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Questions tagged [science]

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17
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2answers
461 views

Who knows science?

On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have ...
10
votes
3answers
311 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
133 views

What Rabbinical statements clearly support the Flat Earth approach?

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 (is there an online ...
3
votes
2answers
89 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

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....
0
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
250 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
585 views

Is there any reason to deny aliens according to Judaism?

Is there any reason that we couldn't believe in life on another planet somewhere? Is there any source that indicates to the contrary?
0
votes
2answers
80 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
85 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
44 views

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 ...
6
votes
10answers
619 views

The Plague of Darkness

This is a two fold question 1)The plaque of darkness has considerable commentary, however I have yet to find a rabbi who speaks about what created the darkness. Therefore, What created the darkness ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

Time Travel and Judaism

Has time travel ever been discussed before in terms of Judaism? According to Judaism would (should) it be possible to travel through time?
5
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
44
votes
27answers
3k 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 (...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
114 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 ...
36
votes
12answers
3k 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?
26
votes
11answers
5k views

How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?

How does human history fit in with the Torah's timeline? (This is not about why the universe and Earth look so old.) There is extensive evidence of a human population and human civilizations from ...
0
votes
1answer
69 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
258 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?
6
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
79 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?
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Can an Alien convert to Judaism?

Suppose we one day find an extraterrestrial walking on our planet that originated from another planet. The alien quickly learns all about religion and now wants to become a Jew. Do we let him? ...
5
votes
1answer
273 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
78 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?
5
votes
0answers
126 views

Arvei Nahal - Acceptable Species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
9
votes
1answer
433 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
250 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 fact,...
2
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
-1
votes
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?
2
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
720 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
76 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, ...
-1
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
198 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
195 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

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. ...
7
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
153 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

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?
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
42 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 ...
2
votes
8answers
3k views

How do we reconcile the order of creating animals betweeen Genesis and science?

https://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 ...
0
votes
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 ...