Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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Urgent call to support Rabbi Cardozo’s Academy

Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has started a crowdfunding campaign to continue his protest and opposition against corrupted uninspired backward Orthodox Judaism. This link helps you to donate. A group of donors has promised to double any gift received before December 26th. One of those gifts can be yours!

Crowdfunding can handle extremely small amounts and extremely large amounts and everything in-between. Give whatever the spirit moves you to give. Here is a list of the things that I remember that Rabbi Cardozo delivers:

  • He is a humble approachable man, who talks with anyone concerned about missed chances or disappointments about Judaism. He knows what people think because they don’t need to be cautious what to tell him.
  • He is the enfant terrible who says exactly what needs to change in Orthodox Judaism. In traditional circles, they are a bit scared of him (or even frantic) because they know that he knows what he is talking about and his claims can’t be dismissed out-of-hand. Recently, he had a few very apt remarks about the Dweck affair.
  • He educates the English-speaking Jewish public (and some Gentiles) about the beauty, meaning and potential of authentic Judaism and how to rescue those qualities from complacency and laziness. (Get his free weekly Thoughts To Ponder!) This is frequently through the Internet but often too at lectures and forums in Israel, all over the Americas, in the UK and the Netherlands, in Jewish communities and at Limmud.
  • He points out possibilities to have Judaism solve life’s problems instead of just creating them. Some come from stellar Sephardic rabbis who are often unknown to or ignored by Ashkenazic rabbis.
  • He attracts and embraces dozens of serious Jewish teachers who associate themselves with the David Cardozo (named after his father) Academy. He is not only well-connected but also well-read in the subject of alternative Orthodox Judaism.
  • He is a man with the finest character traits around: honest, humble, friendly, patient, generous, proud, tolerant, refined, caring, hard-working, brave and witty, to name a number of them. On top of that, he’s very knowledgeable and brilliant.
  • He leads a Think Tank whose members he stimulates to think independently and educates to think critically and he uses them as a sounding board. He comes up with new approaches all the time.
  • A rabbi and philosopher by training, he writes and speaks accessibly for scholars and laypersons alike. Behind his every word and simple phrases, often flowery but never to hide a lack of content, lies often a wealth of deep thought and understanding.
  • He is especially alert about where Orthodox Judaism needs to think anew about the Jewish State, women and modernity. Further, he often points out that rabbis should be more open-minded, look around more, allow for more spirituality and meaning and be less fixated on Jewish Law and adherence.
  • He is the Orthodox rabbi who wants deregulation because over-regulation has killed the spirit and flexibility of Judaism. He sees that Judaism always was revolutionary and trail-blazing while many have now reduced it to soothing conservative irrelevance.
  • He poses the questions stale dosed-off book-quoting unthinking Judaism can’t answer. His Judaism returns to art of asking questions – the basis of Talmud and Haggadah – instead of accumulating answers that inspire no one.
  • He warns that Jewish learning nowadays has often exchanged contemplation, bold thinking, searching for meaning, depth, quality and wonderment, enjoying the intellectual struggle and tolerating the uncertainty for recycling, collecting and memorizing set snap easy shallow (and sometimes wrong) answers, embalming the great revolutionary ideas of old and misidentifying them as information to be mastered and not pondered and regarding any novel thought as apostasy and heresy, maintaining a pretense of vitality at best. He has stressed often that Abraham’s humanism comes before Moses’ legality and that we must first master the basics of being humane and wise before we can build Jewish richness and holiness on top of it.
  • He wants to revitalize Judaism. Presently, unprecedented numbers return to religious observance but even more (young) people walk out on it – often the brightest and those most seeking. He wants the amending of Jewish Law to return to being creative, an art and to incorporate and base itself on the mysteries of life and the spirit and meaning of the Commandments – which doesn’t always mean striving for leeways and shortcuts.
  • He wants Judaism to return to serving G-d instead of worshipping Jewish Law. He stresses that prayer should be transformative – of us and not just traditional exercises. (I would even say: Why is Jewish prayer not always like THIS?!) He also disputes that G-d needs to behave nicely in accordance to our ideas.
  • He thinks that Atheist or Reform answers are too superficial for Orthodoxy, but he does want close cooperation with other Jewish and non-Jewish streams, including Hinduism.
  • He wants Judaism to lose its defensive Diaspora mentality. It must engage with the Jewish State and the problems of modernity. It should return to being relevant and able to inspire, guide and lead scientists, philosophers and politicians, instead of just defending itself against them to stay barely alive.
  • He is abhorred about how insensitive and backward Orthodox rabbis often treat (or ignore) women, the issues of a get, female rabbis, homosexuals, (mass) conversions, intermarriage, etc. More than the teacher, he is the prophet who warns that important things are stagnating or not going in the right direction. He’s a brave unafraid (the Ban on Spinoza can be lifted) uncompromising fighter for what is true and valuable, terrifying those who are fake or superficial.
  • He has visions for a Jewish Democratic State rather than attacking democracy and about the importance of the separation between Synagogue and State. We suggest to do away with the Chief Rabbis and Shmitta and more honor the soldiers. His voice makes many people happy and relieved and needs amplifying.
  • He cares more than he likes. The greatest wrongs in the world are often not people who act wrongly but rather, many more people being apathetic, indifferent and unaware. He is the shofar trying to wake up, motivate and engage enough people so that change can happen.
  • He has ambitious plans to speed up the wider dissemination of his teachings (Hebrew translations, podcast, video, public Think Tank meetings) and that all costs money. Be part of this movement. Something you can speak about with pride in a couple of decades.

If you love Judaism but Judaism doesn’t seem to love you, he’s your man!

What a pleasure to support someone generous and honest. Do it today.

All donations are tax deductible in Israel, the US and the Netherlands.

We read enough of what is wrong in the world. We need to connect us to people who do something about it. Look no further. Cardozo does it.

Full disclosure: Rabbi Cardozo and I are friends for many years already.
The above text is solely mine and my responsibility.

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: * 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: * 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 (, 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:
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