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

Purim meshulash, triple Purim

This year again —it doesn’t happen so often — Purim falls on Shabbat in Jerusalem (and similar places in Israel). But not all of the Laws of Purim can be done on Shabbat. So, they are spread out over three days. To see the forest from the trees, here are the main Laws and when to keep them:

Thursday: the Fast of Esther, Bible reading. This year, the same day for all.

Thursday night and Friday morning: Reading of the Scroll of Esther.

Thursday/Fridays: The chance to give in Memory of the Half Shekkel.

Thursday/Fridays: Giving of gifts to the poor. Some prepare extra food.

Shabbat: Insert ‘Al haNissin’ in the Prayers (4x) and Table Hymn (3x).

Shabbat: Two readings on Amalek and a sermon on the Purim Miracle.

Shabbat: A month before Pesach, we start learning its elaborate Laws.

Sunday: Handing food to friends.

Sunday (afternoon): Eat a special festive meal. Don’t drink too much.

Throughout, happiness and local corona directives must be followed to a T.

Mnemonic Devices to Remember the Above

T T T T: Before: Day 5: Tzom, Torah, (HafTarah), BirkaT Kohanim.

מ מ מ מ: Day 6: Zeycher Mechatzit haShekkel, Megilah (x2), Matanot.

ע ע ע ע ע: Shabbat: Al haNissim, Amalek (2x), Eydut, Inyana De’yoma.

מ מ מ מ: Day 1: Marbim beSimchah (30x), Misloach Manot (x2), Mishtey.

Two Shabbat Sermons About the Purim Miracle

Some are appalled that Jews would celebrate these massacres. Answers:

1. The message was never that murder must always be an option.

2. Rather: Stop being naive about how murderous some enemies can be.

3. Jews are very careful about not murdering; this message fits them.

4. Those murdered were unstoppable men set to execute genocide.

5. As a measure of last resort, preventively killing to prevent murder is OK.


Layehudeem hoyetho oaro wesimcho wesosoan weekoar. (Esther 8:16)

The whole Scroll of Esther is one giant Miracle story. Now, what could be the biggest miracle in it?

We know that G^d copies our behavior, so to speak. So, what did we do?

The Sages teach us that we Jews accepted the Jewish way of life twice. The first time, a bit under duress, at the giving of the Torah at Sinai. And the second time, totally from our Free Will at the time of the Purim story.

That we, the stubborn People, said: ‘Now we’ve seen it all and we accept,’ that is the biggest Miracle of all if you’d ask me.

The first time, it’s harder to take something upon yourself freely.

However, after some time, to continue doing something virtuous, it’s harder to do so if you got obligated. Voluntary devotion is easier.

Yet, the most virtuous is to do something you’re obligated to do but to do it from your Free Will. Not because you should, but because you want to.

Happy Purim!

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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