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

Taking and sexuality

This week’s Torah portion begins with the words: And then, Korach took. It doesn’t say what he took. Rashi explains that it means he placated others.

It conveys too that Korach was a taker. And Rabbi Dessler explains that all of Judaism only has one goal, to transform a baby who knows to receive into a grownup who knows how to give, emulating G^d Who only gives.

We don’t need to be altruists to focus on giving. It’s such a delight to have people around for us to love. Even more so when we feel fit lovers. We’re at our best when we know how to sense needs and supply what is needed.

Many of us heard the expression that life and relationships are a matter of ‘give and take.’ That is totally untrue. It should be: give and receive.

If you want to be in a happy relationship, both partners should mainly concern themselves with giving. (Be a giver and marry a giver.) When both people give, everyone is satisfied and happy. When both people constantly try to get what they want/need, everyone is unfulfilled forever. There’s no end to needs. But, when both people are geared toward giving, the cups are overflowing. (Only one giving does not work. It depletes the giver, in the end, it builds resentment, and the taker will keep demanding more.)

It is true that people in a sexual relationship should be seriously attracted to each other. But what that means is often totally exaggerated. Not only size doesn’t matter, also shape won’t. One may need to understand what someone feels who’s very thin or fat, very tall or very short compared to oneself, someone who is half-paralyzed or has triggers you want to avoid.

But, in a successful relationship, it doesn’t matter what your partner does to you as much as it matters what you can do for your partner. And feet, lips, breasts, a penis, etc. all work the same, whether small or larger. When we touch to make another happy, any of our hang-ups become irrelevant.

Ideally, people should first enjoy being emotionally close. Instead of both trying to talk, both try to listen. Works so much better. Then, physically close. And the next step in being sexual with each other should be no different from all of the relationship: mutual giving. When we are too concerned with receiving enough, we end up exhausting our partner unless it’s someone unwilling to give anyway. Consider marrying a giver. (Empathy can be learned. But it’s much harder to unlearn selfishness and become a continuous source of generosity, appreciation, and respect.)

Make it so that your sexuality answers to the highest standards that you have already for the unromantic parts of your life.

None of the above should be used to make others or oneself unhappy.

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. * 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. * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1550 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: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. * 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. * 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 (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), 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.
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