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Questions tagged [science]

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Sources for Rambam scientific views in Yesodey Hatorah?

Rambam lays his scientific outlooks in Yesodey Hatora 1 and on. Bases of Theology (monotheism), Astronomy, physics, some chemistry and more. Interestingly, according to the Meforshim that don't cite ...
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Bloodletting - purely “scientific” or some tradition?

Bloodletting (הקזת דם) was a very commonplace medical procedure in the Mishnaic times (see Shabbos 129). It is widely accepted that the ancient healers believed that: "... many diseases were ...
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4answers
225 views

How is “magic” defined for the purposes of the prohibition against kishuf?

As Arthur C. Clarke famously said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." The idea here actually generalizes much further. Today's technology would have been ...
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Is there a scientific basis for the claim that the 3rd day from the circumcision is the most painful and dangerous? [duplicate]

Is there a scientific basis for the claim that the third day from the day of a circumcision is the most painful and dangerous? In Mishana (shabbath 19,3) מרחיצין את הקטן בין לפני המילה ובין לאחר ...
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Technological advances of Yehoshua's generation over the natives

My question is based on "were-rabbis-ahead-of-the-times". A claim is made that the Torah contains scientific knowledge known to Rabbis and unknown to Gentiles. Many try to bring examples from the ...
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1answer
85 views

Sources for scientific rationale for the 613 Mizvot?

Are there any published works on the scientific rationale for any of the 613 Mizvot? For example: Handwashing: It only took the medical community did not deem it medically relevant until 2 centuries ...
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Acquiring Torah without Subvocalization

The Mishnah in Avos (6.6) tells of difference ways to acquire Torah. Here is Rashi’s commentary on one of the items, translated by Sefaria.org. בַּעֲרִיכַת שְׂפָתַיִם. שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְגַמְגֵּם ...
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63 views

Did God really backup the Sun dial for Hezekiah?

According to 2 Kings 20:9-11., Hezekiah while on his deathbed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah. The King was about to die so he asked for a sign as proof that G-d would grant him a longer life. ...
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1answer
76 views

What does the Torah think of Pangea?

What does Torah literature say about Pangaea? Is it considered be legitimate? Are there sources which lean either way?
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1answer
77 views

They could change nature and predict nature, but could not explain it

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 ...
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1answer
77 views

How many of the parthenogenesis-capable animals came to the Noah's Ark

How many of the animals that are capable of parthenogenesis (being able to reproduce without a male and female, e.g. the Komodo dragon) did Noach take with him into the Ark - 1 or 2?
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Do the Torah codes offer scientific proof that the Torah is supernatural?

There was an experiment published in a journal called Statistical Science in 1994 that found that certain medieval Rabbis and their birth & yahrtzeit are referenced to in sefer Bereshit by running ...
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2answers
113 views

Age of the universe [duplicate]

Do contemporary Orthodox (Litvish, Chassidish, & Sephardi) Rabbi’s still believe that the world was created 5,779 yrs ago or do they agree with Aryeh Kaplan that perhaps 5779 is just the birth of ...
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1answer
37 views

3 cavities of the heart and emotions?

This question is not about the anatomical validity of the claim (I got tired)! The Shu"A Yo"D 40:1 rules (based probably on the Gm in Hulin 45b and Rashb"a): "הַלֵּב יֵשׁ לוֹ ג' חֲלָלִים" - there ...
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Women - less Mitzvot more body parts?

According to the Gemmorah sources: Women have much less positive Mitzvot than men, as they are freed from most of the time-related Mitzvot (Mishna Kiddushin 1:7). Women have more body parts than men, ...
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1answer
64 views

Obligation to accept Rabbinical sayings “על ימין שהוא שמאל”

To continue my scientific/Halachic exploration, I would like to summarize the approaches in one question that addresses the famous Rashi on Dvorim 17,11. I think this long and well-sourced question is ...
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11 pairs of ribs - practice or tradition?

THis is a follow-up question to 248-organs. The Mishnah in Ohalot (1:8) states that there are 248 organs and lists all of them: "מָאתַיִם וְאַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמֹנָה אֵבָרִים בָּאָדָם, שְׁלשִׁים ...
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How is the male skeleton different from female?

This question is a follow-up to "Different-counts-of-the-248-organs-". As we see from the Mishnah in Ohalot 1,8, only the bones are counted as organs, namely a bone that has a sinew and some flesh. ...
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111 views

Different counts of the 248 organs - bones or soft tissues?

First read the related questions here (mitzvot-and-their-body-parts and here (613-organs). The Mishnah in Ohalot (1:8) states that there are 248 organs and lists all of them: "מָאתַיִם ...
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3answers
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Meaning of “נראים דבריהם מדברינו” - accepting scientific theories over Jewish tradition?

Questions about the reconciliation of the Torah and the science are very frequent and popular, but they are nothing new. The sages were asked similar questions by the philosophers of Ancient Greece ...
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1answer
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Why there are no anti-altering failsafe measures in the Written Torah?

(The original question asked if there are any, but there aren't, hence the update). The famous ו דגחון Sugiah in Kiddushin 30a: "א"ל: ניתי ס"ת ואימנינהו, מי לא אמר רבה בר בר חנה לא זזו משם עד ...
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Is a jew allowed to learn secular studies and science? [duplicate]

Is a jew allowed to learn secular studies and science? Is there a prohibition against learning any secular subjects and/or science?
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2answers
84 views

Is the Ramban's observation of “images of young dog pups in urine” recorded by anyone else?

