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

Respect for the secular and religious Israeli Jews

If love it too hard, start with respect – Harvey Jackins

Christian animosity against all Jews is still alive in many churches, sermons, and individuals. No, not all of them. But it began as infighting when the Romans occupied our Land and ruled with an iron first. Easier than trying to fight the colonial, racist occupier was to fight each other.

Now, this is why secular Jews must honor the religious, and vice versa. Us disrespecting each other is the main power of Jew-haters. It is so terrible when G^d needs to agree to another bloody war threat just to unite us.

Secular Respect

In buses and on the street, I meet strangers in secular ‘dress’ who look at me with hatred. Sometimes they even say something negative. The hatred is palpable. Because I look religious and they hate them all. It feels no different than the Antisemitism that I felt from Antisemites.

That is against the secular norm of equality. ‘Them thinking’ is a form of discrimination and oppression. We all have more in common than whatever makes us different. We are all entitled to equal treatment.

‘Yes, but the religious hate us’ is just an example of them thinking. To hate any individual because of the group s/he belongs to is the antithesis of fairness, justice, and democracy. And those are the religions of the secular.

I’d have some more tolerance for hateful seculars who were expelled from their religious community, but I still must find the first LGBTQIA+ secular Jew who hates me. Also, inside the largely secular anti-judicial reform demonstrations, I got a lot of applause and smiles and not one frown.

Religious Respect

Many secular people who only know the religious from a distance assume that we hate the secular. If some of us do, it’s a grave mistake. Our rabbis teach us that we are one People. If anyone could be ‘guilty’ for not being religious, they are the religious. We know what they are missing. We have failed to teach them. Every secular Jew says: the religious have failed me.

One mistake religious Jews sometimes make is assuming that we need to teach the secular and bring them closer to Judaism. They don’t see that they often have something to teach us too. They often have specialized themselves in respect for everyone but don’t know that’s part of Judaism. Secular Jews are often unaware of how Jewish and how religious they are.

Exclude Anti-Democrats

This issue keeps confusing even the brightest. It is a democratic must to exclude anti-democrats. That isn’t anti-democratic. That’s pro-democracy. Democracy demands we oppose haters participating in democratic rights to further their bigotry. Those rights are only for democrats.

Yet, while we must oppose ideologies and groups opposing equality, we must be very careful not to oppose individuals. No one should be rejected for what groups they come from or belong to. Maybe, they’re fighting the bigotry in their group. Maybe, they are victimized in their group. Attack ideology, not people. It must not be personal. Going after people is the work of the police and courts, not activists, or we besmirch our activism!

Politically inciting the religious or secular is the worst attack on all Jews.

Not So Divided

Meanwhile, there are fewer and fewer Jewish families that are 100% secular or 100% religious. So many secular families have one or more who have become religious. So many religious families have one or more who have become secular.

Also, the divide between secular and religious is a total exaggeration. Most Israeli Jews consider themselves traditional: somewhere in between. Almost all celebrate Shabbat with family or friends, light the Chanukkiah on Chanukah, hold a Pesach Seder, and fast on Yom Kippur in some way. Some way goes a long way compared to doing nothing. Oh, they may claim that they don’t believe properly, but neither do many of the religious.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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 generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 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 too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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. 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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