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

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
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch 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. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * 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 (statistics), 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. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many 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. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
Related Topics
Related Posts