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

Is G-d hitting back or is this environ-mental disaster?

Two record-breaking monster storms in two weeks reach the US. Is G-d punishing or warning us? Is this a reaction to Trump’s reign? Maybe for its racism? Or maybe more suitably, for not supporting the Paris Climate Accords? Some might say: perhaps. I would argue: really? And the monster earthquake that just hit Mexico is a Heavenly rebuke of them?

Why Do They Happen?

Such “readings” of G-d’s mind are wanting. The Rabbis only say: when something bad (almost) happened, examine your deeds. Ask yourself if this could be a hint that your or your community’s behavior needs an update. Just, if it is a Divine warning, let it not be on “deaf” ears!

However, there is another option, also for atheists. These are all known reason for these storms being more damaging and more deadly:

  • Greenhouse effect: warmer seas: stronger winds, storm surges
  • Greenhouse effect: warmer air: contains more moist, which gives more energy to storms
  • Greenhouse effect: melted poles: higher seas, higher storm surges
  • Greenhouse effect: melted poles: storms more often stalling
  • Greenhouse effect: old equilibriums and buffering systems are beaten: more extreme chaotic weather; also: greenhouse climate accidents (fires, rotting in drying up lands – don’t drain swamps or tundras!) increase greenhouse warming (vicious circle)
  • More population on the globe: more people to hurt
  • Millions living closer to the coast than ever: more people to hurt; storm surges (together with tsunamis) are the greatest killers
  • We ain’t see nothing yet; environmental disasters we experience now, are the first effects of a very slowly avalanche set in motion already years ago. It will take a long time too before we will see results from any climate improvement, slowdown of destruction.

What to Do?

Don’t blame G-d for human made climate changes, poor warnings systems for poor communities en poor building standards in poor and dictatorial countries. Where was G-d? Where was man?! (Besides, it is interesting that people who would never address G-d for praise or request, do turn to Him with complains.) NB: US flooding that kept the world busy for two weeks, coincided with one in Nepal, Bangladesh and India that’s dozens of times more deadly – where are the media?

So we can pray, but know what to pray for: Miracles to save innocent people, to let us escape results of old misbehavior; and promise we’ll care for all people, also inside dictatorships and otherwise poor.

If anything, Trump should build a wall with the ocean, not Mexico, though it might be cheaper to support Paris. Seriously, it’s preposterous to think that he will ever enforce a greener society. He’s on a four-year reelection campaign. He’ll only do things that speak to his traditional voters. It is true that conserving the planet fits very well a conservative economy, but then start educating not Trump but his base, because until they are convinced, it won’t happen on his “watch.”

You can beat your panic-brewed passivity and help stop the deadly heating up the environment by saying to people you love and from younger generations:

I promise you to help stop climate change.

Then you list what concrete change in action that means from you.

Keep repeating the promise and adding implications.

Those may include having others do the same.

Some touch questions may be asked: what are you willing to forgo: eating endless amounts of meat, driving a private car, having air conditioning, careless use of water, not throwing out your anti-activist passivity-promoting TV, all of these?

It took many years for things to get out of hand, so you may take your time to improve. How about a monthly new goal?

Another action is: to help stop hate, wars, hunger and sickness. The main cause of human death is human unhappiness. Listening to people with respect is a way to help humanity to survive. We can also ask and teach others to listen. Spread the word! Happy people are the best forces against hate, wars, hunger and sickness.

So don’t tell me nothing can be done. The above may take all your free time.

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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