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

Why I will never become a Christian

In my blogs, I frequently plead for Jews to stop imitating Christians and resume our supposed leading role in the area of morality. This must have led one of my faithful readers to comment publicly: “Mr. [V]an Zuiden, when people make so much of their worldview a response to and criticism of another group, I begin suspecting they actually wish they belonged to that group deep down in their hearts. I have seen multiple cases of people who could rant about Christians for years before, out of the blue, becoming Christians themselves.” I know the pheromone and I like to please my readers but there is only so far I will go.

Christianity as I See it

No, I’m not criticizing Christianity. It’s a wonderful religion that, like all real religions, aims to inspire its faithful to be moral, happy, and hopeful — wonderful for Gentiles. Like a peanut butter whole-wheat sandwich is a superb meal — but not for someone who just ate an Indonesian rice table.

A lot of criticism is possible of Christianity but that’s true of any lifestyle. It is the responsibility of their adherents to upgrade it, not of outsiders.

However, since Christianity borrowed a lot from Judaism, whereby some of the original message got distorted, I often inform Christians that they would do well to recheck what the Jewish message actually was and is.

How fitting that Jews received G^d’s Word not for our own glory only, but also to pass it on to all people (without trying to convert them). Learned Jews are waiting for Gentiles who very much want to learn from them.

Two more subjects allow me to criticize Christians.

Christianity has been a major instigator of hatred or disdain for Jews and mass murder of us. After the State of Israel turned out more than a fad and survived a shocking lack of support, even after WW II, many Christians now take pride to stand with the Jews and Israel, especially in the US. Yet, important sections of Christianity are still blatantly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel. I will regularly call upon Christians to clean up these blots of shame.

There are still Jews who converted to Christianity whereby the Churches make no attempt to return them to their true calling. And there are still Christians who try to convert Jews, often through cunning and guile. This attempt to finish Hitler’s work, to make the Jews disappear, should be an embarrassment to every honest Christian. I repeatedly call upon Christians to do the honorable things here. As a Jew, I must; as a friend, you should. And arrogance toward and proselytizing of the Jews can be disavowed, as the Anglican Church of Canada now shows.

Judaism as I See it

Why would I leave Orthodox Judaism? It fits me like a glove. As a Jew, I’m invited to implement the Bible (Jewish Law) so that it won’t be a dead letter. I’m invited to study it in-depth, together with the greatest moral and intellectual geniuses of millennia (the Oral Law: Mishnah, Talmud, Commentators, etc.). It is complex and rich and challenges me every moment of the day to do the almost impossible a little more, right now.

But I write regularly against rabbinic sexism and homophobia — how can I say that Judaism fits me like a glove? How can I pledge alliance to a system that is so oppressive? Well, it’s not Judaism that is wrong — it’s people. I credit our holy ancestors and Judaism and a whole when so many rabbis are meticulously honest — not the few who are liars and fakers. I tribute Judaism when Jews are deep thinkers and hard workers. And when Jews are not brave, bold or happy enough, that doesn’t tell us anything about Judaism but rather about the scars of centuries of anti-Semitism. The fight against sexism sprang from Judaism. The Sages and Rabbis never trashed homosexuals until 60 years ago. In its core, Judaism is the best of the best.

When I pray, I don’t just ‘give my heart to Jesus’ or ‘submit myself to G^d,’ like most Monotheist religions advocate. I have an ancient text to guide and teach me what to thank, ask and hope for. Prophets helped to create it. When I listen to the weekly Torah portion, G^d talks to me. And when I learn our Inheritance, We are in a live dialogue.

Don’t I want an easier life, to have a break? Don’t forget that I grew up secular. I had plenty of that if it was ever good. To reduce my life would give fewer challenges, fewer moral and intellectual accomplishments, less satisfaction, more boredom, and less direction. Would I need that?

You could say: Keep all you have and add loving Jesus. For me, that would add nothing useful. And it would betray my ancestors and contaminate my Judaism. The only thing I could long for is Jesus-followers for Jews.

So, I won’t become a Christian but you could become a trusted friend.

But now that we’re at it, you’re so critical of Jews and Israel. And you are so naive about the problems we face and so hyper-sensitive about the plight of others. Are you perhaps a Jew in the closet? Check your family tree. You could join us. We’re a critical but nice People. But we’re invited to use that to try perfect ourselves — not to attack each other. Shalom.

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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