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

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, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 (partly) generated by AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his 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, here: * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, 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 who don't deserve that. 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), 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. * 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. * 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. 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, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and 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. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to 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. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * 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, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. 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 being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance 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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