Questions tagged [science]

questions about science in relation to Judaism

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Is the Tanya the first rabbinic work to reflect a new scientific understanding of the circulation of blood?

The Tanya was first published in 1796. In chapter nine of the Tanya (in the shi’ur for today, Teves 9), the Alter Rebbe writes: The abode of the animal soul… is in the heart, in the left ventricle, ...
Chaim's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
340 views

Why aren't peas mentioned in the Tanach/Talmud?

Or if my premise is wrong, please correct me? Guns, Germs, & Steel talks about early domesticated crops of the Fertile Crescent. No surprise that he quickly mentions wheat, barley, olives, dates, ...
Shalom's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
172 views

What blessing would one have said on seeing Einstein for example?

The Oruch Hashulchan O Ch 224, 6 says הרואה חכם מחכמי ישראל שגדול בתורה מברך: "ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם שחלק מחכמתו ליריאיו, Someone who sees a Jewish Torah sage makes the blessing “ ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
193 views

Arvei Nahal - Acceptable Species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the four species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
Loewian's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
175 views

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 and ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
102 views

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 ...
sam's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
606 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 sinew and some ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
41 views

What do Chazal say as to why Avram and Terach left Ur Kasdeem

The Torah in Bereishis does not elaborate as to why Terach and Avram left Ur Kasdeem. Could it have been because of a massive earthquake and the fear that it might reoccur and harm the family? The ...
chanina Yaacov's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
70 views

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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
270 views

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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
292 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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
91 views

Why do we have an appendix according to Torah sources?

Is there any significance in Torah literature, attributed to the appendix and its function in the body?
AKayser's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
66 views

What type of mitzvah, if any, is a donation to medical research?

If I give money to a charity that finances medical research, I think I'm doing a mitzvah, but of what sort? Is this tzedakah when I'm not clothing or feeding the poor? Is it saving a life when there ...
Bruce James's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

Overpopulation and the Tree of Life

Had it not been for the sin of Adam and Chava, I've read sources that say we would have been able to eat from the Tree of Life, which would means that humanity would never die. What would keep the ...
Castle's user avatar
  • 87
1 vote
0 answers
114 views

Kohanic in vitro Pregnancy

I have the following theoretical questions, from many I’ve met and even a real case of someone very special I met in a hostel in Israel. My assumptions are between parentheses after the list item. ...
Jake Armstrong's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
86 views

What rabbis did explicitly deal with Heliocentrism (accepted or rejected)?

Following the closed question "whats-the-earliest-acknowledgment-of-heliocentrism", I'm looking for any rabbinic sources that explicitly deal with heliocentrism.
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
93 views

Can one consume a triboluminescent food-substance on Shabbos?

May one consume a food exhibiting triboluminescence on Shabbos? Triboluminescence is where light is created from a material being crushed, rubbed, or ripped apart. When foods are infused with very low ...
Moshe's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
108 views

Chemical analysis of Niddah Ma'ros

Is a rabbi allowed/endorsed/obligated to conduct a laboratory chemical analysis of Niddah Ma'ros before he Paskens? Are there precedents? Are there rabbis who perform it on a regular basis?
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
197 views

Why the fact that the Earth is spherical is a deep secret according to Zohar?

Following "zohars-knowledge-about-earths-shape" and related to my other question "why-did-G-d-create-the-earth-spherical": Zohar (Vayikra 10a) states the following, seemingly pointing to the fact ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
77 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). ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
24 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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
211 views

Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
Isaac Kotlicky's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
103 views

How do we define the word 'עולם'?

In the standard beracha 'formula' we use the phrase 'מלך העולם'. But what does the word עולם refer to in this context: Earth/world or universe? It may seem obvious that מלך העולם is referring to ...
bondonk's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
119 views

Intelligent machines and their Halachic status

Given the recent advances in machine learning, such as the OpenAI GPT-3 (e.g. chatbot), it is not unreasonable to expect that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will be achieved in the foreseeable ...
user9806's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
55 views

Does explicit revelation really take away our free will?

I've seen it expressed in various answers and comments here (and elsewhere in general) that Hashem did not reveal things like explicit scientific knowledge in the Torah, performs regular open miracles,...
user9806's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
85 views

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov - "science tells you how, Torah tells you why". Anyone have a source for this?

Heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gag_myt1hWw Is this quotation correct? If so, where is the source? Thank you.
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Is there modern scholarship on Sefer HaBris?

Have there been any studies, examinations, comparisons, discussions etc. of Sefer HaBris in light of modern (~21st Century) science. I'm looking for elaboration on this book particularly within a ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
88 views

How many species of animals did God create in total?

In Rabbis' views, how many species of animals did God create in total? How did those views evolve with time and scientific understanding?
Al Berko's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
94 views

Did Bible Characters Typically Drink Water?

I've always heard that in the medieval era, people drank dilute beer all the time because the water wasn't safe. We find all over Tanach accounts of people "eating bread and drinking water." ...
Shalom's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Revisiting cryonics and halaha

I thought it would be interesting to revisit the halachic permissibility of cryonics. This previous answer mentions a view that requires >50% chance of the preserved person being brought back to ...
user9806's user avatar
  • 2,196
0 votes
0 answers
312 views

Database of Gematria, Notarikon, and Temurah Findings

I have been aware of Gematria, but now just learned of Notarikon and Temurah. There is a cool twitter feed by the TilingBot on hyperbolic tessellations. It is essentially a database of all the types ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 321
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

What specifically was the ancient Jewish practice of rubbing an infant's throat?

The Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Consecration" says that the later "rubbing on" of oil aka "anointing" has roots in the practice of rubbing an infant's throat in preparation for receiving a mother'...
Ruminator's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Does Earth geography resemble anything metaphorical?

All I know about the traditional geographical metaphorism is that Jerusalem is the center of the world and the whole inhabitable space is divided between the 70 nations (besides the plain facts, like ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
153 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,...
Al Berko's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
178 views

Biblical attribution of intelligence and feelings to the human heart

Traditionally, the human heart was considered the residence of the animated soul and numerous Biblical passages refer to that ancient belief: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your ...
Al Berko's user avatar
  • 25.9k
-1 votes
2 answers
170 views

What does "omniscience" really mean?

Standard teaching is that God is omniscient. But what does the word mean? To most, it means "One who knows everything". To me, it means "One who knows everything that there is to ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
178 views

Historical ID lost can it be reclaimed

Could it be possible that many Hispanics who moved from Spain and having their family line coming from Jewish blood (Sephardi Jews), be actually Jews and not know it? There is a test now to check ...
Bert Arroyo's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
228 views

Empirical evidence of Sages' intellectual superiority

Throughout ages, our Sages engaged in Halachic, scientific and philosophical arguments between themselves and with other nations' philosophers. We hold that the truthfulness of Talmudic discussions ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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