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

What to answer when a religious Jew proclaims simplistic nonsense

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, even me. But when someone writes that only non-religious Jews can believe in the climate change hysteria because G^d would never flood the world again, it’s time to reply. (His naive denial is still not as bad as anti-Semites who maliciously are claiming that climate change is a hoax perpetrated on humanity by “the” Jews to prepare for their final world domination.)

For starters, “hysteria” is a sexist term from the time that male psychiatrists looked down on these over-emotional females and labeled them crazy. Most of them were victims of childhood sexual assault and incest but Freud explained that away as youthful fantasies.

His main mistake goes like this. He believes that G^d will not allow all people to die so we don’t need to go against pending disaster. The Alps are already without much snow and the force of hurricanes in the recent years is record-breaking, by he’s secure in his simplistic belief.

It reminds me of this man, found in a flood at the top floor of his house. We found you, climb into the boat. He wouldn’t. I’ve been devout all my life – G^d will save me. Then a hovercraft found him at the attack. We found you, climb into the hovercraft. He wouldn’t. I’ve been pious all my life – G^d will save me. Then they saw him from a rescue helicopter at the top of his roof. We found you, climb unto the rope ladder. He wouldn’t. I’ve been virtuous all my life – G^d will save me. He drowned. Of course, he went to Heaven. And wasted no time to storm up to the Almighty. You just let me drown! Well, the good L^rd said, I did send you a boat, a hovercraft and a helicopter.

G^d never promised to not destroy the whole world again after the Flood of Noach. Rather, he promised not to do that through water. And droughts are even a bigger danger, happening already.

And climate change disaster is not just about rising sea levels and drowning – though these are important. And no one predicts that all the earth would be covered by water.

Still, simple belief and hope are worth a fortune but not to do nothing. That kind of religion Marx rejected as opium for the People. It’s not to pacify. Rather, belief in a good outcome can help overcome despair. Start fighting climate change by encouraging others that we can do it.

G^d did not put us here to have a free ride. He also doesn’t need the help, Heaven forbid. Rather, He lets us do part of His work so that we can feel accomplished and don’t need to be ashamed of His generosity.

Stop being lazy and start using your hope for contributing to our survival.

***

In a separate case, a prominent rabbi who said racist things whom I wanted fired, a glimmer of hope just appeared. We’ll wait, hope and see.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust survivors 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. His fields of attention are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine, Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (of 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) and Veganism. 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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