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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

The three modern, creeping, stealth, disastrous changes in Orthodox Judaism

They strove to keep everything the same but actually made big changes

Seventy years ago, still reeling and recovering from the Holocaust (we’re not going to blame Jews under attack for any imperfections) with Israel constantly under attack, the Jewish Tradition changed in three important ways. This, because circumstances had drastically changed, but old ideas were reapplied as if our teachers had not noticed, and maybe they didn’t.

Three major issues saw their circumstances change, but Jewish Law did not adapt. As a consequence, Orthodox Judaism changed, more than reform or Conservatism changed Judaism. It now suddenly forbids what was never forbidden or allows what was never allowed. So much for Tradition.

White Bread is a Threat to Our Health

Maybe Jews ate white-flour bread at special times like Shabbat and Festivals and special places like the Temple. As sort of cake, then.

Because wheat is the staple of human food, bread got the honor to open serious meals. An acknowledgment of G^d making (all) produce rise from the ground was pronounced before eating this quintessential nutrition: lechem. Lechem actually just means food. But, in the end, lechem became a nickname for bread. (The real Hebrew for bread is kikar or pat.)

However, in the last 70 years or so, most Jews eat white-flour bread every day. Whole-wheat bread they find ‘too heavy.’ The Rabbis never noticed the shift. They still think that we should pronounce a food blessing on this non-food. If white flour does anything then it takes away hunger by filling us up and serves (pardon the pun) as a surface to put on all kinds of ‘delicacies’ (meaty, cheesy, and sugary junk) that we don’t need either.

What used to be high-standard food became our daily junk food.

Unfortunately, in a democracy, everyone is entitled to eat junk. But how can the Rabbis agree that we make a food (or any) blessing on it? Besides, why does no Rabbi proclaim this as bad as cigarettes, which it is at least.

Homosexual Men Are Not Out-of-Control Heterosexual Men

Some 70 years ago, massive numbers of homosexual men and transsexual women started emerging, first in democracies, eventually everywhere.

The Rabbis assumed wrongly that these were uninhibited heterosexuals.

Anyone with a bit of common sense can see that the Hebrew Bible only (overtly) bans intercourse with Straight men (“instead of with a woman”).

But, the Rabbis glued the prohibition for Straight men against intermale intercourse onto Gay men. They started trashing Gay men and anyone who smelled of them. This gave all kinds of weird stuff like prohibiting half a million Jews to have sex, pretending they could do without and without a fitting partner, they could change their orientation (Freud already knew this was impossible), that people were sinners for what they were, not what they did, etc. Ridiculous. Later in life, Rabbis Kook and Feinstein noticed but their late pronouncements were ignored and hidden.

A whole industry developed to ‘help’ people change their preferences. It didn’t work, but the defrauding fake therapists made billions anyway.

But, the Rabbis still haven’t repented for their error. Meanwhile, countless Queer youths have committed suicide, Gentile nations execute Gays, but, with their hands red from blood, most Rabbis have not seen the light yet.

Me castigating the Rabbis by their lives is their only chance at Heaven.

The Autonomous State of Israel Means a New Era for Jewish Law

The establishment of the State of Israel, 70 years ago, ushered the Jewish People into a completely new era. We had little Jewish Law about running a State, having an army, and about our relationships with non-Jews. Some of Israel’s earlier chief rabbis did their best to institute new Jewish Law.

But what would a Jewish national economy look like? What to do with the Sabbatical year in a modern economy? What should the status be of non-Jews in the Jewish country? How about the separation between State and Synagogue? Should we try to be a Nation like any other, especially in the UN? (Antisemites always know before Jews that we’re not like everyone.)

Yet, overall, almost all stayed the same, as if nothing had changed. Jewish marriage, the relationship between secular and traditional Jews, with prospective converts, all are treated as if we all still live in the Diaspora.

If the core problem stopping Redemption is Jewish infighting, divisions, what should Jewish Law do to promote unity, mutual love (concern)?

Humanity in total finds itself on the brink of extinction (climate change). Yet, instead of helping Israel to be a Light unto the Nations, the Rabbis are absorbed in the old stuff as if we still live as an immaterial Jewish minority.

We need bold thinkers with big visions, but those who have kept silent.

It proved much easier to take the Jews out of the Diaspora than to take the Diaspora out of the Jews.

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. * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1550 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. * 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.
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