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

I turned childhood traumas into lifelong strengths

To inspire you

Typically, I don’t write autobiographic stuff. I’m not keeping a therapeutic diary to get over things here. I also can’t stand the self-importance or self-centeredness that seems inevitable with such ego documents. But, here’s an exception. I won’t recount my blunders; just some victories to uplift us.

Seventy years ago, my twin brother died in the womb when we were drugged. Not that he didn’t fight with all he got but I decided to fight even harder to survive. It should get better. And it did. I survived. I even took therapy to learn not to keep fighting the fight I won already. And, from then, I’m willing to accept hard reality but not doom or hopelessness.

My first 20 years on earth, I was indescribably lonely. I developed an understanding of isolation and how important it is to break it. Now, I can connect in seconds to babies (including angry ones), small kids (including with Down syndrome), teenagers (including bored ones), grownups (including depressed ones), and everyone else, to let them feel that no matter what, at this moment someone sees, hears, and feels for them.

At 10, I understood that those who blame sternness on G^d really mean: we as humans haven’t been able to behave better. I wasn’t religious yet.

At 11, I understood that I can’t carry all the heaviness that my surroundings put on me. That’s not life. I decided to be a happy camper, no matter what, and to try to make others burst into laughter too. I built an enormous arsenal of jokes, some later to take from the shelves, and dust off, and some to improvise on. Someone once complained: You’re always so happy. I answered: Well, if you know something better …

At 17, my father recited a Dutch saying: Horses that deserve the oats won’t get it. He knew too well, as someone who grew up poor and barely survived the Holocaust, how mean and unjust the world and life can be. He said it with bitterness, though, and that made me decide there and then two things. I will place a compliment as soon as I see it’s deserved. And I don’t blame my father for being resentful, but I refuse to be bitter. And when I went through great injustices, this decision helped me a lot.

At 26, I was supposed to fly with a plane type that till the day before was grounded everywhere for 14 days because of some unknown malfunction that made two of them crash. And, this particular plane had aborted its flight the evening before with a burning engine. After 28 hours (our flight had a 4-hour delay), it was ready to try again. I told the scared crew: At least this plane had an extra inspection. One stewardess answered: But I hope they tightened all the screws. I told myself: two possibilities: We will fly safely. Then why ruin the flight and be in terror? Or—a small chance—we crash. In that case, I want the last hours of my life to be nice. We didn’t crash, I had three meals because the plane was mostly empty and those aboard couldn’t eat anyway. I learned always to make the best of things.

Discomfort can just hurt or, over time, may inspire one to jive with it.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 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, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, 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 who don't deserve that. 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), 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. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) 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. * 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. 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, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and 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. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to 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. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * 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, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. 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 being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance 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: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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