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5
votes
3answers
283 views

Would time travel be assur/mutar?

Inspired by this question which the author states is not a question of issur/heter. Assuming time travel is possible (to the future or past) is there any reason it should be assur?
5
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
228 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
2answers
212 views

Science of the Rishonim on “celestial spheres”

In the writings of the Rishonim, it is not uncommon to see explanations of pesukim or of aggadic concepts using the "celestial spheres" model of the universe. The Rambam in particular uses the idea ...
5
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
79 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)?
5
votes
1answer
321 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
376 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...
4
votes
3answers
323 views

Theology on evolution from khan academy

In this video on khan academy, Khan makes a few theological points regarding evolution. His main point is that evolution can be reconciled with intelligent design by saying that God could have created ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

Stars are living creatures?

the Rambam in yesodei torah says that stars are creatures with intellect. how do we reconcile this with modern science which says that they are merely inanimate balls of hydrogen and helium gas.
4
votes
2answers
196 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, ...
4
votes
6answers
181 views

The Plague of Darkness

This is a two fold question 1)The plaque of darkness has considerable commentary, however I have yet to find a rabbi who speaks about what created the darkness. Therefore, What created the darkness ...
4
votes
1answer
85 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
263 views

Halachic Relevancy of 'Proving God'

The first halacha in the Mishnah Torah states that you must know for certain that God exists (Yesodei Hatorah 1:1). Does this mean that according to Rambam, God can be proven to exist through ...
4
votes
3answers
105 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

How is Hagalah done on glass?

With regards to using glass vessels on Pesach that were used year round, The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chaim 451:63) says that, for Ashkenazim, if the glass vessel was used multiple times during the ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Role of the soul in living things

Are the bodies of living things (bacteria, plant, animals, humans) running like a purely physical machine or are they coupled with some kind of spiritual soul to breathe life into this machine. Our ...
4
votes
2answers
166 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. ...
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votes
0answers
60 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
346 views

How was kashrut affected by Science?

I have been reading a lot of questions concerning kosher foods, to get a better understanding of what it means for something to be kosher. To an atheist, this site is very helpful. But as a chemistry ...
3
votes
3answers
180 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the colors of the rainbow?

While the colors of the rainbow (or spectral colors) form a continuum, people have assigned them to finitely many pigeonholes for centuries and probably millennia. Apparently, Newton used seven colors ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

Did the Rabbi just back us into a corner?

In the following quote, the Khazar king questions the Rabbi's belief in a (relatively) young world starting with Adam. The Rabbi concedes that the question posed 'would weaken my belief', but argues ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Biologically, what are sirchos?

Biologically, what are Sirchos? Are they a Tumor?
3
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Halacha and danger to life

Suppose there is an halachically prescribed, commonly-practiced action, which has been demonstrated scientifically to lead to death of the action's object and/or subject with a certain low probability ...
3
votes
0answers
62 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
0answers
69 views

אלקים בגימטריא הטבע and not טבע?

There's a oft quoted saying that "אלקים בגימטריא הטבע." Why is it הטבע and not טבע? Isn't it "cheating" to add the extra "ה"?
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votes
7answers
1k views

How do we reconcile the order of creating animals betweeen Genesis and science?

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6932/does-the-torah-encoded-age-of-the-universe-match-science#comment53788_6932 The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Why not determine how long to wait between meat and milk using science?

If the time required to wait between eating meat and milk is based on the scientific definition of digestion, why don't we ask today's experts and set a defined time for everyone instead of different ...
2
votes
2answers
109 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; וּמִן-...
2
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Status of person with two different DNAs

Well, simple this is not. Some people can be made of "two" different DNAs. It basically happens that two embryos fuse making one health adult with two different DNAs, also known as a chimera. If such ...
2
votes
2answers
53 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Is a Jewish med student allowed to use body parts donated to science?

Would you be required to refuse to work on bodies donated to science for educational purposes?
2
votes
2answers
303 views

Synthetic unkosher meat?

Suppose tissue identical to that of a pig could be created synthetically (with kosher ingredients) in a science lab. The meat would be completely indistinguishable from pig meat, but it would never ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

Are GMOs Kosher?

Currently taking a biology class in which genetically modified foods were discussed. Some of the plants had DNA from non kosher animals added into the plant genes. How does this impact the kashrus of ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Effect of knockout on my soul

I have experienced a knockout two times in the boxing ring during my active fighting career. At the time I was KO, I was conscious of nothing and then I woke up. I am interested in knowing what was ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Archaeology and תחיית המתים

A few minutes ago, while standing in the rain and seeing some people passing out some pamphlets an idea occurred to me. Are there any papers, books, dvar torahs etc, which links the traditional ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Does Graphology Have Any Basis In Judaism? [duplicate]

Graphology is the theory/science that one's middos can be deduced from one's handwriting. Is there any source for such ideas from the rishonim or earlier?
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Searching for a story with the Rav's comment about the scientist

I am trying to find a story I read once concerning Rav Soleveitchik. Please forgive me if I am remembering it incorrectly. The basic story was a comparison between two Jewish scientists, one ...
2
votes
0answers
59 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?
2
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0answers
33 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 ...
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vote
3answers
1k views

What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. If they existed, Adam and his descendants should have seen them. Yet there'...
1
vote
1answer
374 views

How do Jews reconcile 6 days creation with light from stars 1 billion years ago? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe? I was surprised my self when I learned that light comes from stars that are millions or billions of light ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Seeking a particular book on Science vs. Halacha

About 15 years ago, I recall that there was a book put out by the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. It was titled something like "Challenge - Science against Halacha" or something similar. I ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Updating of holy books

I am curious if such thing is possible, e.g. if some new evidence is found (archeological or other scientific or other). So the next generation will have more accurate interpretation, because we all ...
1
vote
3answers
704 views

the four foundations - fire, wind, water, earth

How do we reconcile the torah view of four foundations fire, wind, water, and earth with modern science which demonstrates wind, water, and earth are really not much different. for example, water can ...