Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The original sin, them, and the cause for the severity of the pandemic

Rabbi Emanuel Quint OBM once told me when we were discussing Free Will: the Original Sin was not that they ate from the forbidden fruit. We all sometimes eat something that maybe we shouldn’t have eaten. No, the terrible first sin was that Adam blamed Eve, and Eve the snake.

“Them,” my father would say. Rabbi Vorst of Amsterdam points out (pun intended) that when we point a finger, easily we are pointing three fingers at ourselves and one at Heaven. Watch out for pointing fingers.

When dealing with (or denying) the coronavirus pandemic in Israel, many have pointed fingers. The secular at the religious. And back. Arabs at the Jews. And the Left the Right. And back. And everyone at the government.

After I wrote the above, I read that Bennett agrees with me. Good for him!

The truth is that only the public causes the infection to spread. I don’t say that to accuse anyone. I say it to help us stop accusing everyone. The first person singular and yourself are the only ones who can stop it.

In the beginning, it was like the beginning of the AIDS-virus. No one knew. But the first victims taught us. We now know how to protect ourselves.

Religious Jews learn from kindergarten, if not earlier, that Judaism is to help us live and survive and never to die by (rare exceptions don’t apply here), or kill by, or let someone else die. It would be inconceivable that they’d defy health experts and go pray in close encounters with many others. Inconceivable doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Some extremists (extreme left and right) glorify dying for the revolution, but most people value life too much to opt for martyrdom. Yet, we see the well-to-do (car owners) line up to self-sacrifice. Ludicrous doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Our Sages teach that no one would sin unless a mood of folly grabs him. If one would think, for a moment, one wouldn’t. People don’t sin for being intrinsically evil. On the other hand, they warn us against hatred, and especially (baseless) hatred against one’s fellow Jew. People can act at their stupidest when in the middle of an anger attack. And much of the local press (No, Netanyahu: not all of the press) and many politicians have been sowing hatred against the government with gusto and persistently.

And if one would at least hope that, through evolution, through natural selection, this stupid behavior would enlarge the ability to think straight among the survivors, forget it. Maybe 20% of those defying health regulations will get infected. Of them, 1% would die. That means that 99.8% will live. That will not improve our collective smartness.May we stop blaming, shaming, and hating, get to unity and even peace between us, and so, all merit a good and sweet year for years to come.

I wish/bless everyone with willpower and an easier life, with hope and energy, with joy and light, with closeness and confidence, with the feeling to belong and to be excellent as you are, with feeling your beauty and with sex exactly when you need it, with plenty and satisfaction, with love to give and love to receive in abundance, with giggles and nice food, and with shalom in your head and around you, for the whole new year. May we hear and see good news, and words and deeds of love, truth, and peace!

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. 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 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. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), 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), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating 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. * 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. 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 a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
Related Topics
Related Posts