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

Jews and Double

We live in a dualistic world, with opposites, while its Creat^r is One. Many examples.

We could be extremist but we are commended to seek the middle way. (Ambivalence and synthesis are better because that’s harder than extremism.)

It’s not good to be alone but, like Him, we’re each unique.

To be close to someone, we need to enjoy our similarities and our differences.

When we look for Him we see His footprints and fingerprints everywhere but when we think we don’t need Him, there’s no trace of Him to be seen.

G^d wanted to give Moses Ten Commandments written in stone. How much will such a slab cost us? It’s for free? Can we have two? The first five describe our relationship with Up-High, the second five our relationship with our fellow human beings. (There is no inscription along the edge that says “In G^d we trust.” Rather, invisibly it reads: “Be good to yourself too.”)

Sometimes, we must strive, create and perfect and sometimes, we must just enjoy what is.

We must dare to think freely and boldly but restrict our actions.

We must make due, trusting that G^d gives us all we need but give to the needy as if there is no G^d.

We must ensure that people we wronged forgive us before G^d may.

There are earthly and Heavenly justice (punishment and reward) and obedience and sin and they don’t cancel out.

Better to live by obligation than by rights.

G^d wants us to follow most of His Precepts unquestionably but reject and protest some of His other Rulings with the greatest audacity.

One may obey G^d to do good because one should, as a slave (with reward and no punishment as incentives) but alternatively, one may do so because one wants to, loves to, team UP with Him (whereby living well is the best reward).

We must at the same time trust in G^d and consider our collective effort indispensable.

For me alone the Universe was created and I’m worth nothing.

It’s great to be Jewish (what honor, inheritance and great instructions and inspiration!) and terrible to be Jewish (being intimidated by antisemitism).

We may be virtuous by doing absolute good or virtuous by doing better than before.

Jews have their typically Jewish properties but they are also just like all people.

Judaism is a culture and a religion, Jews are a People and a religious congregation.

The Jewish religion instructs how to live a good life here and promises as a reward a good afterlife too.

Judaism demands Jews to stick together but also to teach all Gentiles.

Judaism demands our unique fresh thoughts and actions but builds also on the collective time-tested fundamentals of our rich Tradition.

Jews should be stubborn and convinced of our fundamentals and at the same time, curious and open to new secondary ideas from anyone.

We are advised to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Our inclinations and temptations are double too: good ones to be moderated and “bad” ones that need to be sublimated.

There is the mundane scientific world and there is the ethical realm (and some aspects of either are good and some are bad).

We may repent about the past (regret) and for the future (from now on).

When people (Jews) answer our higher calling, we’re the zenith of the Cosmos, but when we fail to do so, we’re lower than a louse.

There are many fake opposites like holy and mundane, light and darkness, Jew and Gentile, night and day, asleep and awake, cold and hot, good and bad, health and sickness, life and death, war and peace, kill and be killed, to laugh and to cry, to rupture and to repair, to unite and to distance, to speak and to listen, to love and to be indifferent, to give and to receive. Their deeper properties are not just opposites.

But our free will is certainly just one-directional: To choose life and make the effort to show that we do. (Not making the effort is not really an alternative. The absence of something is not its opposite.)

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust survivors 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 vegan for 8 years now. * 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 lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: 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. 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, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (of young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners, and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Many people can't understand or like him because he has such a wide vision that he never fits any specialist's box. But that exactly what others 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 quit 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 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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