Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Amsterdam is the Venice of the North with one difference: it’s run by the Dutch

Only the Netherlands can save Venice

As an eleven-generation (all Jews) Dutch guy of 6’5″ height who lived for 40 years in the Netherlands, I understand rain and sea walls. One of the benefits of life in Israel is that all here are happy when it finally rains. Please forgive me if I’ll get a bit personal and giggly now Venice (Italy) is drowning. I feel bad for the Queen of the Adriatic, the City of Canals.

G^d created the whole world in six days but the Dutch created the Netherlands. They know how to reclaim land from lakes and the sea. And in 1953, the sea took revenge. Springtide invaded it’s Province Zealand and killed 2000 people. Then the Dutch started the Delta Works with giant doors or dikes closing off most waterways that empty into the North Sea. Though, sorry to report to you that the story of Hans Brinker saving the country by wisely and courageously putting his finger in a yet small hole in a dike is American fiction. No Dutch child or historian has ever heard of it.

In a recent dry summer, flooding threatened the Low Countries again. The Netherlands used to be as soaked as England, Scotland and Washington State. But with climate change, dry summer weeks emerged. Rain once was a daily thing. As the Brits say: The summer this year fell on a Tuesday.

Strange not, a lack of rain that gives flooding? Well, most of the dikes hold lots of clay. Clay is fine sand mixed with water. When clay dries up it turns into dust. Dust makes for very poor dams. Rivers threatened to inundate the land because the dikes had dried out. They had to wet the dikes.

So the Dutch know how to keep the water out. Venice does not. It has a recurring and increasing problem of flooding and they have no clue what to do. Its mayor now said that the high water has brought the city to its knees. That’s the last thing one should do during flooding: kneeling.

There is this decades-old story (how actual now) that scientists declared that the world would become flooded again already within a month. Christians leaders from around the world converge on Geneva and within one day they unanimously called upon all Christians around to world to pray to G^d to avert the disaster. All Roman Catholic Bishops hastened themselves to the Vatican and within a day they unanimously called upon all Roman Catholics around to world to pray to G^d to avert the disaster. And everyone ever called a Rabbi rushed to Jerusalem where within one day they unanimously (!) called upon all Jews to learn within a month to live underwater. The moral of this joke is already in the Torah where G^d tells Moses to stop shouting at Him and start moving (Exodus 14:15).

At least, one should try to grow as tall as the Dutch. Dutch men were already (and still are) the tallest in the world 2000 years ago when the Romains hired them as bodyguards. One only needs to look at the Fiat or Italian shoes to know that they’ve not intermarried with the Dutch ever.

Seriously, the simple solution is: ask the Dutch — yesterday.

First of all, one shouldn’t live from flood to flood. Not like the guy whose roof leaked but did not repair it. Why? Well, when it rained, he wouldn’t climb the roof and when it was dry, it didn’t leak. One should think ahead, make a plan and execute it in stages. First, one deals with the most urgent problems and than one moves to prevent less disastrous future floods.

I don’t know if Venice needs waterworks at its harbor or not. Did anyone study building locks across the Strait of Gibraltar? Dutch engineers would looove to tackle this problem. They know how to take commerce and nature into account. They have experience. Did anyone ask them already?

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 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 too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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. 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:
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