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

Loving and honoring G^d or people? What takes priority?

Some think that G^d needs them. That’s the way they can feel connected.

However, that smells after idol worship. Moody idols that need to be pacified to do us favors. G^d doesn’t need us. We need G^d.

And how could we ever think that the King would be pleased with our support if we don’t care about His children?

And people are not like G^d. They need us. Abraham knew that when he and Sarah hurried to prepare a meal for three transients. He sprang into action to provide foods and drinks, while, at the time, he was talking to G^d! G^d can wait. He won’t get hunger-pains or a heatstroke.

A special case of modern idolatry is ignoring people assuming that would please G^d. Very religious people (they think) who kiss the mezuzah three times but fail to see the person behind them who gets the door in his face.

Worse is hurting people on purpose from the excuse that those must be G^d-haters. They’re blind to their own hatred. A common condition.

Prioritizing people over G^d is for the saintly, not for the less religious.

Actually, radically secular Jews generally are better at loving people than the average religious fanatic. So, in G^d’s eyes, they are better Jews!

On top of this, don’t blame the secular for not being religious. Reb Shlomo Carlebach explained: If the restaurant is good, people will come and eat. Meaning: If there are still irreligious Jews around, we, the religious, are doing something wrong. Not only does our way of worshipping not attract them. We actually repulse them. If anyone bears responsibility for widespread non-observance, it’s the observant.

On top of all of this, when religious people hurt others, they degrade G^d’s Name in this world. People will be abhorred. Who would want to be like them? Is this G^d’s wish? Degrading G^d’s Name is the worst sin there is.

And G^d always sides with the pursued. Even when the pursuer is saintly and the victim a villain. I’d rather have G^d on my side.

So, don’t feel shy about putting G^d on hold while taking care of people. He couldn’t be more pleased. Like He said: If only people would forget Me but keep the Commandments. Humanistic Judaism could only have been invented by people who don’t know Orthodox Judaism, with its large humanistic component.

Written in honor of my monumental brother Theo, supposedly completely secular all his life, angry at G^d for abandoning us during the Holocaust, telling his wife on his deathbed they’ll meet again, and he’ll wait for her. His whole life, he’s been a fortress of generosity and integrity, reliability and solidarity, and deep humility and lightly sarcastic humor. Kudos to him!

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. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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