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5
votes
1answer
145 views

Mission to Mars: halachic challenges

There is talk in the scientific community of a manned Mars mission: sending an elderly couple to slingshot past Mars and return to Earth as a trial mission, toward eventual other missions that will ...
3
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
283 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
472 views

Why does the Talmud assume a woman cannot get pregnant on the first act of intercourse?

There is a rule in the Gemara (Yevamot 34a) that אין אשה מתעברת בביאה ראשונה. The question is why the Talmud assumes that a virgin cannot conceive on her first act of sexual intercourse if the hymen ...
14
votes
13answers
761 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
430 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
623 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
380 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
372 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
281 views

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
14
votes
1answer
295 views

Mushrooms in a Vineyard

The bracha on a mushroom is "shehakol" because the Talmud (Berachot 40b) correctly (I think) states that mushrooms do not derive their nutrients from the ground. If a mushroom is growing in a ...
8
votes
1answer
151 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work ...
20
votes
8answers
914 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?
5
votes
1answer
85 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
204 views

Do those who practice family purity get cervical cancer less?

Is there a good study which shows that those who practice family purity get cervical cancer far less? Not just comparing Orthodox women to other groups, but amongst Jews? And is conclusive.
1
vote
0answers
59 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
322 views

Let there be light! But from where?

According to Genesis 1:3, "And G-d said, Let there be light; and there was light." What light is the Torah referring to if the sun which produces light by day was created only on the 4th day of ...
7
votes
3answers
246 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
16 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
190 views

Cryonics in Judaism

I was recently reading an article about cryogenics, there are around 200 bodies frozen in cryogenics labs around the world, and in the article they said that in the near future they may be able to ...
7
votes
2answers
248 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
68 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?
7
votes
4answers
286 views

Would synthesized meat be Kosher?

Scientists are preparing synthesized meat for human consumption. See here for a excerpt, and two articles here and here. My question is: Would this meat be considered Kosher? Might it depend on the ...
18
votes
4answers
628 views

Does artificial meat grown in a petri dish have the halachic status of meat?

Scientists are developing means of growing artificial meat in a petri dish. Does such 'meat' have the halachic status of meat? Source: ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Cultured Beef and the 7 Laws of Noah

I know there have been questions on whether lab meat would be Kosher or not, halavi or besari... I see another potential debate. According to http://culturedbeef.net/what-is-it/, "Cultured Beef is ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

What is the kashrut status of synthetic/in vitro meat? [duplicate]

It was reported in the news today (at least in the UK) that another step forward has been made towards the creation of "synthetic meat". From BBC News: The world's first lab-grown burger was ...
-2
votes
1answer
105 views

Historical ID lost can it be reclaimed

Could it be possible that many Hispanics who moved from Spain and having their family line coming from Jewish blood (Sephardi Jews), be actually Jews and not know it? There is a test now to check ...
7
votes
3answers
143 views

Animals sixth sense

It seems that there is evidence that animals possess a sixth sense, such as in their fleeing from the area struck by the huge tsunami of 2005 well before the earthquake which triggered it occurred. Is ...
0
votes
3answers
480 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
131 views

What does Judaism have to say about the origin of elements?

What does Judaism have to say about the origin of the elements? I mean chemical elements like hydrogen, oxygen, gold, sulfur, etc. Is this discussed at all?
6
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
101 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.
3
votes
0answers
116 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
614 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!
12
votes
1answer
140 views

In what way are mushrooms considered “non-nutritive”?

The Mishnah (Eruvin 26b) states that water and salt can't be used as the food for eruv chatzeiros or eruv techumin (thus Rashi; according to Tosafos only the latter). Rashi explains that this is ...
2
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
131 views

why was technology withheld for so long from man

Why did God withhold the discovery of modern technology from man until recently? what is the reason for this and why does this reason not apply in our era? (according to the shaar bitachon ch.3 God ...
1
vote
2answers
280 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

how old is Judaism?

How old is Judaism - not legendary, but indicated by science? What are the oldest scriptures found of the story of Moses, for example? Or are the scriptures imported from very different cultures so ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
584 views

Premature birth contradicting science

I am a teacher at a private all-girls Jewish high school. There are two science teachers in the school, and both of us are Christian. I was talking with my fellow science teacher recently, and she ...
17
votes
5answers
415 views

Why do Jews physically resemble members of their “host” nationalities?

Why do Jews often so closely resemble the members of the nationalities amongst whom they have been living for only a few hundred years? How do features spread through such an exclusive population so ...
3
votes
0answers
111 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?
10
votes
3answers
396 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
3
votes
0answers
56 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"?
6
votes
1answer
125 views

What is “blood that moved from one place to another”?

I'm learning laws of salting in the Shulchan Aruch. One concept I'm battling to understand is "דם שפירש ממקום למקום" - blood that moved from one place to another. Here's a good example of my ...