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

How to prevent suicide. Till death us do part

Death should not us do part, and especially not by suicide.

To prevent suicide, implementing just four simple ideas will suffice. But first two introductory points.

A. Medical science is trying to uproot all illness and scale back all aging and soon will abolish dying altogether. Some worry what to do with overpopulation. However, when we have gotten smart enough to prevent death, prevention of overpopulation will be relatively easy.

A much graver more stubborn problem is our human tradition to kill each other out of greed, anger, jealousy or nationalism. What’s the use of becoming physically immortal but dying anyway from violence?

A most serious variation to violent death is suicide. In Israel, it’s the second most frequent cause of death between the ages of 15 and 44, both among men and women.

B. Let us not scare or criticize people who contemplate suicide. When they “succeeded” it’s time to mourn (see also here), not to condemn or blame — or foster survivor’s guilt. (Being angry is always easier than crying, but the latter is often more helpful. At best, sometimes the anger can lead to crying.) When they’re still alive, know that suicide is a right but that it’s up to you to help them to bring closer their survival.

Now, our four prevention points. Some of them may be easy and what not to say may be evident to most people. Here is some more ideas.

  1. What to Understand?

No one kills oneself just to be dead, but rather for two reasons:

1.a. Temporary but total hopelessness.

1.b. A wish to end the pain of life because it’s too much to bear.

  1. What to Tell Someone Close to Suicide?

2.a. If the person sees no light at the end of the tunnel, tell them: “I believe you. I will not try to cheer you up. But believe me that this can pass. You don’t have to see the light yet to believe that soon you will. Even if you’ve been desperate for a long time, it can pass sooner than you think. And if you’re hopeless because you’re in a panic, let’s wait together until the panic starts fading.”

2.b.1. If your emotional pain is too much, and you’ve been drugged, kick out the drugs because they make you number than that they kill the pain. When you’re not numb anymore, you can start crying, which takes away the pain – heals it. There is no amount of emotional pain that cannot be drained by crying. And it takes longer when you don’t get started.

2.b.2. If your physical pain is too severe, know that if you deal with underlying fear for pain, physical pain can become quite bearable. You can heal the fear by making (cruel) jokes and not stop the shivering, laughing, perspiring and blushing you start doing as a result. Keep making such jokes until the fear has healed. Yawning can hasten physical healing.

  1. Thought is Not Enough

The ideas in 1 and 2 need to be implemented to work. Contemplation is often not enough. This is not a philosophical cure. It rather comes from prolonged emotional work. It pays to persist and persevere.

  1. Publish Your Success Widely

You might want to forget about this once it’s over, but you can save many lives by briefly and boldly sharing: how bad it was, what you did, how it worked, what was helpful, and how glad you are that you won. Even if you only have a short time to live left (say your physicians, but hey, they’re no prophets), share it.

Also failure might brew success. It’s nonsense to think that you could’ve done better (If you could have, you would have). Yet, your hindsight might help others in similar situations be more successful than you were.

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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