Category: Science and Torah


Science and Halakhah

I think many discussions of the gemara about rice not producing chameitz head in the wrong direction. The definition of chameitz isn’t entirely scientific. After all, if you mix wheat flour with 100% apple juice, it also does not produce chameitz. (Ashkenazim have a minhag for healthy people to avoid “egg matzah“, but that’s a tangent I found too long...


Chazal’s Use of Science

The general tendency is not an assertion that the Torah is a source of scientific theory. Chazal simply understood the pesuqim as per then-contemporary science. And it is recorded in the gemara (except according to Rabbeinu Tam) that they changed their opinion when a new theory came along. Just as we today would with our contemporary science.


When Science and Torah Conflict

(Initial post: With thanks to R’ Eli Turkel for providing some of the sources and all of the motivation for this post. (Dec 21st: Significantly expanded to include sources I dug up for further discussion with R’ Zvi Lampel, who I thank as well.) Obviously (I hope), the scenario described in the subject line of this post can’t happen. There...


M-Theory and Creation

There is much todo in some circles about Stephen Hawking’s latest book, “The Grand Design”. Co-written by Leonard Mlodinow, but it’s Hawking’s name in science and sheer genius that gives the book its gravitas, not Moldonow’s explanatory abilities. Here’s one sample review from The Washington Post. A snippet: [They] have taken on that ultimate question in a somewhat more rigorous...


Tanakh and Allegory

Someone on scjm asked the following question: Mainly for those who think some of the tanach is parable Tanach parable or historical? How much is parable & how much is historical? all parable? parable up to exodus? parable to david & goliath? up to Samson & Delilah? Discovery of the lost scrolls? A somewhat remedial question, but one I think...


Different Approaches to Creation

[Modified Feb 6, 2005: References raised on an Avodah discussion added. [Modified Feb 5 2009: References to later essays added. -mi] I know of a number of approaches to evolution vs creation in Jewish thought. As far as I can tell, it seems that an insistence on the Torah giving literal history with it being roughly 5,769 years since ex...


Trends in Resolving Torah and Science

This is the nearest I plan to get to discussing L’affaire Slifkin on this blog. I’m not going to discuss issues dealt with by R’ Gil Student in his Hirhurim blog, or in any of the other Jewish blogs. My opinion is already better represented on line already than what I could produce. When I read R’ Shternbuch’s article I...


Rav Dessler’s Approach to Creation

(You might want to see also Different Approaches to Creation, a survey that just touches on a variety of opinions, as well as Divine Timelessness.) I think that in order to understand Rav Dessler’s position about the nature of time during ma’aseh bereishis one needs to start with MmE vol II pp 150-154, aptly titled “Yemei Bereishis veYemai Olam“. Comments...