Questions tagged [science]

questions about science in relation to Judaism

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100 views

What observable phenomena show that we live in the pre-Messianic era?

There's no doubt that we live in a very special era of fast and huge technological, social, scientific, economic, psychological and other changes. The world is also getting closer to the 6000 year bar,...
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73 views

“As many as the stars in the sky”- literally or analogically?

In bereishis 15:5 HaShem promises avraham that his descendants will be as many as the stars in the sky: וַיּוֹצֵ֨א אֹת֜וֹ הַח֗וּצָה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ הַבֶּט־נָ֣א הַשָּׁמַ֗יְמָה וּסְפֹר֙ הַכּ֣וֹכָבִ֔ים ...
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Has there been any scientific study that agrees with Talmud Rosh Hashanna 20b's time difference?

I'm extracting from this M.Y. question: In Talmud Bavli Rosh Hashanna 20b, R' Zeira quotes R' Nachman as saying: כ"ד שעי מכסי סיהרא לדידן שית מעתיקא ותמני סרי מחדתא לדידהו שית מחדתא ותמני ...
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42 views

Does knowing “all the Torah” implies knowing all the science?

In my previous question, I assumed that, theoretically, Moses' ability to answer all Halachic questions would imply possessing extensive scientific knowledge. For example, being able to answer ...
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1answer
80 views

How G-d can be distinguished from AI?

One day, after the Moshiach comes, the Earth will be filled with "knowledge of G-d". On the other hand, technologically, one day the Earth will be filled with "knowledge of AI". I'm trying to prepare ...
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1answer
75 views

Where did Moses' applied scientific knowledge disappear?

I had a series of seemingly true statements that lead me to a contradiction I'm unable to solve: Moses knew all the Torah => Moses knew all the Halacha. Moses knew all the Halochos of Shabbos => when ...
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Relation between brain damage and the soul

Physical damage to the brain can lead to various psychological and cognitive phenomena, like drastic changes in character, selective memory loss (like forgetting faces but remembering names or vice ...
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1answer
43 views

How precise were the Temples' directions (East/North)

Calculating the true astronomical North/South is very simple - find the longest way and cast a shadow. Are there sources on how precise those directions in the Temples were? Are there special Jewish ...
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2answers
110 views

When is it a mitzvah to study science?

I remember hearing from Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi that HaShem created two Torahs, one the Oral and Written and the other the natural world. My question is, when is it a positive mitzvah to study science ...
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99 views

Biblical description of the firmament vs. round earth in the Zohar

Zohar description of the Earth: "The entire world and those upon it, spin round in a circle like a ball,' both those at the bottom of the ball and those at the top. All God's creatures, wherever ...
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Is mustard harmful to bees or the honey making process?

The Mishna in Bava Basra (2:10) says: (all translations from Sefaria) מַרְחִיקִין אֶת הַמִּשְׁרָה מִן הַיָּרָק, וְאֶת הַכְּרֵשִׁין מִן הַבְּצָלִים, וְאֶת הַחַרְדָּל מִן הַדְּבוֹרִים. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי ...
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How do the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto fit into Judaism?

It is not a secret that we discover new things in all fields of science, not mentioned in our sources all the time. We know that in Judaism the 7 planets represent/aligned with 7 spiritual forces ...
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46 views

Does Judaism differentiate between a planet and a star?

On the 4th day, G-d created Sun, Moon and the stars. Besides the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were known since ancient times (not mentioning the existence of the real stars). ...
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1answer
56 views

Measuring the universe in G-d's cubits (Eruvin 21a)

In the following passage (Eruvin 21a in William Davidson edition) the sages try to determine the size of the Torah scroll that Zachariah saw in his prophecy: In order to determine the measure of ...
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1answer
101 views

Age of Universe [duplicate]

What is the most plausible way to reconcile the traditional dating of the universe (now 5779) with science's understanding that the universe is billions of years old?
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96 views

Building a Mikva Upstairs

Every Mikva I am personally familiar with is on the ground floor (first floor) or basement of its building. Let's say a congregation owns a one story building they use as their shul. They agree to ...
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Mathematical functions in Jewish Halacha [closed]

What mathematical operators, functions, and constants are mentioned in the Halachah besides addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? For example: powers and square or other roots, Pi etc....
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180 views

Rabbinical sources that support the Flat Earth view

While many people are busy looking for the slightest hints of the vast scientific knowledge possessed by our Sages, I've bumped into Rasa"G's interpretation of Sefer Hayetzirah 4,2 (c.900) (is there ...
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1answer
72 views

Gr"A stating that Africa is [at] the South Pole

(Saw it today at the Kolel in Mikraot Gedolot, sorry can't find it online, please help). At the beginning of Divrei Hayamim, Pirush HaGr"a explains various nations coming out of Noah's sons and how ...
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Is the base for bloodletting in the Talmud purely “scientific” or traditional?

Bloodletting (הקזת דם) was a commonplace medical procedure in the Mishnaic times (see Shabbos 129). It is widely accepted that the ancient healers believed that: "... many diseases were caused by ...
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5answers
274 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
87 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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101 views

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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1answer
82 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
95 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
82 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
80 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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173 views

Sources for the Earth rotating round the sun

Are there any Jewish writings that suggest the Earth rotates around the sun and is not the center of the universe?
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257 views

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
120 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
40 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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0answers
77 views

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
67 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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0answers
237 views

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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123 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
163 views

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
75 views

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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1answer
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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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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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0answers
43 views

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
133 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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1answer
1k views

Why are Oats Chametz if oats cannot rise

Oats do not have gluten so they cannot rise - like rice and other such grains. I could understand why they would be kitniot but why are they chametz? I know in arvei psachim there is an opinion that ...
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2answers
264 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
185 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
90 views

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
85 views

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
69 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?