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

Is it not excessive how much Judaism wants Jews to praise and beseech G^d?

G^d is not an idol that supposedly needs us to placate it, or dangerously furious so that we urgently must try to calm Him down!

To pray is a reflexive verb in Hebrew. Though we address G^d, we better overhear ourselves because it mostly comes to teach us.

  1. Praising G^d

The Rabbis tell Jewish men to make at least 100 Blessings per day. Every one lavishly praising the Creat^r.

Thrice daily, we say our main prayer comprised of 19 large Blessings.

On top of that, we say countless Psalms praising G^d. And even more before, on, and after Shabbat. Shabbat morning, we spell out that we never can praise Him enough.

And then we have Hallel on special days, with a whole block of Psalms.

Is G^d so insecure that He needs Blessings? Unlikely. There is no indication that He lacks confidence (or anything else that is positive).

Is He so idle that He needs so many Blessings? Unlikely. He’s jealous, so to speak, because he tolerates no demi-gods beside Him. But that’s for our good, not because He opposes power sharing. He’s always ready and eager to team up with us.

Rather, I think that, like all Jewish Prayer, we say these praises to ingrain gratefulness in us. The backbone of religiosity is not to take anything for granted (although it was all granted).

That’s why parents, especially fathers, should not be narcissists so that the kids don’t think G^d is like that too, Heaven forbid.

Spoiled brats are really spoiled.

  1. Beseeching G^d

Have you seen Tachanun, pleading for Mercy, which we normally say 12 times a week? And on Monday and Thursday, it’s sheer endless.

Mizrachic Jews add regretting any sins and spelling out the 13 Aspects of His Mercy.

We say, over and over, that we are unworthy and plead by virtue of our holy Ancestors and His Grace.

Is G^d so moody that we need to calm Him down constantly? Unlikely. Idols supposedly need to be placated, but G^d loves us as His children with all His heart.

Is He an angry idol that seriously needs to be pacified? Unlikely. The Torah says He’s at least 2000 times more merciful than stern.

Rather, I think we say these things to ingrain humility in us. The foundation of evil is refusing to connect because you see yourself as a giant. People are great, but that gets obscured the moment we think of ourselves as greater than others and not needing Divine support.

Arrogant people don’t just need no one; no one needs them either.

We need to live aside from all other Nations to not assimilate and lose our Mission. But we need to combat isolation because it’s not good for humans to be alone with themselves.

To connect, we need happiness. Without it, everyone sits in their own corner moping. Happiness does not jive with arrogance, anger, jealousy, rivalry, greed, selfishness, hatred, or other destructive feelings or actions.

That’s why parents, especially fathers, should not be tyrants so that the kids don’t think G^d is like that too, Heaven forbid.


Gratefulness, humility, and happiness are not the only things Judaism tries to ingrain. Take the sanctity of life, repeated over and over again, and that we are a People with a Mission from when we were liberated from Egypt.

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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