The Ramban notes in his commentary on Bamidbar 21:9 the following: (Source from Sefaria.org) וכבר הזכירו דבר מנוסה מפלאות התולדה כי נשוך הכלב השוטה אחרי שנשתטה בחליו אם יקובל השתן שלו בכלי זכוכית ...
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Whey in butter (Chema't akkum)?

I recently read a responsum from R' Tam (brought in Shaarei Dura 78) where he discusses butter that was mixed with whey. While he permits regular butter from a gentile for consumption he nevertheless ...
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2answers
129 views

Do traditional sources address how time “works”?

I’m sorry for such a convoluted question, but this has been bothering me for some time now. While the title isn’t quite accurate, I couldn’t think of a better way to phrase it - feel free to edit if ...
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2answers
256 views

Is Studying String Theory Permitted According To The Rambam?

Would the Rambam be fine with String Theory being that String Theory involves what happened before the world was created (the big bang) and beyond our universe?
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1answer
164 views

Becoming Chametz at 18 mins

According to the Talmud Pesachim 46a, a non-leavened dough should show signs of Chimutz within a shiur of walking a Mil (or 4 Mil according to the Yerushalmi), which is 18 to 24 minutes. Similarly if ...
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1answer
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Names of mazalot in Judaism

Yesterday we discussed that during Zayin Adar we eat fish due to the constellation of Adar. Rambam lists these mazalot, and uses them extensively when discussing calendar calculations. They are also ...
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1answer
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May one perform an autopsy on his father?

I understand that an autopsy may sometimes be performed if doing so is useful to gain knowledge that may be used to prevent deadly diseases or sicknesses in other people. Refer to this M.Y. answer. ...
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1answer
68 views

Rambam on the Gemara's Scientific and Historical authenticity

Where does the Rambam state that the non-Halachic parts of the Gemara - for instance, Agadata, Science etc - aren't to be taken literally or simply aren't factually correct?
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3answers
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Is there any evidence that Chazal knew what caused eclipses?

Many ancient cultures believed that eclipses are caused by things other than syzygy. The Egyptians had Apophis. The Hindus had Rahu. (The interested reader can see more here.) In light (ha) of the ...
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1answer
137 views

What kind of blood did the Nile turn into?

One of the ten plagues that Moses unleashes on Egypt in the Book of Exodus is to make the Nile river run red with blood (Exodus 7:20). My question is, is there any information, either in the Torah ...
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1answer
141 views

Source for the Earth being Tilted at the Time of the Flood

In Oorah's 2009 Shmorg video, one of the tracks is about Birchat Hachama, and at around the 10 minute mark, the narrator states the following (I'm paraphrasing): The Sforno writes that before the ...
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I have a question about learning evolution [closed]

All my life I have attended Bais Yaakov. I am frum but for mental health issues I decided to take a break from Bais Yaakov, and am taking online courses. In my biology course evolution is taught as a ...
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2answers
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“Sound can be heard better at night then by day”- Rashi

Rashi writes in Masheches Beitzah 7b on the gemara about different cases of when we consider an egg found in a nest a fertilized or unfertilized egg. The gemara talks about a case when a hen can hear ...
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Maseches Beitzah 7a and science

In Maseches Beitzah 7a the gemara says that any animal that mates by day will give birth at day-this is talking about a chicken ,and any animal that mates by night gives birth at night, this is ...
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1answer
195 views

Responsa regarding gender selection for non-medical purposes

This October 2002 article in Haaretz refers to an Israeli Health Ministry decision to allow a family of Kohanim to select the gender of their children for non-medical reasons. For the first time in ...
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4answers
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How did they breathe during the plague of darkness?

Despite some great answers to The Plague of Darkness and Plague of darkness: if he was standing, he was unable to sit? I still have a question. If the darkness was so thick that they couldn't move, ...
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1answer
231 views

Has CRISPR (editing the genome) for humans been discussed in halachic literature?

Has the use of CRISPR in editing the human genome been discussed in halachic literature? I know that PGD and its ability to allow parents to choose the gender of their child have been under discussion ...
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2answers
140 views

Did Rashi know about radio waves?

My father told me that he was taught a Rashi in school that suggests that Rashi knew about radio waves. What Rashi might hint to this conclusion?
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3answers
282 views

What is the status of a fetus before it emerges?

Sanhedrin 72B says a fetus becomes a person when its head emerges. But I have heard that abortion is justified based on the permission to kill a rodef (deadly pursuer). But it seems to me that, ...
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1answer
271 views

Reconciling Young Earth Creationism With Racial Diversity

I'm wondering whether the Young Earth Creationism can be reconciled with the racial diversity found on the globe. How, can a young Earth accomedate, in a manner consistent with science, Noah's ...
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1answer
83 views

Books on science and Torah in Hebrew

Can anyone recommend books in Hebrew that address the topic of science and Torah? The types of books that I'm looking for are ones that address the interplay between science and Torah including topics ...
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288 views

Why is nature not studied in the way the Rambam recommends?

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 ...
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1answer
82 views

What type of doctor is referred to in Breishit 50:2?

Breishit (Gen.) 50:2 uses the term רופאים, which I translate as "doctors". However, within this context, these doctors are embalming Jacob's body. They are not performing the task of healing someone ...
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1answer
273 views

Is Science/Scientism a form of Idolatry?

In the scientific community (and much of the secular world) there are many who adopt an outlook whereby one need not believe anything which cannot be demonstrated using the scientific method. i.e. it ...
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3answers
128 views

why evidence for common ancestry evolution? [closed]

In genesis it implies that creatures were created independently from the ground according to their kind *ex. "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind, cattle and creeping ...
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2answers
144 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 ...
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1answer
113 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?
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1answer
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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?