3

Considering the Rambam recommends observing nature to see the divine wisdom therein and develop a love of God, if so, why is this not encouraged in the yeshivas with this outlook?

The few yeshivos that study science do this primarily as part of an academic curriculum not as a way to appreciate the wisdom of God manifested in nature. I am asking specifically about the latter form of studying science.

  • 3
    Actually it is encouraged in some Yeshivas. Not all Yeshivas nowadays stick to tradition, unfortunately. – Double AA Sep 21 '16 at 19:04
  • 1
    Here's an example of a yeshiva teaching science specifically as a way to apprciate God: yeshiva.edu/ABOUTUS/Marabumaasecha/tabid/419/Default.aspx – Isaac Moses Sep 23 '16 at 14:05
  • 3
    why is this not encouraged in the yeshivas at all? the few yeshivas that study science... You seem to be conflating encouraging study with incorporating the study in a curriculum. Consider clarifying what you are trying to ask. – mevaqesh Sep 26 '16 at 5:03
  • 1
    Considering the Rambam recommends observing nature to see the divine wisdom therein and develop a love of God, if so, why is this not encouraged in the yeshivas with this outlook? In yeshivot with which outlook? The approach that science should be studied? Presumably those do study science, by definition. Those with the outlook that one should love God? Which Yeshiva would disagree? Consider editing to clarify what you are trying to ask. – mevaqesh Sep 26 '16 at 5:27
  • 2
    Because other Rishonim argued on the Rambam? – Shmuel Brin Sep 26 '16 at 5:40
1

I think there is a reason that yeshivas are designated for study of specifically Jewish texts. There are many things, including science, that can expand our appreciation of Hashem but aren't taught in yeshivot. Furthermore, a yeshiva is not supposed to be a place whereby all life skills are acquired e.g. learning a skill for earning a living, which is also crucially important.

Another reason is that most Rabbanim are not experts in the sciences so it seems inappropriate to ask yeshivas to teach/encourage study in this area specifically. In depth study in science is something that can be acquired in university and personal study. Yeshivot encourage dialectic learning in chavruta, this kind of learning is unique to yeshivas and often gets increasingly difficult when one leaves yeshiva - so utilizing this time for study of Jewish texts in chavruta is a prominent method of study.

What is a shame, from my experience, is that many Rabbanim don't have a basic understanding of science and relevant sources in Jewish literature to discuss the interaction between Torah and Science. Meaning, that once a yeshiva student leaves the yeshiva environment and may study science, the Rabbanim that he relied on previously don't necessarily know how to answer the questions that he may have, and rather than tackle them head on, they are involved in apologetics.

This is, in a sense, a cost benefit analysis; yeshivot would rather not teach outright science than talk about it in a mediocre non-expert manner, where they could run into problems.

  • so you are saying it is just a case of priority, that torah study takes priority? but wouldnt having an appreciation of the divine wisdom increase one's zeal for torah study as the rambam says. – ray Sep 26 '16 at 11:23
  • Yes, in a yeshiva the particular style of Torah study takes priority - especially honing in on textual skills in Jewish texts. When mainstream yeshivot begin learning mussar, chassidut, Tanach, etc. then maybe branching to areas such as science would take place (if Rabbi's become qualified to do so, etc.). Aside from 'having an appreciation of the divine' (which they can also get through learning 'how He works', via textual study), improving your middot, learning a trade, improving interpersonal skills, etc are also important. Theres a time and a place. – bondonk Sep 26 '16 at 13:55
  • but why is this not encouraged? – mevaqesh Sep 27 '16 at 0:01
0

perhaps it is not taught due to all the atheist professors/scientists using science as a platform to spread their views.

for example Biologist Richard Dawkins who wrote book after book and each one is titled like an argument against God.

update: i spoke to a yeshiva educator here in israel (yehuda shwab) who confirmed this is the reason the whole area is avoided

  • 6
    In my experience the number of professors/scientists who do this is tiny. Just the ones who do are very vocal. – Heshy Sep 23 '16 at 14:28
  • 2
    Besides for being mere speculation, I already noted that someone with a blooming interest in the natural sciences is unlikely to turn to books about atheism. Your defense was only that books about atheism are very popular. This is totally irrelevant, as it has nothing to do with learning science, and hence nothing to do with this question. Books about dieting are also very popular, but there is no reason to assume that studying science will cause dieting. – mevaqesh Sep 23 '16 at 16:45
  • 1
    @ray In your response to Heshy you once again conflate the mechanism of change in a species, with the motivation for such a mechanism. That is, the theory of evolution and atheism. – mevaqesh Sep 25 '16 at 17:50
  • 1
    There are plenty of religious scientists (especially in Israel) who can teach science in yeshivot without trying to push an atheist agenda. And how better to combat atheist notions than by showing the right way to combine torah with science. – Nic Sep 26 '16 at 14:28
  • 1
    @ray at the heart of Monopoly is a RANDOM roll of the dice. Why is this any different? Just because something is distributed as you would statistically expect doesn't mean Hashem is not controlling it. – Heshy Sep 26 '16 at 17:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .