.

In half a year’s time, we’ll celebrate the creation of the Jewish People, followed by how we, in the desert, received universal moral Law for all.

Have a great year!

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Holocaust survivors in The Netherlands, 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 vegan for 8 years now. His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Dutch Holocaust survivors. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. How ironic that he who had three times 90 for Dutch at his finals is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew. G-d definitely has a sense of humor. His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and LBCHLCH, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo and Rav Zev Leff. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. His fields of attention are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine, Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (of young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQI, foreigners, and anyone else who's dehumanized and exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation) and Veganism. Many of his posts will relate to current affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or to new insights that suddenly befell him. He always tries to bring something original and to avoid boring you or wasting your time with the obvious. He has moved - with his library. To sort this out will easily take half a year. Therefore, for the time being, no more 6 blog posts per week. But he hopes to be back full force after Pesach. Meanwhile, he feels that many of the hundreds of posts he wrote are worth (re)reading so that he's not really abandoning his readers. To send a personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click on Contact Me.
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