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

Temple Mount Wall drops boulder hurting no one because?

A bolder hurtling down inches away from one person praying in a for the rest empty Reform Temple Mount Wall prayer area raises a lot of questions.

Was this “just” a natural occurrence? Things happen. Skeptics (afraid to have to acknowledge G^d’s Hand and Presence) can so maintain their denial of the metaphysical. Rabbi Lopes Cardozo explains that G^d’s Assistance is so clear in Israel that He needs to perform daily miracles to help the non-religious to stay outside of a religious way of thinking.

Or was this a sign of Divine anger? Then, was it a condemnation of the multi-gender Kotel section? Or was it anger that the “Ezrat Yisrael” section is still not built? Or was it – the other way around – Heavenly compassion that no one got hurt? At regular times, it has recently been very crowded there – with ultra-Orthodox worshippers. The Reform, Conservative and non-religious don’t daily show up for prayers there.

In fact, one can see this averted disaster as Heavenly upset about the disgrace of withholding children to single men and gay couples; or of the demonstrations against this bigotry. To add to the earthquakes. To signal that Redemption is close and we’d better shape up. Or as reward for the crowd yesterday at the main Kotel Plazza singing “we believe in the coming of the Redeemer, even if he stalls.”

It seems that one can take it any way one wants. Except: declaring it a simple coincidence is no winner. Even the Six-Day War has been “explained” (made plain) to remove any compulsion to take this as supernatural. That’s nice and sweet, but it’s kind of contrived. Especially as miracles systematically surround the survival of the Jewish People.

Another – brilliant – way to neutralize the notion of this being a miracle is by saying that although this occurrence is unheard of, it’s actually nothing special, can happen any time to the whole of the Wall, and people should stay away from it altogether. We’re looking forward to the authorities putting signs on the Wall with “danger of life” (which is the funny way in which Hebrew and English speaker say: danger to life, danger of death).

In the question if one needs to inspect meticulously the situation of the Wall or of our soul, I would like to suggest: both.

In any case, one can only feel shock when one sees in a security camera’s footage the enormous stone weighing about 100 kilograms from the Retaining Wall of the Temple Mount jumping out and crashing 10 meters lower just steps away from the only praying lady there. The stone fell sideways (because of the tension it was under), it popped out. If it would have popped out in the other direction, it would’ve hit the lady.

The emotional take of a disaster narrowly averted is to call it a miracle.

Rabbi Cardozo explains that a miracle is not something that upsets the laws of nature but rather something natural, unusual and favorable that strikes as extremely good luck because of its timing (and place).

The Torah explains the Splitting of the Sea of Reeds coming after the wind blowing all night. Yet, no one can deny that a sea splitting is rare and doing that just as the Jews need an escape is outright miraculous.

The rabbis explain that the responsible thing to do when people get away miraculously or when one hears of a disaster is to check one’s moral state. Not to soul search, contemplate if we should start improving, is like callously (and arrogantly) rejecting a warning that could be Divine. Such an arrogance is possibly graver than some agnosticism. (Since one cannot disprove G^d, people who go by logic must be either believers or agnostics.)

The timing of this bolder coming apart from the Wall in which it was lodged for literally thousands of years is curious enough. Miraculously, it fell in an area reserved for egalitarian services which was almost empty. Was the only woman who was close by, extra-warned by the Almighty or was she extra-honored in personally witnessing this warning to the Jewish People? For reasons unknown to me, she stood just outside the area fenced off and equalized for prayer. If she had stood inside the area she would not have survived. She owes us all a story.

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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