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1
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0answers
24 views

Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
0
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0answers
34 views

Am I considered a Jew? [duplicate]

According to DNA testing, I am 11 percent Ashkenazim. Am I considered Jewish? Since I do not consider myself any particular religion, would I need to convert? I was raised a catholic. I do not ...
3
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0answers
50 views

Arvei Nahal - species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
2
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2answers
38 views

Why does the Talmud record the Rabbis' thoughts and theories about the science of natural phenomenon?

There are various areas in the Gemara where there is discussion about natural events, often appearing like a tangential discussion. Some examples are in Bechoros 7-8 or Pesachim 94. I understand that ...
1
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1answer
107 views

How might one reconcile a non-literal reading of the timespan of creation with literal 7th day Shabbat observance? [duplicate]

I am wondering, in the light of discussions regarding the possibility for non-literal readings of Bereishit, how we are to then understand a quite literal observation of Shabbat on the 7th day. To ...
3
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3answers
161 views

Absorption of Taste in Pot-Scientific explanation

Is there a scientific explanation for the concept of "blias issur" absorption of taste in pots. Like for example if since heat expands materials maybe the taste creeps in. (I'm not asking about ...
1
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2answers
89 views

Scientific explanation for Sotah water

Is there a scientific way to understand the effect that the Sotah water has on a Sotah? Relevant verses below (Bamidbar chapter 5): יז: וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן מַיִם קְדֹשִׁים, בִּכְלִי-חָרֶשׂ; ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Scaling Time to Reconcile Genesis with Science [duplicate]

Some scientists try to reconcile the biblical account of creation with the modern scientific view. see for example Gerald Shroeder's at http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html There he claims the ...
1
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4answers
141 views

Did the Torah Sages discuss evolution

Are there examples in chazal of the sages discussing the phenomena of micro-evolution (or macro), i.e. adaptive changes in creatures.
0
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3answers
85 views

Does the Torah 'know' about 'quantum mechanics' and 'DNA synthesis'?

There are many articles and books available on the interplay between science and Judaism. Very often they come in the form of a halachic discussion of applying science to be able to resolve a halachic ...
0
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2answers
87 views

Why is the big bang considered a proof for Jewish tradition

From the little I understand of the big bang It states that the universe was in a very high density state and then expanded. This is commonly used as a proof that the world had a beginning and thus ...
4
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2answers
115 views

How did the water climb so high?

The Gemara in Sota 34 says וכיון שניטבלו רגלי כהנים במים חזרו המים לאחוריהם שנאמר וכבוא נושאי הארון עד הירדן וגו' ויעמדו המים היורדים מלמעלה קמו נד אחד וכמה גובהן של מים שנים עשר מיל על שנים עשר ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Vegan tekheileth

Does the oral tradition that identifies the hilazon as the source of tekheles necessarily indicate that one could not create the indigo-colored wool by other means? The gemara certainly indicates that ...
5
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1answer
61 views

Is there any support for the claim that tekhelet and argaman could be derived from the same creature?

Is there any indication in Chazal (or at least in other ancient literature) that tekhelet and argaman could be derived from the same creature (as currently proposed by the Tekhelet Institute)?
1
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1answer
94 views

The luxury of murex trunculus indigo

The Tekhelet Institute acknowledges that murex trunculus indigo is molecularly equivalent to plant-based indigo that was available in the ancient world for far cheaper (kala ilan). They reason that ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Is chimutz a wholly physical phenomenon?

The gemara seems to imply that chametz is not a concern with flour mixed with fruit juice. Indeed, amongst other effects, sugars (which are present in fruit juice) slow gluten development. However, ...
0
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2answers
86 views

is one an apikores for believing only in Darwin's evolution as a possibility? [duplicate]

Given that the torah's account of creation clearly seems to state that man was created independently from the animals, and likewise, the animals, plants, were created from the ground, would someone ...
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1answer
85 views

What's the earliest “acknowledgement” of Heliocentrism in Judaism? [closed]

The English Wikipedia says that Heliocentrism was "official" in Judaism only by the 20th century: In later periods there were no explicit attacks on heliocentrism, although some Rabbis were not ...
2
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1answer
96 views

In vitro meat — further questions

Related to this question: Does artificial meat grown in a petri dish have the halachic status of meat? Assuming that in vitro meat becomes widespread and assuming that it would be hechshered per the ...
6
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0answers
130 views

Dilemma for Jewish Scientists

A member of my shul, scientist who was on the short-list to win a Nobel a couple of years ago, made an interesting point about his own ethical issue. As a scientist involved in biology, ...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

Can a person (or cat) be both alive and dead at the same time? (Schrödinger's paradox)

Related: Schrödinger's cat and yibbum That question assumes that Schrödinger's paradox is possible, and that someone can be both dead and alive at the same time. So, is that actually true ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Why did God make such a vast, expansive universe? [duplicate]

The title pretty much says it all — but it certainly seems unnecessary and plays very well into the theories of people such as Richard Dawkins. How are we best to respond to this challenge of theirs?
6
votes
1answer
64 views

Medicinal etc. Sections of Talmud

Every now and then, then Gemara will go off on a tangent and discuss medical practices (such as towards the end of Gittin and scattered throughout maseches shabbos) or practical safety advice ...
4
votes
4answers
222 views

Lubavitch and Geocentricism

I read here in an article by Rabbi Gil Student that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe zy"a believed in the geocentric model despite the modern scientific evidence to the contrary. What is the source for this ...
1
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2answers
78 views

Torah and Non-Believers, a/k/a, Scientists and Atheists

Is there evidence in the Torah of people who did not believe in Hashem or any other god(s)? I am specifically inquiring of those who believed in what today would be called science or ...
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votes
1answer
72 views

Can we give importance to a person's contributions to one field and ignore those to another? [closed]

If an individual, such as a sage or commentator, does or supports something that's completely inaccurate in one field of study of which he claims to have knowledge, does it make sense to give much ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Genetically Breeding a Parah Aduma [duplicate]

Can genetic breeding make cows red? If so would it be acceptable as a Parah Aduma?
3
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2answers
100 views

Biologically, what are sirchos?

