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

Less is More

When we look at the whole list of Sacrifices that are prescribed in our portion of the week, we could notice something extraordinary. On those for every day (twice) it says three times that they will give a pleasant smell for G^d; on the following one for Shabbat, it doesn’t say that at all and on the following ones for the New Moon and Festivals it says that only once for every one of them. What could that teach us?

We might think that G^d would be most pleased with a proper observance of the High Holidays, Pilgrims’ Feasts or Minor Holidays. And even more so on the Highlight of the Jewish Year, the weekly Shabbat. And the least pleased on normal days. Not so. That the best (Shabbat) is nice needs no mention; we are told that the lesser (Festivals) are appreciated. But G^d likes our day-to-day performances best. It’s also the easiest to make special days holy. But now, endeavor to make normal days holy!

Often when we men cook a meal it’s going to be something extraordinary; fireworks for the cook. But more holy is actually the daily preparation of sandwiches and regular meals. The best of the best is nice – permanent permanence though is better.

Great that we feel stirred to go to the synagogue on Shabbat and do more our best than during the weekdays. Noteworthy when we pray so nice on Yom Kippur or Jewish New Year. Spectacular how we pray on the Pilgrims’ Feasts. But you know what – G^d likes the simple daily prayers best.

Where would we be without our Rabbis? Our Sages and Scholars? Our Saintly people? Our Synagogue officials & sextons? Our Cantors? Our Volunteers and Philanthropists? Where would we be without all these people who excel and toil for the sake of Heaven at such a lone level? And you know what? G^d might like the simple, committed, nothing-special people most. Without them, there would be no Jewish People. (Our greatest always know that they are no one special just with special responsibilities.)

As American President Abraham Lincoln is believed to have said: God must love the common man, he made so many of them. (That doesn’t mean that He automatically likes Gentiles more than Jews, insects more than people, grains of sand more than creatures, seconds more than hours, hours more than days – the comparison between the rare special and the frequent ordinary only works within a mixture of more-or-less equals.)

We may step down a bit from a hysterical sensationalism of always chasing and focusing on the spectacular and extraordinary, too often blurring the regular, in events, in people, in ourselves. There is nothing more special than the normal.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust 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 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for 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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