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

The Torah’s Shocking Sacrifices

This portion of the week starts with the Temple Sacrefices; what would they have to do with the first word of it, Va-yikra?

Rashi tells us (Leviticus 1:1) that G-d Yiker, happens upon the prophet of the Gentiles (Numbers 23:4), but Yikra, spoke to Moses. Kuf Reish, kar, cold. G-d is warmer with His Jews. Alef added: better than without. Beit added (instead of Alef): even better communication: us bringing Him Korbanot, offerings.

Abraham says: stop sacrificing your children (Leviticus 18:21). As last part of his training to start heading the Jewish People, G-d asks him to sacrifice his only son (Genesis 22:1-11). Egyptians worshipped lambs and kids. Just before leaving Egypt, at the birth of the Jewish People, G-d asks us to sacrifice them (Exodus 12:3). We commit a terrible transgression, worshipping the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:19). At the opening of proper communications with G-d, He asks us first of all to sacrifice a bull (Leviticus 1:3). A sacrifice must shock.

I had dozens of good reasons to become a vegan, but my decision was sealed when I thought about the animal sacrifices in the Third Temple, may it be here soon. I for one am not looking forward to rivers of blood coming out of the Sanctuary. However, how could the Rabbis modify most of these offerings (Learn about them, see them in a 3D movie, repent) preventing the daily ritual slaughter of thousands of animals if people eat meat all day long every day resulting in thousands of times more dead animals? G-d should not be offered less than a tenth of a percent of what humans freely and happily consume?

Another point. We don’t have capital punishment anymore because for two thousand years, it doesn’t deter anymore. So maybe we can also not reinstall animal sin offerings because they do not shock anymore. Could it be that the only ones allowed to bring animal sacrifices will be vegans and vegetarians?

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. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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