Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Israeli civil law threatens the rabbinic old boys’ club — finally

Women are at the gate. The rabbis may not be able to keep them from entering equally into their old boys’ club. And the rabbis are terrified, of course. Good news for humanity and Judaism. The only thing traditionalist (include me) can hope for is that any classes will not be co-ed. But at this stadium, the request is not to receive training but only that they would allow women to do the same exam as men do before receiving ordination.

Let me give the rabbis a hand. These women are not from Mars (or: Venus). You know them. They are like your grandmothers, aunts, mothers, sisters, wives, mothers-in-law, daughters, and granddaughters. They’re fully human, great people. And intelligent, but that might not pacify you.

We, religious traditional Jewish men, acknowledge every morning that He (!) did not make us a woman. Why do we? Think about it.

Women live on average 10 years longer. They get empathy when they cry, at least sometimes. They can multi-process while we can only do one (tops: two) thing(s) at the same time. They have all the rights and, in comparison, hardly any obligations. They have better intuitions and are great at relationships. I’m talking averagely — which you like to do when you talk about men and women. They are more modest and more giving. Children like them automatically. They don’t start wars, don’t kill, even when very angry, and don’t rape. They can bring more kids into the world. They can put their shopping bag on their hip while they open the door. They can breast-feed. They are the traditional boss of the home. You are obligated to speak softly to your wife while she can scream all she wants. You think you can win the fight but they would try to defuse the tension.

The list goes on. Why do we say a daily blessing that G^d made us not a woman? The answer is simple. Not just our wives are our bosses. He too is our B^ss. He can do whatever He wants. And He made us males. Tough luck. We better acknowledge reality. But there is more. This Blessing gives us the daily message: When you look at women well, how could you not feel jealous? Well, this Blessing is to help us men fight that feeling. Be happy with your lot. For you also, there is a place in Creation.

Often overlooked is that what doesn’t look so great in being a woman has nothing to do with being a woman. Rather, it comes from being around men who denigrate her. It’s not true that she can’t do math or read maps. If only someone would have taken her brains seriously and taught her.

When women will feel better, everyone’s life and survival will be enhanced. The only thing we risk losing is bad stuff for everyone.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. 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 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. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), 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), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating 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. * 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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