In contrast to the secularist position that the physical world is ours by right, whereas the spiritual world is hidden/inaccessible, the Jewish and generally religious position seems to be that Gd endows us with spiritual access but requires us to figure out the physical world for ourselves.

Yet there are many stories, far from exclusively in the chasidic tradition, of holy people's being able to predict and intervene in the physical world, e.g. through exorcism, provocation of miracles, the Urim v'Thumim, the golem, Moses's staff, rabbinical refues and sakanos, and other supernatural devices. Prayer, the most basic of these, is open to everyone. Obviously, then, we do have some spiritual portal unto the natural world.

Moreover, when someone is given a vision of the future, or the ability to perform a miracle, it seems almost axiomatic that he is also told to share it, or do it publicly. There is then an opportunity for people to change the outcome (i.e., of a bad prophecy) -- but only on a one-time basis!

Why are people seemingly never given visions of understanding of the scientific world through Ruach Hakodesh that could be applied or tested in more than one case?

More detail, optional:

  1. The scientific facts described in Tanach through Ruach Hakodesh have semelfactivity in common. The origins story and the prophecies are all one-time events.

    Although there is a good deal of high-quality, replicable science in the Talmud and other late sources, it seems that this was all attained through the regular scientific method rather than through Ruach HaKodesh (bearing in mind, of course, that there is anything between a hairline overlap and a one-to-one correspondence between the two).

    Even the most ostensibly correct "visions" of science in history (Newton, > Einstein) are merely paradigms and are not completely correct, and moreover they were given to scientists (l'havdil) rather than to tzadikim.

  2. If it is the privilege of tzadikim to know the future, to change >reality, and to do both of these openly -- why isn't it likewise their privilege to understand teva and to explain it openly? Is it because G-d always wanted this privilege to be a one-time thing? If so, please explain why rigorously.

    ("The book of refue was lost" is not a strong enough explanation to account for this entire phenomenon, imo.)

  3. This is subtly different from my other question in that this incorporates the information that tzadikim and others do change/intervene in the physical world through Ruach Hakodesh in many ways--just, puzzlingly, not in this one.

  • Wow! This sounds more like something to discuss over a cup of coffee! What is "semelfactivity"? Not in my dictionary. You need to try to clarify and condense this question into words better. Not criticizing, but there are individual assumptions you are writing in the 1st several paragraphs which don't sound correct. Whatever your question is, it is clearly 'on your mind' as evidenced from the explosion of words. Try reflecting on it over Shabbat and maybe you'll find a better way to express yourself. Can't wait! ;-) Nov 8, 2018 at 21:07
  • Great point! The Torah has no [explicit] scientific knowledge and none of that knowledge was passed to the prophets. And if I get, Can your Q be rephrased into "Why G-d does not disclose the scientific laws?"?
    – Al Berko
    Nov 8, 2018 at 21:52
  • Did you have Lubavitch schooling?
    – Oliver
    Nov 9, 2018 at 3:16
  • can you imagine if mankind discovered nuclear bombs 3000 years ago?
    – michael
    Nov 9, 2018 at 10:55
  • It would help very much to hear some reply from the OP as it seems that people are asking questions without needing answers.
    – Al Berko
    Nov 10, 2018 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


I think I might have a hint on "Why G-d does not disclose the scientific laws? (according to my tradition):

  1. The purpose of this world is to do the [big] Tikkun - to restore this world to its spiritual heights after the famous primordial sins. This is done through performing Mitzvos - namely by performing positive ones and staying away from further sinning (ישב ולא עבר עבירה וכו').

  2. As we hold that לפום צערא אגרא, the Tikkun is proportional to the effort one puts in performing the Mitzvos - the bigger the hassle the bigger the Tikkun.

  3. As the Tikkunim as exclusively "spiritual" - the work on the spiritual level - the physical condition has no influence on it whatsoever. The technological progress changes/helps nothing in performing Mitzvos.

  4. Maybe even worse, as it minimizes the effort we put in it. THink about keeping Shabbos - we put far less effort into keeping Shabbos than our ancestors. Also, the technology allows for far more dramatic sins, like killing millions or spreading pornography.

  5. As certain "aspects" of the Tikkun become "worked out" they disappear - for example, all the Mitzvos of Beis Hamikdosh or ritual purity etc. So we're left with less and less Mitzvos to do. I don't know why I wrote it - it's off-topic.

  6. Therefore the scientifical knowledge cannot be useful to the Tikkun process, or facilitate it, therefore, disclosing this knowledge would have no impact on the overall [apiritual] state of the world.

Here's another brainteaser for you -
If Hashem would make everybody rich, would it bring the world to the Total Geulah?

The answer is - No it would not matter.

Well, those are just some points to consider.

  • Thanks for this answer! I will consider these points indeed...
    – SAH
    Nov 13, 2018 at 3:04
  • I like this answer. But I have many questions. For example - what is the point, under your analysis, of the prophecies that were given but have not yet been realized? What tikkun is effected by them - and when?
    – SAH
    Nov 23, 2018 at 7:14
  • None, It's just G-d's "told'ya so". Guys had no problems arguing with Moses all the time, knowing he's second to Hashem, not mentioning other prophets. Also, keep in mind that they either tell the good things that's gonna happen anyway (good prophecies never lie) or bad prophecies you can never decipher - what's specifically he talking about - be good, keep Mitzvos or something bad will (sometime, somewhere, somehow) happen?
    – Al Berko
    Nov 24, 2018 at 19:40
  • Too vague to be serious - compare - a prophet says "if you light that fire on Shabbos a stone will fall immediately on your head" to "if you light that fire some of your descendants may suffer Golus" - what sounds believable?
    – Al Berko
    Nov 24, 2018 at 19:41

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