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8
votes
4answers
408 views

Is olive oil unhealthy?

The Gemara in Brachot 35b says that the proper bracha on pure olive oil is "Borei Peri HaEtz". However, it says that this refers to when you mixed the oil with some אניגרון which Prof Marcus Jastrow ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Hint for Big Bang in Genesis

Has anyone found a hint for the Big Bang event postulated by modern cosmology, i.e. that the Universe expanded from a "point," in the Genesis account? Some kind of torah code or other sort of hint. I ...
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
78 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
369 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 ...
42
votes
6answers
2k views

Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal, therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, it seems much more similar to a vegetable of some kind, so ...
2
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
365 views

Who knows science?

On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have ...
22
votes
8answers
1k views

Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?

5770 and 13,000,000,000 is a big difference! I am looking for a good explanation to the difference opinion of the age of the universe. Please help me out!
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How was the world created through the even shesiya?

In Yoma 54, it says the world was created with the Even Shesiya (primordial rock). Is this to be taken literally and if yes, do we have details into this process?
2
votes
2answers
195 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
67 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?
6
votes
3answers
359 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
0
votes
2answers
127 views

is one an apikores for believing that only Darwin's evolution is 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 ...
28
votes
9answers
2k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
4
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
-8
votes
3answers
270 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
143 views

Did God create life forms containing infinite wisdom

In Tehilim King David said (92:5): "How great are Your works, Lord, how deep your thoughts!" According to Chazal (Torah sources, ideally Talmud, Midrash but can be Rishonim also) does this mean God ...
8
votes
1answer
182 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
344 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Status of a functional Male with hidden functional Female internal organs [duplicate]

I've found out this condition where a Male has a certain genetic condition where the primitive female organs, present in every foetus, are not absorbed and develop as "usual". A documented case in the ...
2
votes
0answers
39 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
1answer
83 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
152 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
4k 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
votes
3answers
250 views

Shofar from an extinct animal

After paying a trip to the Natural History Museum in London I found myself wondering... would it be allowed (to any extent) to use a shofar of an animal that has kosher simanim but is extinct? There ...
32
votes
26answers
2k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X ...
9
votes
2answers
467 views

Is it heresy to read the Bible literally?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in this debate with Richard Dawkins says: Rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: If a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific ...
6
votes
3answers
177 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
125 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
293 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 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
votes
0answers
40 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 ...
14
votes
11answers
767 views

Reconciling the evidence for the Uncertainty Principle with belief in an omniscient G-d

One of the foundations of modern quantum mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle. This principle is not an assumption, but rather is derived from assumptions made with regard to the structure of ...
4
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
157 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.
3
votes
3answers
179 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
103 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
73 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
vote
3answers
119 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
votes
2answers
95 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
77 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)?
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
115 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 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 ...