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

Guard your mental health. Don’t presume others will.

Loose lips sink ships. Loose ears hurt for years.

Chances are your parents and teachers didn’t tell you to shield yourself.

Even living a ‘normal’ life does not necessarily protects your mental well-being. And many of us don’t live such ‘normal’ lives now anyway.

Pictures and Sounds of the War

You can be well-informed without staring at every hurtful image the media throws at us. They try to frighten us so that we will return to them for reassurance. Much like magazines for parents first scare you and make you insecure. Then they give some information and reassurance. But they will continue to make you feel bad in the hope you will stay tuned.

The radio and podcasts also don’t try to make you feel good and relax. The hype, anxiety, and drama are meant to make you addicted to them.

Try to read the news. It’s important you stay connected. But try to avoid alarming, sensational, hateful, pessimistic stuff. Also, you don’t need previews. Reading what happened afterward may save you time.

Remove yourself from outlets or speakers who tend to spread propaganda and other fiction that often later is debunked, changed, or retracted.

Be extra wary of trusting news shocking or enraging many: dead babies, rape, mass murder. Ponder if the accused should be suspected of evil.

We have a choice. We can walk away from getting hurt. Solidarity doesn’t mean to be obligated to be traumatized anew. Enough already! It’s good our hearts ache at every innocent death but we don’t need to pretend to be a close relative, a mourner when we are not.


Turn away and turn them off before you’re sick of them. You probably are not going to change their minds. You might know already how destructive their hateful philosophies are. Let it go. Others better trained will take care of them. Or not. You don’t need to restrict your contacts to people who think like you—that’s the other extreme. But limit haters.

Limit how much time you listen to pessimists and anger outbursts. They may be sincere in their worries. So should you be about having trust.


Cut back on taking in slander of Jews, both by Gentiles and by Jews. Information mixed with lies and exaggerations will not inform you.

Do you really need to know in depth how bad the situation is in every country in the Diaspora that you don’t even know where it is?


As parents, we often need to give more than we have. But not every needy person is our child. Measure and limit how much you should give.

Don’t invest so much in takers who don’t know how to give. Hang out a lot with people who also smile, listen, and care not just about themselves.

Tell others it could be worse. Tell people to ‘smile and mean it.’ Say that most of us most of the time must be grateful by focusing on what we have.

Don’t take all negative people so seriously. Maybe they are good at expressing their distress but do they sleep less because of it? It’s not true that serious hurt must traumatize for life. Stop pitying people.

When you’re exhausted and depleted, what good are you even to them? Be nurtured by yourself and others. Go for walks. Switch off that phone. Take time to cry. It repairs a lot of hurt. Stop using pacifiers and comforts.

If you’re not for yourself, who should be?

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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