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

How traumatized are Israeli Jews at the moment?

Exaggeration can draw attention and funds but may be counterproductive

Sudden death of loved ones and a threat of genocide may shock greatly. This could be extra hard for people threatened with extermination for thousands of years. Yet, not everyone is affected equally badly.

Labels Tend to Create Problems, Not Solve Them

Some therapists might be looking for money and honor (recognition) labeling people as problematic, but some might not know any better.

In the beginning, it might feel nice to be ‘recognized’ as having a ‘real problem’ by people who seem to know what they are talking about.

Yet, the statistics and labels tend to make you accept your sad lot with less encouragement to turn a loss into some gain over time.

This way, many therapists become part of the problem and worsen it.

Business is booming. But the saying goes: If it ain’t broken, don’t repair it.

Especially unhelpful are therapists and well-meaning laypersons who distract or medicate instead of helping you focus and deal with your pain.

There are hopeless, toxic people. Don’t marry one. Let them stay rare.

A Lot of Emotional Healing Doesn’t Need Therapists

Natural mourning differs from pathological mourning (getting stuck in grief). But most people know how to cry, talk, or listen. And if they never learned it, dire need likely makes them finally practice it. Many people in mental anguish may attract people who are willing to give some emotional support. Sometimes close ones, sometimes strangers.

Death seems to hit Jews harder than anyone else. Yet, religious and traditional rituals help with some of our distress. Many unofficial support systems (love) may spring into action when the going gets tough.

Last but not least, for most people, time does its work. Clearly, it’s harder to have a kid at the battlefield or lose a child or the love of your life than a neighbor. Still, give it 10 years, and it might not feel as bad anymore.

Most People Will Be Fine

Dr. Danny Brom: “The majority of people don’t need [professional help]. And it’s not true that if we don’t treat you now, it’ll be too late.”

The first thing to mention is to tell people they really don’t need to listen to or watch news that upsets or hurts them deeply. The news attracts customers by sharing disasters and fears—feel free to just read the facts without details. If your head hurts, stop banging it against the wall.

Then, it is great when something terrible happened, and you feel terrible. How can you eat when you’re not hungry? How can you heal when you feel no pain? It doesn’t need to feel good, look elegant, or feel hopeful.

Then, not every visitor of mourners is a mourner. Don’t exaggerate.

After listening to someone recounting something traumatic, one can say: ‘To be continued.’ You don’t need to say: ‘I know how you feel,’ or ‘This can never heal.’ While you hurt listening to them, they were healing.

If you go see a therapist, ask them what they think to do for you and how long it would take. Don’t let them drug you. Not even with ‘a very small pill that you hardly will notice.’ Some of these pushers are addicts themselves.

(Yet, if we visit a psychiatric emergency room, NIS 600-800 ($ 150-200) for treatment is obviously ridiculous. A public outcry should remove that.)

Don’t freeze (drug) your brain. Crying overcomes loss. Trembling heals fear and stress. Talking and writing heal. ‘Being normal’ under crazy conditions would be crazy. Deal with feelings head-on and leave them behind you.

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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