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

Rabbi Riskin, stay out of politics!

I have stated time and again, not only to be for a separation between State and Synagogue, but also that rabbis should not be involved in politics at all.

The main reason for the latter point is that politics is an area fraught with lies and liars, and most rabbis are innocent, peaceful, honest people who are eaten alive on the battlefield of political wars. The latest “Open letter to the Jordanian King and the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates” by Rabbi Riskin is a case in point. Although he starts out speaking untruth (and mistakes) for the sake of peace, that doesn’t qualify him to walk the minefield of politics.

He opens mentioning that he believes in the ultimate peace between Yishmael and Isaac, Abraham’s grandsons [sic]. His sons, rather.

Maybe, the rabbi wants to say that we are children of Isaac and his brother, and so grandchildren of Abraham but that’s not how we call ourselves. The Hebrew Ben can mean: child, son, grandchild, grandson, and offspring. When Jews call themselves Children of Israel, or children of Abraham, we either mean: offspring or children, never grandchildren. Ask any Jewish proselyte who get as name Ben Abraham the Patriarch.

Moreover, the Jewish tradition says that only Isaac is, as we say in our morning prayers every day (Aval anachnu …) The Jerusalem Post ended years ago being a real newspaper and just prints whatever one sends it. (Though they never had much of a clue about Judaism, to begin with.)

And what a terrible thing to do, to equate Jews and Muslims. As if Islam, (Christianity,) and Judaism are simply sister-religions. As if Jews are only the ‘Older Brother’ of other Monotheists. Jews are not a religious group. We are a People with a Divine Mission to all of humanity. We need to behave as such (nor simple) and we deserve respect a such. You can’t correct people who despise us by telling them that we are equals. When Gentile do their 7 Commandments and Jews do their 613 categories of Commandments, we’re all are equals. Meanwhile, Gentiles need to bless and honor us–especially those who hate us, not just see us as equals.

But it gets worse. He writes that a claim to the West Bank lands is a present to Israel from Donald Trump, not to forego. No such thing!

Already before the clown that now occupies the White House began to muddle in our affairs, there was broad consensus that Israel should annex the West Bank. Even diehard left-wingers who always fought for the Two-State Solution had given up. Only for Trump’s Deal of the Century debacle to revive it.

The last thing we need is prominent Jews to give his madness legitimacy.

This is the same Rabbi Riskin, who was for the earlier Peace Process, which cost over 1,000 Israeli lives and maimed thousands more. You would think that that would have humbled him.

He’s an amazing person and rabbi, fully of merit and accomplishment but a lousy politician. When will he learn?

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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