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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

Let’s learn Torah!

Genesis in the First Chapter (1:26) tells us that G^d said “Let Us make Man.”

How can a G^d Who “is” One work as a team? Is this not confusing people into polytheism?

Well, have you ever heard of someone who doesn’t believe in monotheism because the Torah employs the plural here?

But we know that G^d too keeps the Commandments. It says (in Leviticus 19:14), You shall not place a stumbling block in front of the blind.

The Rabbis, however, are not apologetic. It says at the end of Hosea, For the ways of G^d are straight; the righteous walk in them, and sinners stumble over them.

Rather, the Commentators suggest about this seemingly Royal plural that G^d was including the Angels. He was teaching us that as bosses, we should also consult the people working under us.

Nice, but I have another, more simple idea.

G^d first created the inanimate (water, light, darkness, dry land, outer space) and the plant world in all its variety. Then He created the animal world in all its variety. Now He wants to create a ruler over this all, to subdue and rule over it (Genesis 1:26, 1:28).

The correct thing to do is to ask the subjects: Shall we make (us) a king? I was thinking about making him “resembling and looking like [all of] us [together]” (Genesis 1:26). That means: he will have inanimate parts, plantlike aspects, animal functions and a Divine component.

And if you’d object: But the Earth, Plants, Animals don’t talk, I would answer: This comes to teach us that we also should talk to people in our care who can’t talk or help.

I once needed to put a night splint on a patient’s arm. He told me: We need to put on the splint. I said friendly: We? What are you going to do for it? He said: I put my arm at your disposal. I thanked him for the insight.

And when we put a sweater on a small child, we can roll up the sleeve and put it in front of her hand that she can put it through the sleeve – she’s not a doll to dress.

When we change diapers, we should do it together with the child. Now we’re going to open your diaper; now we’re going to roll it up; etc. A baby is different from a potato that we’re peeling.

Though maybe we should also talk to the potato, to show our respect.

***

Why at 10 people does Abraham stop pleading against G^d destroying Sodom? He goes down from 50 to 45, then to 40, 30, 20 and lastly to 10 (Genesis 18:23-33). Five would not be worthy of pleading for?

My answer is simple. Abraham doesn’t try to save the righteous. He tries to save the wicked, on behalf of the righteous!

Now, 10 is the minimum of a community and if there was a community of righteous, the wicked could be ignored because of their holiness. That doesn’t work with less than 10.

He didn’t have to ask mercy for the few righteous; Their own merit can save them.

***

Shabbat shalom and Chag Shavuot sameiach!

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. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * 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. * One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * 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. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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