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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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Israel, ban Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi’s upcoming Israel speaking tour too

Israeli-American rabbi barred from entering the UK. Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi’s riled too many feathers, it seems.

This is a warning for too naive people not to buy wholesale what this self-styled rabbi says because building you Judaism on his lectures is building on quicksand. For warnings, you can use negative speech if you don’t inflate. I’ll only quote his own words so how could I exaggerate?

I’ve heard Rabbi Mizrachi. He’s a mixed bag. He’s helped many Jews to repent, which is meritorious beyond measure but his speech is not cautious. Once his followers discover that it’s not all so sound what he says, they could easily fall from their beliefs and be lost for Judaism forever.

On the one hand, many traditional rabbis seem annoyed with him out of jealousy and almost all are repulsed by his simplistic talk.

He’s a smart guy but he doesn’t use his brakes enough. His flippant conclusions are frequently flawed. That can’t be good. Judaism is not open to pick and choose. So, we can’t just listen to a supposedly Jewish lecture and only pick out what we like–if all is Torah. And that’s a problem with a speaker who peppers his regular conclusions with pop-Judaism and his own brilliance that are not carefully checked for mistakes.

Arrogance easily leads to fury. I found a recording where Mizrachi calls a Jew who once took his parking space worse than the arch-enemy of the Jewish People. How does a Jewish teacher speak like that?

You don’t need to believe me. Listen to what he says about homosexuality [among men] (a subject not listed by Wikipedia except for at its discussion page). I’ll just list all his mistakes and nonsense.

  • Homosexuality is [the sin of} Sodom and Gomorrah. That is a Christian interpretation. Judaism teaches that their sin was a lack of hospitality and charity.
  • Those [boys] who were born gay can be recognized because they behave like girls and this is different from those who chose to become gay later. He doesn’t know that femininity doesn’t mean gay and gay doesn’t mean femininity. He doesn’t know that gays can’t keep lying to themselves and stay gay for society and calls that a choice for being gay.
  • The Torah says that they should be stoned without mercy. The Torah doesn’t say that. And we have not even one record of any rabbinical court ever that prosecuted (let alone executed) Jew or Gentile for homosexuality.
  • The ones that are “born like that” seem innocent but in a previous life they had intercourse with other men out of choice and now they are punished to a life without a choice about their orientation. (Never mind that reincarnation must give a person a second chance so it can’t be a harder choice.) He talks too quickly about strictness and too little about G^d’s mercy.
  • The new reincarnation state is much harder to quit but you can get therapy to get out of it. It’s well known by now that no one can. He gives marriage to a woman as proof of a cure while it’s not because it’s only cosmetic, wishful thinking and temporary.
  • Eternal spinsters and bachelors also have a very hard life. He doesn’t understand that they still can have hope to find their basherts in accordance with Jewish Law, in the end.
  • The Torah changed the name of Potiphar to Poti Pherah (a female form) because he now wanted men. That’s not what the rabbis write. He lusted after Joseph, therefore bought him as a slave and when his lust became too dangerous for Joseph, G^d castrated him and took his urges away and this lack of lust shows in the name change.

This all in seven-and-a-half minutes (one blunder per minute) without his audience uttering one squeak of objection.

You wouldn’t be surprised then that he said in a lecture that Rabbi Dweck (for details, click on the link) is “the greatest enemy of the Jews, should be considered banned forever, is a monster, a criminal, the most wicked person I ever met, a traitor of Jews to evil Gentiles, non-stop spreading evil speak about Jews on the Internet, preventing people to listen to my lectures that are really Torah, who never did anything positive in his life, just damaging people’s reputation, doesn’t keep Shabbat, never helped someone to repent, he stops the Messiah from coming.” In one breath, so to speak.

Now, listen to what one of my rabbis said about another rabbi who was caught in serious sins but who was claiming that my rabbi supports him. I asked, should you not denounce him? He said: You don’t kick someone when he’s down. And that was about someone who really sinned.

Mizrachi’s relaxed style is a nice break from Diaspora Jews’ tenseness.

His pride is a nice contrast with Diaspora shame but the hallmark of a great rabbi is humility, not pride. That’s more damning in my opinion than that he never did the systematic humbling hard work of learning a lot of stuff and going to a rabbinic court to get recognized as a rabbi.

His sloppiness is typically Israeli. How does this guy maintain himself in the US? Maybe because most Jews there don’t speak Hebrew so well, they’re impressed with him anyway?

Being blocked from entering the UK, he easily could go on a lecture tour in Israel instead. I dare the Jewish State to bar him from a speaking tour here too. We already have plenty of rabbis in Israel to upset everyone.

Alternatively, someone should go to a lecture by him and directly afterward to the police to report hate speech. That should help. Not for nothing is he living in the US, a country where speech is unregulated.

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. 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 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 1500 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/ 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. * 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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.
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