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

What regular Israelis can do to help our war of survival, soldiers, and wounded

The frontline may be too far, or we may lack weapons, but we all can help

I want to focus on immaterial things we can all do.

Keep the Unity

Too many thought (erroneously) that we were divided. That’s better now.

Don’t hate the enemy too much—it can flip into hating Jews. Love Jews.

Think and Speak Well About All Jews

Interrupt maligning Jews so often that when you say something degrading, everyone around you will stop you.

If you’re not a judge or historian after the war, why judge anyone? Does it help you to assign blame and guilt? It’s so destructive for brotherhood.

Blame, if you must, the perpetrators (terrorists) or G^d.

When we get to elect new leaders, vote for those you feel good about and stay positive. Don’t talk about the others.

Take an example from our typical funerals. We bestow gratefulness and honor on the murdered and talk about our heartache but are not angry.

Be Happy and Friendly

Worrying doesn’t help. And if you want to do it anyway, as a hobby or addiction or so, why not do it in your free time, in private, where you don’t bother others with it? Especially, don’t burden your kids with your pain!

Prepare for the worst, and pray for the best. After you have prepared yourself for the worst-case scenario, which hopefully will never happen, be a source of lightheartedness (bordering silliness), free attention, generosity, energy, positivity, joy, optimism, and calmness. Living and living well is the best ‘revenge.’

So many people are down or angry, desperate or hopeless. Return some light to their eyes. Sing with them. Dance with them. Smile at them.

Cry, Pray, And Protect Yourself

There’s really no substitute for shedding tears. Most of them are long overdue anyway.

There is so much we can do instead of crying: distraction, including yoga, working like crazy, helping others, making drama or blaming others, sleeping too much or too little, doing drugs, overeating, being depressed, non-stop talking, obsessive listening to/watching the news, etc.

Yet, everything goes better when you cry the tears you need to cry.

By praying, I don’t mean rattling off Hebrew texts. I mean pouring out your heart.

But prayer is not only beseeching the P^wers That Be. It’s also connecting yourself to It, to our Peoplehood, and our history of survival and values.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from looking at stills and clips that really will hurt you. Unless you are from the International Court of Justice to track down war criminals, don’t damage your mental health. You can read about what happened instead of listening to stressful voices. You may read what survivors said. You can listen to survivors, but stop when some drama starts (How can I go on living?). It’s understandable pain, but unless you’re their relative, friend, or therapist, you shouldn’t hurt your soul by it.

Don’t listen to the people who equate the pogrom with the Antisemitic outrage about Israel defending itself ethically. Unless you are a journalist or a blogger who can correct the false moral equivalence, switch it off.

Empathy and Generosity

We all have needs. But we all have hands, not just to receive or take (grab). They can also give and drop. We all have mouths but twice as many ears. When everyone gives, no one will be left empty-handed.

Don’t forget your own needs, though. When oxygen levels fall, first put on your own mask. But after that, help others. Do it for your sake—so you may look back and be pleased with what you did.

Upon a rocket alarm, go to the shelter. Don’t say you trust in G^d, Fate, or Destiny. You look left and right before crossing the street, no? Not because of the war, make/update your Last Will. Don’t fight with anyone. Peace is a valuable asset, in our heads, homes, families, communities, and nation.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. 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. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 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 too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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. 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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