Biologically, what are Sirchos? Are they a Tumor?
6
votes
3answers
160 views

Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
5
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2answers
184 views

How to determine what a “normal wind” would do to a sukka

What a "normal wind" ("ruach metzuya") would do affects various laws of sukka construction. For example, in this guide from the Star-K to using sechach mats, they require that sechach-eligible ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Does the Torah ever allude to Earth being a spherical celestial body in space?

Taken at face value, the instances in which the Heavens and Earth are mentioned in the Torah, it is the Heavens above and Earth below. From what I gather, many secular scholars take from this that the ...
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votes
3answers
200 views

If water can be turned into blood, do Jews believe in modern science?

Exodus 7:20 states that in a few seconds the water in the Nile was turned into blood. Modern science says that this is almost impossible based on how it was described in the torah. No chemicals were ...
6
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0answers
123 views

Can dew really make an eggshell fly?

In פרשת בשלח 16:14, it says -- The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare [substance] as fine as frost on the ground. On that verse, Rashi says ...
3
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0answers
59 views

How does meshane hateva work?

When I asked my teacher about why some physical descriptions in the bible or medical practices in the talmud seem impossible/wrong today he told me that the physical nature of the world changed, which ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Schrödinger's cat and yibbum

Over Shabbos, the Shalosh Seudos discussion turned to the Monty Hall problem, which confused a lot of people [and which (#Humblebrag) I was able to clear up for them in under 30 seconds ;)]. Then, ...
2
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0answers
53 views

Why do we have an appendix according to Torah sources?

Is there any significance in Torah literature, attributed to the appendix and its function in the body?
4
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2answers
135 views

Shabbat with time dilation in space

I know there is some discussion in space/planets.. How would you keep shabbos in space? The Rabbi I asked this shabbat pretty much said the same thing; and you go by Jerusalem time when in doubt. ...
0
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0answers
95 views

Are Chazal more reliable than other Contemporary Sources (or Modern Historians)?

Are Chazal (and traditional sources) considered preferable or more reliable than external (contemporaneous) or academic sources for non Jewish Tradition issues? For example, this question requests ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Who suggests that Creation Ex nihilo was only a small point and light?

If this is a simple minded question, please forgive me, but I'm not Jewish and so most of my information is via naive study and second hand. I've been told by a Jewish friend in my physics class ...
4
votes
3answers
90 views

Why did God say יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם, it should happen by itself naturally

In Bereishis 1:9 it says וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה , And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one ...
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votes
2answers
124 views

Would whole brain emulation be compatible with Judaism?

Many people theorize that in principle, the brain could be uploaded to a computer which would then contain the person's consciousness. Would a successful demonstration of this be compatible with ...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

Is the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly mentioned anywhere in Rabbinic literature?

My late great grandfather was a torah scholar, but with all his learning, he never knew that a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. He was amazed when someone told him about the common ...
4
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1answer
330 views

Zohar's knowledge about Earth's shape

I recently heard from a rabbi that people (in the Zohar's view) were standing on the Earth's sphere both above and below, and while it was day for some, it was night for others and vice versa. If its ...
12
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1answer
2k views

Does a finding of Jewish blood in a DNA test make one Jewish?

I had a DNA test done and the results say that my DNA is group with Sephardic Jews. My last name is Steen and I have always heard that we were of Dutch ancestry and I do genealogy and have not found ...
9
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5answers
563 views

Can halacha change based on scientific research?

Shabbat 39a says: "With regard to heating food in the sun itself, everyone agreed that one is permitted to place food in the sun to heat it, as it is certainly neither fire nor a typical form of ...
12
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5answers
872 views

How to reconcile Biblical Flood story vs science and history?

Genesis spends a good deal of time -- Chapters 6 through 11 -- discussing the "mabul mayim", a flood that killed all humanity outside the ark. Here is what the Torah's text says about the universality ...
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0answers
66 views

How do we define the word 'עולם'?

In the standard beracha 'formula' we use the phrase 'מלך העולם'. But what does the word עולם refer to in this context: Earth/world or universe? It may seem obvious that מלך העולם is referring to ...
2
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0answers
30 views

What type of mitzvah, if any, is a donation to medical research?

If I give money to a charity that finances medical research, I think I'm doing a mitzvah, but of what sort? Is this tzedakah when I'm not clothing or feeding the poor? Is it saving a life when there ...
5
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1answer
108 views

Can you experiment on animals?

May a person perform or otherwise participate in experiments on live animals which will cause the animals pain? I would assume this is forbidden under tzaar baalei chayim. But perhaps there is a heter ...
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2answers
723 views

In light of modern science, why is bee honey still kosher?

My understanding of why bee honey is kosher is because the talmud says that the honey is not a by-product of the bees. They simply store the nectar in their body to transfer it and then expel it, ...