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

Remembrance and Memorial Days revisited

If you currently are hurting from losing loved ones, maybe skip this post

Nationalism is a form of egotism. Mourning ‘your own’ dead more than the deaths of foreigners or strangers is natural. But if we Jews are really so horrified by death itself, shouldn’t we mourn all the dead?

There was a first commemoration held among (mostly) Arab Israelis for their deaths and all the deaths among the IDF. In the health industry, Jews and Muslims in Israel are already working/being sick side-by-side. Now also in the commemoration business? We’re moving in the right direction!

BTW: The ideas that Jews should not marry out and keep a Jewish majority in the only Jewish country on earth have everything to do with continuing the Jewish People. We are so tiny, that if we would drop this, we would disappear. The continued separate existence of any Nation in the world seems mostly of sentimental value. But, if the Swiss and the Italians would fuse, they could eat real Italian pizza with real Swiss cheese and little would be lost. Yet, Jews are a Nation, the only one, founded on a calling. Our raison d’être does not come from a common and uniting language, geography, history, outwardly racial traits, or culture. Our life literally depends on our task to study, execute, and model Judaism and help all of humanity to live as G^dly creatures, and, in the end, foster world peace. So, when we reject intermarriage or endless amounts of foreign refugees, that is not racist at all. This in contrast with rich large Western countries. Their, ‘Jews will not replace us’ is pure xenophobia and Nazi speech.

Now, when we commemorate and elevate the memories of fallen soldiers, police, resistance fighters, and victims of terror and genocide, shouldn’t we also spent some time including those who were innocent but shot by security personal or the allies? They are innocent victims of terrorism too. I’m not sure, because it’s still different if you’re killed as part of genocide or as a innocent bystander to mass-murder. Just like it’s not the same when someone is murdered or dies from an illness. Though it’s both bitter.

BTW: But besides enormous gratitude for the fallen and endless empathy for the bereaved, let’s also have in mind all those soldiers and security personal who came out alive and well and whose loved ones feared for nothing so long and deeply. Their sacrifices shouldn’t be trivialized either.

And while we’re at it, would-be terrorists or Nazis, killed while (trying to) murder, can’t we mourn their senseless lives? They gave up their lives for what? For expressing a commitment to Jews’ hatred? How sad that is?!

Yes, it will enrage everyone. The Antisemites will be enraged that we think of the perpetrators as victims that wasted their lives for a vile philosophy. The close ones of the victims might be enraged that we can even think of the perpetrators as if they ever were human (but they were).

No, we shouldn’t equate the lives of the murdered and the murderers, the righteous and the wicked. We don’t need to forget or forgive. But perhaps, we could regret a life squandered, a missed chance at a good life. Their lives were wasted too. Just not by us. There is a crucial difference.

If our commemoration of victims of terror and anti-Semitism is not just a form of chauvinism but truly a stance against hatred and death culture too, then let’s also mourn lives lost to hatred on the other side of the stick.

So many, often young people set out to murder, died, got life in prison, or ruined their health by hating instead of loving. We may regret their fate because we don’t have their mindset. And let’s welcome those who came to regret a terrorist upbringing or training and help them speak up/out.

However. A very smart learned and wise friend of mine totally disagrees with the tendency of the above. She told me that Jews in general can be seen being so extra caring about all people because we first practice caring about ourselves. That’s where we train our empathy. That could be.

Surely, the other way around doesn’t work. Jews who especially care about all people but ourselves often don’t improve toward including themselves or other Jews in their warm hearts. Paradoxically, their lack of chauvinism seems to stem from being Jewish — an identity they deny almost totally.

But, having opposite viewpoints in mind has always been a Jewish option.

Happy Israeli Independence Day!

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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