Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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Seven reasons why Jews are cursed twice in the Torah

You’d have expected a guide to life to be 100% positive and nice.

And you would think that Jews would not be singled out for punishment. But Jews need to be exemplary, a beckon of light for others. And with G^d, there is no favoritism.

This is a condensed analysis that, therefore, needs a slow read.

Here are seven reasons why Jews, the apple of G^d’s eye, are cursed in the Torah twice (Leviticus 26:14-43 and Deuteronomy 11:29 and 27:15-26).

1. Not: If you suffer, it’s your punishment, so as a justification or rationalizing of the suffering in the world. Rather: If you’d sin, you could suffer. It’s a warning for deterrence.

2. From the curse we experience, we can distill which of the seven levels of violation in the world we committed (Leviticus 26:14-43). NB: It’s not a given that the one who suffers is the one who sinned because we Jews are all responsible for each other. The more you know or the more innocent you are, the more you are responsible for bringing humanity to a better place. You should have mended others’ moral deficit, including amongst Gentiles, I think. When the suffering is not ‘deserved’ or ‘fair,’ it is subtracted from any well-deserved punishment or when undeserving, is corrected by meting out more reward than acquired, often in the Afterlife, seems to me.

3. Naïve people (Jews are trained to be benign and peace-loving) need not fear that G^d’s Supervision failed, Heaven forbid be when bad things happen. It’s all foretold, and everything is under control.

4. All the misery will end well, we are told, subsequently (Leviticus 26:44-45), so we can and must stay optimistic. This will also train us to go for long-term goals rather than just actual instant gratification, the priority that’s the essence of Jewish Free Will.

5. Just as good parents of small children praise or agree at least ten times more than they forbid or disapprove, relative to all of the Torah, the curses, no matter how elaborate, are but a small section.

6. Some curses are not meted out for sinning but for being unhappy while obeying G^d’s Word (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). (We are allowed to laugh about us doing the Commandments happily to avoid pain.) They teach us that begrudged obedience does not suffice. Constant, intense happiness is required. That lofty goal is far more important than the negativity of having the curses spelled out. G^d is known to have us suffer the same way as we sin. If we sin by considering our holy obedience no bliss, He ensures our life is no fun. But you could also say that if you live depressed, you’ll be depressed. (Our outlook must enable Atheists to feel bad or have a possible, natural explanation that would help their understanding.) After the Holocaust, Ashkenazic suffering was mostly not chosen, so deserves compensation: the Independent State of Israel, after 50 years of modern Zionism.

7. With so much suffering in the world, never mind that 99% is self-inflicted by us or others, a Godly Guide to life would be unreal and ill-fit if it stayed sweet and nice. A sweet People must learn that in this world, some distress, even as bad as the Holocaust, is unavoidable but still part of the Program.

NB: No one, including Gentiles, has any right to hurt Jews because of these curses.

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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