Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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And again, an Israeli Chief Rabbi has shamed Judaism and G^d’s name. What to do?

When they are targeting homosexuals
Thousands of people march during the annual Gay Pride parade at a main street in Jerusalem on September 18, 2014. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Jerusalem gay pride parade, Sept. 18, 2014. The pertinent words from Leviticus read in Hebrew: "Love your neighbor like yourself." (Photo/JTA-Hadas Paush-Flash90)

This Chief Rabbi has stated that homosexuals are just people who refuse to control themselves, merely pretend to be religious and should better throw off their Shabbat and other Jewish observance. What to do?

  1. Understand what he says

* He strengthens and advocates the departure of 1,000,000 Jews (5%) from Judaism. (This one’s on him!)
* He shows that he has no empathy for homosexual Jews. That means: no baseless love but rather baseless hatred for fellow Jews, for which the Temple stays destroyed until this day.
* Apparently, he has no knowledge at all about the enormous amount of straight allies to homosexuals putting his ignorance to even greater shame.
* He seems angry, which Judaism equates with idol worship, one of Judaism’s three capital sins.
* He embarrassed homosexual Jews in public which means that he is blocked from having an afterlife. His relatives don’t need to sit Shiva or say Kaddish for him.
* He embarrassed Judaism and G^d in the eyes of most Jews and Gentiles, which is the worst sin in Judaism.
* He exaggerated his slander about homosexual Jews which is worse than the three capital sins of Judaism combined. He spoke about a whole group of Jews and in public which exacerbates his sin manifold.
* G^d can overlook sins against Him but not against people.
* He attacked. G^d always sides with the pursued against the pursuer, even if the former is wicked and the latter is saintly. How much more so when the former is weak and powerless and guiltless!
* Orthodox rabbis have a 50 years struggle with understanding homosexuals and standing up for them. His outburst not only highlights that — he will be Heavenly punished for leading them astray anew.
* This is worse than hate speech that encourages bullies and murderers — this encourages people to give up on their own spirituality, religion, life goals and even life.
* Any Jewish homosexual that he pushed to suicide — Heaven forbid — is someone he murdered, one of Judaism’s three capital sins.

  1. What not to do

* Don’t attack him personally. (You may have noticed that I don’t mention his name here.)
* Don’t try to make him change his mind. He is not the problem.
* Don’t waste too many words in explaining how wrong he is. That comes across as if there should be any doubt about that.
* Don’t get into a religious argument about this. (For yourself, understand that Judaism always was against homosexuality for straights only and that the rabbis didn’t understand that, 50 years ago, and most of them since, refuse to admit their ignorance and mistake. That is good for you to know but not to bring as an argument because the “It isn’t! It is!” leaves bystanders confused and is frankly not the issue.)
* Don’t be nice or timid about this. That approach has been tried by homosexuals and their allies alike for decades and doesn’t work at all. But never become so angry that you lose yourself and most people would think that you have a mental problem and must be mistaken. Anger doesn’t win the day; self-confidence does.

  1. What to do

* As with any Hasbarah (information campaign against bigotry), it is important when addressing such attacks to speak to the wider public, not to the greatest homophobes. You might speak out against the leaders of the attacks but your goal is not to make leaders of hatred change their minds but rather to reach the bystanders. And you should never lose sight of the confused insecure bullied self-hating closeted homosexuals who may overhear you and whose lives you might save.
* Confront your political parties to remove such people from public office and to install laws that make such hateful speech punishable.
* Confront your rabbis and say to them if they don’t speak out against this, their silence and inaction make them as guilty of all his sins and are comparable to the Gentiles who stood by and let the Holocaust happen.
* Tell people around you at any and all occasion that you’re an ally to homosexuals, no questions asked.
* Never miss a chance to say something positive about non-straights, whether about specific people (who are out of the closet) or about them in general.
* Learn the issues from literature (the Internet) and non-straight friends so that you can throw around innocently statements like: “Any straight person who knows themselves knows the importance of a deep sexual relationship and I don’t see how homosexuals could live well without that.” Or: “Who can deny the observation that many same-sex couples are very happy and moral while many homosexuals who try to abstain are not?!”
* Where needed, encourage homosexuals to live a good life. “Living well is the best revenge.” Reject any pull toward martyrdom.
* Never forget the similarities between being a Jew and being homosexual. Both these identities, lifestyles and fates are often portrayed and felt as tragic but both are a privilege and naturally a joy.
* Reject despair. If things look hopeless now, know that it will get better. (Sometimes they first get worse before getting better.)

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. None of his content is (partly) generated by AI. * 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. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his 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, here: * 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. * 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. 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 (, 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. * 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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