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

Is the Torah racist? Yes, no and no.

Many times the Torah talks about Nations as if they are races. Just as we talk about the different races of dogs. A Labrador is forever very friendly and happy to help. A Rottweiler is always strong, fearless and aloof.

Similarly, some Peoples are not allowed to convert to Judaism because of their horrendous character traits; some only after three generations.

Nations were often named after a geographical site or forefather but also frequently after their language (the Hebrews).

The prominence of language makes sense as that may determine how we think, what we are aware of and what our character traits could be.

So, all-in-all, the Holiest of Jewish Scripture seems through-and-through racist. However.


Maimonides tell us, based on the Talmud (Yoma 54a), that Sennacherib, King of Assyria, mixed and exiled all the nations he conquered to confuse their identities as to discourage them from rebelling.

From this, our Sages conclude that we can’t anymore tell one People from another in the original sense. Therefore, luckily and (I believe) deliberately, none of the national stigmas in the holy Torah can be applied.

This way, G^d shows that racism is nonsense and takes the wind out of racists’ sails if they wanted to point out differences between groups of people. We still have more in common that what divides us.

But in any case, for Jewish Law, there are only two kinds of Nations: Jews and Gentiles. And this is not racism either since anyone who wants to become and is capable of becoming a Jew is allowed to convert. This shows that Jews aren’t a race but rather a Nation — with a special calling.


That the wife of Moses is called Black (Kushit) (Numbers 12:1) is not referring to her skin color. Kush is the name of her Nation, Ethiopia.

And easily, she could have been not from Kush (per Exodus 2:16-21, she was a Midianite) but rather was having the piety as women from there. She wouldn’t say her piece about her own issues and then Miriam felt compelled to speak up for her sister-in-law — perhaps.

This all has nothing to do with Europeans 400 years ago, downgrading Africans to animals to feel free to hunt, sell, abuse, rape and kill them. Or with White people being obsessed with skin color.

Not one negative thing is shared about Moses’ wife. She is also not exotified. So, how could this be racism? Heaven forbid. And assuming that Moses himself must have been White is racist to begin with.

If already the Jewish tradition has anything to say about black then it’s that black is beautiful. In the Hymn Annim Zemirot (Shabbat morning, Ashkenazic) we sing that G^d must have [gorgeous] black curls! And Rashi says that Tzipporah’s blackness meant that she was beautiful.

So, no, the Torah and Judaism are not racist. The rabbis clarify that we received the story of Adam and Eve to teach us that we all come from the same parents. No one needs to put on any airs about our origin.

Just what modern science tells us. NB: Whites are an adaptation to climates with little sun to still get enough Vitamin D. The detriments are big. Brittle hair hanging for your eyes, easier skin burns and skin cancer.


Let me end by quoting – from memory – a poem that a teenager about 45 years ago sent to the leftwing VPRO gids, a Dutch TV guide (whodonit).

When you feel good, you are pink.
When you are cold, you are blue.
When you are angry, you are red.
When you are sick, you are yellow.
When you are dead, you are white.

When I feel good, I am brown.
When I am cold, I am brown.
When I am angry, I am brown.
When I am sick, I am brown.
When I am dead, I am brown.

And they call me a person of color.

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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