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

Why fine single-parent and same-sex families normally are balanced for parenting

Many meat-eaters, when they hear I’m vegan, ask me in astonishment: “But what then do you eat?” That is because they imagine their own diet without animal produce, and indeed: What would be left? A token salad? To make fun of the question, I sometimes answer: “Lettuce, only lettuce. But on Shabbat and Festivals also a carrot.”

Then I tell them that I eat: All roots (like potatoes, carrots, Jerusalem artichoke), all veggies (so many!), grains (so many, and their flour and their cooked or baked produce, pasta), legumes (including peanuts), nuts, fruits, and sea wheat. It turns out that the variety of food that vegans (and vegetarians) eat, by far, exceeds what omnivores consume.

Same thing with single-parent and same-sex parenting.

Surely, it is not good for children to grow up only among men or only among women. Those who claim there’s no basic important difference between the sexes deny the reality that the vast majority of us would not want a partner of either gender. There is a difference between (and importance each of) mothering and fathering. Kids would be best served to have both. Not because all fathers are such, and all mothers are the opposite. But still (call me old-fashioned), there is a difference.

Yet, single-parent and same-sex parents are not as cut-off as most heterosexual couples. Many of the latter raise their brood in isolation from others. And, often, they can be heard saying (when you show any interest in ‘their’ kids): “This is my kid.” This isolation and possessiveness (and an all-suffocating normalcy norm) make that the colorful lifestyle of non-normative families is generally much richer, with always both sexes on deck. When I was raising children alone, I always consulted my rabbi and a female psychologist. Often mothers/fathers of the parent(s) step in, or close friends of both genders help with the parenting. Everywhere, they’ll see heterosexual parents, so they know there are options.

BTW: A similar confusion sits on many Monotheists condemning homosexuality. They imagine themselves having same-sex sex and say: That’s horrible, unnatural. They might be very right — for themselves!

However, for most people who identify as Gay, an other-sex relationship would be an abomination and go against (their) nature.

Empathy is important to understand, value, and love people different from us and to live in peace with them. But sensitivity with those who are unlike us will also help us not to misjudge and needlessly condemn.

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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