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

Today is the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Today, April 24, is the anniversary and commemoration of the start of the Armenian Genocide of 1015 by the Turks.

After the worst genocide in the Western world (this could never have happened in Asia, that opened it’s doors to the small numbers of Jews who by fate or awareness did not hope for a Western country friendly to Jews fleeing for their lives), the Holocaust, Jews should be the first to be interested in keeping that gruesome piece of history in collective memory. But there is more.

Reportedly, when some of Hitler’s friends objected to his plan to exterminate the Jews, that he would never get away with that, he asked rhetorically: Who today talks about the Armenian Genocide?

Would that have been challenged, the Holocaust might never have happened!

***

At a smaller scale, this is already in the Torah, as our Sages point out (Sayings of the Fathers 5:25).

Two sons of Aharon the High Priest died on the festive and spectacular day the Tabernacle was inaugurated (Leviticus 10:2). Our Commentators fall over each other explaining what their sins must have been. But, with all due respect, where does it say that death must always be a punishment? The Torah doesn’t indicate any sin in them. In fact, their uncle, Moses, says to their grief-stricken father (ibid 10:3) that he knew that G-d would sacrifice someone on that day to instill respect and prevent levity in the Tent of Meeting. He assumed it would be him or his brother, but now he understood that these two youngsters were more holy!

Moses could have said to G-d: Its [Torah’s] ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace (Proverbs 3:17) – is there no other way to install respect? But he couldn’t, because we had thrown away that opportunity. Where-so?

We read Leviticus 10 close to Exodus 14:1-5, which is read on the Seventh Day of Passover. There G-d explains that He needs the Jews to return to the seaside so that He can trap and drown Pharaoh and his soldiers to gain the respect of Egypt. The last words in that passage are “And so they did.” – which I believe to be the Torah code for saying: At first there was objection but in the end, they agreed.

When G-d slew the mightiest, Egypt would give Him respect. When the holiest of the Jews would die, Jews would respect Him. In both places, it’s the same verb in Hebrew.

We should have said: No way, and persisted. Like Abraham pleaded for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-32).

After we failed to protest Gentiles dying for G-d’s honor, we had no leg to stand on to demur this procedure regarding ourselves.

After we failed to protest genocide in Europe, we had dis-empowered ourselves to demur this atrocity regarding ourselves. We should lead humanity in protesting darkness, as tells us Isaiah.

This does not exonerate Turkey or Nazi-Germany. It also leaves untouched that the Holocaust, more than a Jewish tragedy, was a colossal moral failure of the Gentile world. We don’t blame the victim. But it does explain why Jews became vulnerable to genocide.

***

I consider it a deliberate distraction that especially this morning my Jerusalem paper carried a long Reuters’ report on present political unrest in Armenia of 11 days, without a word on this unique day.

Today, I am burning a 24-hour candle in memory of the Armenians massacred.

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. * 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
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