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 stop wounds from healing and how to let them heal

Just imagine that you would cut yourself accidentally and a little blood came forth. Do you know what the blood does? It plugs up the breaching of the skin so that microbes and fungi stay out; it sends blood cells that attack invaders and eat debris, it glues the wound’s edges and it guides the skin cells to grow over it to close the gap. Brilliant, no?

Now, what would happen if I would say: “Blood coming out is bad, remove it anytime you see it — no, every time it starts to be showing”? The wound may never heal. Crazy? Well, let’s look at emotional hurts.

Say you get shocked by something. Every human being would immediately seek others to tell them. You may cry, you make shake. You may tell them high pitch or tell jokes about it. You may want to replay the scene. There are many way to help heal the emotional hurt.

But what would happen if I ran to others and they’d not let me tell anything, claiming that the only way to heal is to forget about it. No matter how much I try to go back to the hurt, try to cry over it again, every time adding the hurt that I was not allowed to cry, shake, laugh and talk about before, no one listens. Worse, they distract me. They mistake the “healing process” for “being in pain.” They don’t see that what they call being in pain is actually getting over the pain – as any baby knows. Then the wounds never heal. Though most people never stop trying to find a listening ear.

Unfortunately, while they try to find a listener, any half-hearted listener also wants to be listened to. This is so simple to remedy. It’s called: taking turns. You listen to me for five minutes and then I listen to you five minutes. Without interrupting with what I so desperately want to say (even about you). Letting the healing process happen. It costs nothing.

However, this does not work well when we are drugged, medically or recreationally, stoned, drunk, giving physical difficulty to our brain. To heal emotional hurt, we need our brains – and anything that chemically “influences” our hemispheres stops it from working properly. That’s how psychological drugs and psychoanalysis work so well. They stop the recovery processes, enabling the specialists to set diagnoses because the “patient” will not change or heal when not given a chance. (This is a pity because Freud started out so nicely, let letting people talk.)

What would happen when we listen to a baby warmly and patiently, and don’t distract, interrupt? Although it will feel as if it will never stop, they always stop by themselves. Babies go play, or fall asleep, or let you know that they need a clean diaper of some food. I tried it. They always stop.

But not only does this not take forever, look at how they are doing after that! They don’t try to cry at everything, sometimes for days. They are more happy and bold. And smart. If it works for babies would that work for grownups too?

I tried. There is nothing that brings up so well what we need to talk about as listening to babies crying! And it works for grownups too. For me and for anyone I ever listened to.

So why is this knowledge not propagated? Well, for starters, no one is making any money from people listening to each other and making each other happy like that. That doesn’t help in a world where so much rotates around advertising and greed.

There are other pitfalls. Slowly but surely, grownups learn to seek comfort instead of healing. And there is big business involved in that. The short-term comfort instead of long-term healing often costs money and not only stops healing but also is often harmful for body and mind.

Actually, taking turns listening to each other is a form of give and receive, the basis for every friendship, which in turn is the basis for any wonderful intimate relationship. But people denied attention often end up stingy with their attention span. They forget to give and to wait to receive – they grab instead. Two people grabbing what they can, can never make themselves happy, or each other.

So try it: 1. To hell with comfort. 2. Find someone to listen to, to train your skill. 3. Find someone who listens to you, to heal what’s on top. 4. Combine 2 and 3 by swapping time. Your life will never be the same, and it’s cheaper and healthier than anything you ever chose to do.

O, by the way, philosophizing about it does not work; one needs to actually do it.

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: