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

Chief Rabbi: What you say, you are yourself

It’s a Dutch expression for look who’s talking

The habitually verbally abusive Chief Rabbi has opened his mouth again.

He now suggested the Secular are jealous of the Religious. Truth is, he knows no secular people. He’s just guessing. But from his facial expression, we see he’s unhappy and not loving, so maybe he’s the jealous one?

He said the Secular find no fulfillment in life. As if there are no secular ideals to implement, like: honesty, equality, and yes: respect. Further: social justice, and fighting climate change extinction, hunger, and poverty.

Besides, most Israeli Jews are neither Orthodox nor Secular. Most are Traditional. He doesn’t know. He lives in a bubble. His father did not.

Reportedly, he said that “someone who eats non-kosher food, his brain gets stupid.” First of all, stupid describes a person, not of an organ. Secondly, this is a well-known Kabalistic idea about eating insects, not about non-kosher food in general. Who checks his lettuce, if I may ask?

In my small Moroccan-Jerusalemite synagogue, there are some Jews whose smallest toes each understand more about Judaism, community, people, respect, and love than the whole of the body of this Chief Rabbi.

Reportedly, he then said that he believed that the majority of Israeli Jews love Judaism. And here lies his main problem. There is no Biblical and no Rabbinic Commandment to love Judaism at all. His job is not to promote a religion. Jews, including him, are obligated to love G^d and His Creation, and in particular Jews, and humans in general. And he doesn’t do that.

He shames the religious and G^d in the eyes of others (the worst sin) for no good reason but for a tongue that flicks and lips that fail to close. And he puts the State of Israel, his employer, to shame. And he disturbs the peace, democracy, and equality. He’s insufferable. When the Chief Rabbi sounds more disconnected and stupid than the Pope, it’s time to fire him.

The media reminded us that previously, he had insulted Reform Jews, Russian Israelis, and Black people. Strangely, Gays and Trans people were not on the list, although they’re his favorite punching ball. He also insulted Gentiles and women. He has called science and mathematics “nonsense” which shows again that all kids in Israel should have them taught to them.

It’s unclear whom he thought to gladden (Festival!) with his latest abuse. He seems to have reacted to the fury of a handful of secular fanatics who disturbed a Traditional Tel Aviv Yom Kippur prayer service. It is Emotions 101 to not react to anger with anger, especially not on a joyous occasion. If all you know to do to riffraff is to respond in kind, you’re unfit for office.

Some have argued that he only represents a small section of Israel, the Ultra-Orthodox. But he doesn’t. They find these Zionist figureheads irrelevant. Once upon a time, Israel’s Chief Rabbis were giants in Jewish Law, Derech Eretz, and wisdom. They are still quoted and followed. Chief Rabbi Kook honored not only the Secular but also the anti-religious!

Many have argued against two national State Chief Rabbis or even one, but none have done that so well and consistently as this person.

It would be less bad if he’d only be a lone individual most people consider a freak. But with bigots in the government, it’s crucial to rein them in.

His words resemble the war this government wedges on the public. We’ve no looming civil war. People pretending to speak in our name assault us.

Some might say you cannot shame the Chief Rabbi. I would respond: You can show that someone who embarrasses Judaism doesn’t speak in her name at all. And, I don’t shame him. He does that all by himself.

As long as Gay youths commit suicide (Do include those happy, friendly, selfless, ego-low youths and soldiers. They don’t fight privately ‘their demons.’ They fight rabbis like that.), folks like this need to be muzzled.

He does seem completely oblivious to the harm he causes. Therefore, in a Jewish Court he would be convicted for damages, but in a civil court not. So, civilly, I hold the ones responsible who appointed and not fire him.

I don’t mind when others consider me un-Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox. But I do mind when they identify me with this foulmouth.

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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