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

Being murdered and the threat of a violent death as part of the Jewish existence

As no other People, we value life and must survive

Two ideas are central to Judaism: 1. Constantly, we must improve ourselves and Creation, and 2. We should represent G^d on Earth.

From this follows, we have two enemies: 1. Death, and 2. Assimilation.

Judaism is central to the culture of the Jews. Many Nations and philosophies see Death as sad but natural. Don’t fight what you can’t defeat. The Jewish Sages tell us that Death should not be part of the human condition and that we must fight it until it is defeated forever.

Many surprising principles the Rabbis teach us around death:

* Even when a sword is on our neck, still think of how to escape.

* We can’t kill an innocent person to stay alive.

* If someone sets out to kill us, we kill him first (as a last resort).

* We can’t give away our life to save even the Messiah’s life.

* Our life is not ours to give away or end at will.

* We cannot sacrifice one person to save many.

* Don’t comfort someone while his dead one still lies in front of him.

* We must mourn to regain our strength when close ones died.

* Saving one life also saves all their descendants: ‘the whole world.’

* Saving a human life is paramount over almost any other virtuous act.

* Every person and every minute is unique and irreplaceable.

* Honoring people doesn’t stop after they died.

* G^d desires and prefers the repentance over the death of sinners.

* We must think of any reason to stop an obligatory capital punishment.

* Embarrassing someone in public is like killing them.

* We never pray to a dead saint but only to G^d, possibly in their merit.

* When we see far, we’re but dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants.

* We are links in the chains of generations and so live on after death.

* Death will not have the last word, never proves that now all is lost.

* A history of genocides against us proves we are indestructible.

* Any Jew murdered for being a Jew automatically becomes a Saint.

* The Laws around death can be very detailed: Ask a specialized rabbi.

Death has been a necessary compromise to prevent sandwich generations from having no time between caring for the ailing previous generations and raising the next generations properly. Now we slowly are curing and preventing all illness, we may reach physical immortality for all.

It takes courage to reject a fate like death. Denial of death often springs from a fear of death but is still less common than a denial of unending life.

When we stop seeing physical death as inevitable, it will be easier to prioritize maintaining our health over having short-lived comfort.

When we’re too sad, crying and getting over our losses are harder.

The ‘fear of death’ is a misnomer for terror. Making total fun of it lets you laugh and tremble, which signals getting rid of deep fear. After that, you’ll be better at avoiding death threats, not at seeking death. No one wants dead. Those who say they long for death mean an end to suffering. Crying deeply and for very long does a better job at that and is less wasteful.

Keep talking about and to [the image you have of] the people you lost.

People who believe that death is natural or G^d’s Will cannot understand the depth of sadness and horror of Jews mourning the loss of loved ones.

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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