The tenacious survival of the Jewish people is miraculous.
A Jewish miracle doesn’t mean something physically impossible. It means something good is strikingly exceptional in occurrence or timing.
This tiny group of Hebrews influenced the whole of Western civilization, laying the groundwork for billions of Monotheists around the world to believe in One G^d, virtue and vice, Reward and Punishment, this world and redemption, and the next world and reward, etc.
When we influence others, others influence us. Jews should have totally assimilated by now into the Gentile world, especially after we lost our Land and went into the dispersion of the Diaspora. But we’re still here. How?
No doubt, Jewish Law safeguarding the ban on mixed marriages helped.
But, what helped us feel like G^d’s Firstborn while being downtrodden? Impoverished, powerless, persecuted, and massacred, we did not give up, give in, give over, and disappear. We kept our trust in His Presence and Supervision and in His Goodness and Salvation despite it all. How?
I would like to suggest that the Curses all over the Torah (Genesis 3:16ff, Leviticus 26:14ff, Deuteronomy 11:26, 29, 27:15ff) have much to do with it. Hebrew Scripture does promise us a rose garden (Blessings—Leviticus 26:3ff, Deuteronomy 11:26, 29, 28:1ff, Joshua 8:33), but not at all times. Terrible things may befall us. Some say they have all happened by now. The Torah tells us that it’s not the cosmos going berserk. It’s all part of the Plan, with a Happy Ending. Even when you only see darkness, there’s Eternal Light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there. It does get better.
Better even, we are told that if we shape up, the disasters may not happen (we have a say); and that the disasters can motivate us to shape up.
Had we just been promised: “Be good, and you’ll have good,” we could never have dealt with so much adversary. But our mottos became: When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and: All that ends well is well.
But, there is more.
Safety to All Jews
Not that the assaults didn’t hurt us. One of our common scars is getting somber about humankind. Instead of becoming specialists in how to teach Gentiles to respect, love, and protect us, we turned to prayer only and just said to ourselves: this is inevitable. If they can’t kill us with weapons, they’ll try it while sweet-talking, but being loathed will be our lot. Not so!
Jews being safe is not too much to ask. It’s just right. Our birthright.
It won’t cost anyone anything. It will make all people safer. Read on.
If we don’t expect the Gentiles to relate to us appropriately, how are they supposed to figure out what to do? (Some have, but not enough of them.)
We have given the world One G^d, the Sciences studying the Uni-verse, the fundamental equality underlying Democracy and Equality before the Law, Modernity, and Ancient Eternal Wisdom. It’s not too much to expect from us to teach all of humanity respect, love, and protection for the Jews.
We don’t need to be passive, powerless victims here. We haven’t applied our genius and diligence to this; neither did Gentiles. Let’s change that.
But, of course, we must listen to our Sages and Tradition telling us that Jew-hatred reflects a lack of unity and peace between Jews. To huddle in one country might be a good step. It would be a mistake only to try to improve Jewish-Gentile relationships. That’s been tried and always ends in assimilation. If we infight as Jews, we can expect genocide from outside.
Yet, we can ask our best Allies to help us against the Jewish divisiveness, the Jewish attacks on our own leaders, the hypercriticalness, the lack of calm and patience, and other traumata from having been victimized. But, we should not blame the victim, so not criticize us for being so critical.
We excelled in and became world champion collective survival. Now, Jews must be world champions in creating safety for us. Both paths are needed:
- Building Jewish unity, assisted by Allies.
- Coaching Allies to stand by us, assisted by Jews.
With this, like everything we ever did, we’ll not just improve our lives but the lives of all humans. When Jews are safe, everyone will be safer. If only because when we feel good, we will be even better Allies to everyone else.
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. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 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. *
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 (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. *
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: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1