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

Open the markets!

Israel is doing so well against COVID-19. That doesn’t mean, no mistakes are made. One mistake is to have stores that sell food and supermarkets open while the open-air markets are closed. Why, for Heaven’s sake?

Two weeks before Pesach, I went to the Machaneh Yehudah Shuk in Jerusalem to stock up on veggies for the holiday. I would not go to a super. Their prices are horrendous. (First, they sold under the market value and when most small groceries were put out of business, they raised the prices. The same as Amazon does. And make you buy in bulk. And then we complain that so much produce is thrown out because we never get to eat it.) And it’s a closed building. During a pandemic? Not me. The market!

This time as always, the foods were fresh, colorful, and fragrant. There were not so many costumers. But what was really unusual were the faces of the shop keepers. They looked depressed. Not sad — lifeless. Even no friendly word, joke, thank you, or a string of blessings (and I’m good at them) could revive them. It was shocking, saddening.

In the Shuk, you always find plenty and the workers are very honest. You don’t need to count your change and if you’re stuck with money, they say: pay next time. (One must be honest to trust others.) There, Jews and Arabs work together without one incident ever. Like in the hospitals and health funds in Israel, there is peace that needs no process.

Now, most stores are open but the market not? Insanity. The healthiest place to go.

I’m sitting still in my apartment. I first want to see if there will be a second wave and not be killed by it. But once I’ll leave my apartment, I will first head to the Shuk. It’s the nicest, most personal, most diverse, most lively, and least expensive place to buy all the good stuff and there are always bargains.

I’m very pained to read that one of the long-term stall owners has ended his life a week and a half ago. Know that despair — no matter how real — is always temporary! It will get better! Just wait! I somehow hope it’s not one of the people I always buy from but after the fact, what can hope do?

The Mayor of Jerusalem wants the Shuk open. I want the Shuk open. There is no reason the Shuk is closed. It should have stayed open all the time.

Long overdue: open the Shuk!

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 lehavdiel 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, GLBTQAI, 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 quit 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 500st 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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