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

No more angry Jews ever

It is possible to fight evil and not be angry about that evil

The Talmud (Shabbat 105b) is clear: Anger is idolatry. Anger denies a good G^d supervises everything and is in complete control. Anger can only imply G^d made a mistake and another (so: idol) or I (my ego) could do better.

Anger may seem ‘natural’ but our Sages insist we should and can get rid of it 100%. It may be understandable when a mourner is angry, but generally, anger is an option to shun. If we must have emotions, sadness is OK.

I found that in therapy, anger is an attempt at making it feel safer. Warmly and calmly welcoming the anger then helps. Then the tears or fear come that needed safety first to get out. And crying and trembling always heal.

Living well is the best ‘revenge.’ Let’s honor G^d. Let’s ban our anger. There are other ways than anger to show we care—which we should.

What about when people grossly misbehave, could we help getting angry?

No one and nothing can ‘make us angry.’ Our anger we generate ourselves. Yes, we often employ rationalizations why our anger ‘is justified.’ The most popular excuse is getting angry with someone who’s angry with us.

The offensive evil itself is often worse than us getting angry about it, but that’s still no excuse. Really, no one has our remote control to ‘push our buttons.’ We are in change—also when we feel we are not (yet).

This thinking that only we anger ourselves is not to blame us and make us depressed. Knowing the problem is half the cure. We can stop being angry.

I don’t mean we should hide when we get angry, not act on our angry feelings, or get over them. There might be a place for that too. But no, I mean, we can refuse to make ourselves upset any longer while still caring.

We can say: ‘How terrible for you’ without: ‘They should kill them all.’

We can say: ‘We must stop racism’ without: ‘All racists should die.’

We can say: ‘We need to convict all involved in genocide’ and ensure that happens, without being furious with them. A decent society must condemn evil to help victims and bystanders heal, but not to cool our anger.

We can say: ‘G^d, I strongly disagree and insist it changes’ without fury.

We can say: ‘I see things differently but I understand why you see it like that’ without saying: ‘You are (more) crazy/evil/stupid/wrong (than me).’

We can say: ‘I may make myself angry thinking you easily could act better. But apparently (!), it’s not that easy for you as for me or most people.’

Jews are so loveable. At times, we may be annoying but still wonderful. (Like all people.) We find it impossible to understand that anyone would hate us to the degree they want us all dead. But when we think about what these people learned and how they were hurt and lied to, often for generations, we can understand that it’s not easy on them to respect Jews.

It’s not desperately impossible to respect us; in fact, it’s not that hard. But, nevertheless, apparently, for some it’s not (yet) so simple.

It may also help us to know that the Torah’s hard terms sometimes are not the strong terms of today. Its verb to hate today means: to have some lack of love. Your enemy only means someone you feel annoyed about.

Generally, we do very well already. At funeral, typically, Jews bestow honor on the deceased and talk of our gratefulness having had them in our lives. Often, we don’t say how angry we could be. Jews have no copyright on this.

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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