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

The two-way street of that sexy shofar

When we pray, we talk to G^d. The verb to pray in Hebrew is reflexive. While it’s obvious that G^d hears our prayers, it’s crucial that we overhear ourselves when we pour out our hearts. Just like we don’t tell our therapist what is going on for us is not for her to be informed or even do anything. (“Don’t just do something. Sit there.”) Us uttering our words should transform us. Just like animal sacrifices were meant to transform the ones bringing them. But the form is to talk to G^d. Although, when we really connect and share our feelings, G^d can be found to talk back. Not in voices (don’t tell anyone–they may lock you up). But G^d may answer in thoughts that come up in us. But in the basics, we talk to G^d.

This in sharp contrast to listening to a Torah reading. Clearly, G^d is talking to us, speaking His Mind. He tells us again what we should understand. The last letter of the Torah followed by the first letter of the Torah form the Hebrew word for heart, the seat of understanding.

Also when we learn Torah, G^d clearly talks to us. We study His Word and try to grasp what He is saying. And when we study intensely, He adds to His Word (in our thoughts). A G^d Who is alive! G^d talks to us.

Even more so when the Priests bless the People. The Torah itself says that it’s not the Cohaneem that bless but that G^d blesses us through them.

But what happens when we blow the shofar? On the one hand, hearing its sound should help us tremble, cry, and repent. On the other hand, we aim to move G^d so that we may credit ourselves that us sounding the shofar and repenting made Him move from the Throne of Strict Justice to the Throne of Forgiveness. It’s a two-way street. So, His shofar sound should move us, and our sound should move Him. Like in personal sex. Both parties try to feel and excite the other (Other). That naughty shofar.

Husband and wife being intimate with each other is symbolic of the relationship between the Creat^r and His People. How are unmarried Jews supposed to sense this? Via the shofar. Both parties just trying to sense and please the other. That way, both will be satisfied at the same time.

Not because they thought of themselves. Just as with eating well. Just eating what feels pleasing to eat may leave us hungry. But when we eat nutritious foods that are tasty, we will automatically feel satisfied.

Shannah tovah umtukah.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, 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 strict vegan since 2008. 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, lehavdil 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, LGBTQIA, 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 quite 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 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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