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

The UK Chief Rabbi composed a blessing for outstanding women — to be improved

On the Rejoicing of the Law Festival, several outstanding community members are honored with being called up to the Torah at the festive reading of the end and the beginning of the holy scroll – if they are men. They are read long blessings for the new year and beyond.

Now, the Chief Rabbi of the UK has written a counter-blessing for women a Jewish community would like to honor likewise. It reportedly speaks of “outstanding contribution” and “may You bless her and all her family, and may she continue to perform outstanding deeds before You with virtue and grace. May You send blessing and success for all her future endeavors.”

This is not a change that should be dismissed as unimportant. It comes from a religious community where the rabbis almost unanimously fainted and then erupted in public violent outbursts of profanities when recently, a leading rabbi dared to say that heterosexual men could learn a whole lot from homosexual men in terms of being warm with each other.

And still, I think the text is disappointing. It could equally be said for men one wants to honor and bless. So, let me try my hand at something more supportive. It should say things especially nourishing to women.

The One Who blesses Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, the One Who spoke through Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Channah, Abigail, Chuldah, and Esther, please maintain and bless … daughter of …, (together with her life partner …,) and with everyone she teaches and raises up, to a successful and fulfilling, long and healthy, and powerful life with closeness to her heart’s desire to the different degrees appropriate with each person including all other women; a life in which her unique voice is always heard and heeded, just like she is always welcoming what others think and say; in which she will model for all girls, women, herself, all Jews, and all people, how to lead as a woman; in which, while generously giving support to everyone and everything as she chooses, she never forgets to put her own needs and priorities first; a life in which she may implement role models from all women and men; a life in which she will find support flocking to her and all women, for their will and for protection against all evil; in which she elegantly will strike a balance between all aspects of a full Jewish life; in which she will do all women, people, and Jews honor and in which she’ll co-create and find love and peace.

Further improvements are welcome.

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 vegan for 8 years now. 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 lehavdiel 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, GLBTQAI, 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 quit 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 500st 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 send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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