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10 votes
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Source for Seforno that the Earth was tilted at the time of the Flood

The Seforno (c.1500) writes this in is commentary to Genesis (8:22): עוד כל ימי הארץ זרע וקציר וקור וחום וקיץ וחורף ויום ולילה לא ישבותו. "לא ישבותו" מלהתמיד על אותו האופן בלתי טבעי שהגבלתי להם אחר ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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9 votes

Is there any evidence that Chazal knew what caused eclipses?

I found discussion of eclipses in the g'mara, but not of the science of them. On Sukkah 29a the g'mara first discusses eclipses as omens (all bad). It then turns to causes: The Sages taught that on ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
8 votes

How can constant creation of new stars explained theologically?

They are not created, they are formed by means of the natural laws from preexisting matter. This has nothing to do with yesh mai-ayin (creation from nothing) which occurred at the very beginning. ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
5 votes

How accurate is the Molad?

I would recommend having a look at this site. The maths is much too complicated for me, but the upshot is that our molad is two hours later than the molad when the calendar was formulated, and is ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 18.9k
4 votes

On what basis do we understand references to Orion and the Pleiades in Iyov?

Orion Since Kesil means foolish or stupid, the astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) in the book Astronomy In The Old Testament, Kessinger Publishing, 2007, p. 60-1 suggest that "...the ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
4 votes

On what basis do we understand references to Orion and the Pleiades in Iyov?

The translation of Pleiades and Orion is an ancient tradition. The Septuagint, a Jewish translation from the third century BCE, translates Job 38:31 as: Συνῆκας δὲ δεσμὸν Πλειάδος καὶ φραγμὸν ᾿...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,817
4 votes

Plants before the Sun in the Order of Creation

Ralbag has two explanations of the order of creation that can address this. The first explanation is that everything existed at once. The sequence delineated in Genesis is just the order in which they ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
4 votes

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

Yerushalmi Eruvin 33a: כמה יגעו נביאים הראשונים לעשות שער המזרחי שתהא החמה מצמצמת בו באחד בתקופת טבת ובאחד בתקופת תמוז. How much effort the early prophets put in to make the eastern gate [of the Har ...
Meir's user avatar
  • 9,792
3 votes

Why did G-d create the Earth spherical?

God did not create the earth spherical. God created matter and the law of gravity. That law states that each part of a blob of matter wants to go to the center of gravity of the whole blob. Over ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
3 votes

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

There is no contradiction; they talk about two points of view. The litteral meaning of the Bible's verses, doesn't talk about a physical/scientific reality. But rather from an everyday-life point of ...
yO_'s user avatar
  • 1,505
3 votes

Good and Bad Omen - on something that can be calculated in advance

It doesn't make sense to say that something predictable and cyclical is a bad omen. It's like saying the seasons, which occur every year, are a bad omen. The case of eclipses are just further apart. ...
robev's user avatar
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3 votes

Illustrated hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh

New web book presentation of the Rambam’s “Laws Of The New Moon” - Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh illustrate the Laws with dynamic 3D graphics. And Video lesson for each chapter. To Kiddush HaChodesh site
Hillel Skolnik's user avatar
3 votes

How accurate is the Molad?

Just because the "error" in the molad moment seems small doesn't mean that it is insignificant. The approximately +2h delay relative to the mean lunar conjunction moment currently causes the ...
Einstein Was Right's user avatar
3 votes

Why did Hashem create only one planet (Earth) in the whole entire universe that can support intelligent life

Technically, given the way the Torah deals with life on Earth, there could be worlds designed for future settlement or worlds with intelligent beings and travel possible or impossible. Note how the ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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3 votes

Has the number of the tribes of Israel anything to do with the universe/stars/planets?

Megillah 16b compares the tribes to lights: It says with regard to Joseph’s remarks to his brothers: “And he comforted them and spoke to their hearts” (Genesis 50:21). Rabbi Binyamin bar Yefet said ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
3 votes

Has the number of the tribes of Israel anything to do with the universe/stars/planets?

Berachot 32b ותאמר ציון עזבני ה' וה' שכחני היינו עזובה היינו שכוחה אמר ר"ל אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע אדם נושא אשה על אשתו ראשונה זוכר מעשה הראשונה אתה עזבתני ושכחתני אמר לה הקב"ה בתי י"ב ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
3 votes

Meaning of Monen in Kabbalah

Welcome to Mi Yodeya. It looks like the word is not "monen" but M'onein. It is a category of forbidden practice in Deuteronomy 18:10. Rashi there brings two opinions: מעונן. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא ...
N.T.'s user avatar
  • 8,817
2 votes

Plants before the Sun in the Order of Creation

On the initial premise of plants requiring the sun for photosynthesis, and it certainly is the best light for developing plants, this site reports how scientists developed plants WITHOUT anything but ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.3k
2 votes

Significance of number 613 regarding the mitzvot

I would just pin my opinion that the no. 613 is a combination of 6+1+3=10(ten commandment) 10 is 1+0=1(H" ekhad devarim:6:4) which means 613 mitzvot given to israel is directly connected to the ...
Yamin's user avatar
  • 429
2 votes

Levana or Yareach?

I wrote an essay about the different words for the moon. What comes out is that basically ירח focuses on the orbital path which the moon takes in travelling the solar system, while לבנה focuses on the ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
2 votes

Permissibility of images of celestial bodies

The OP wrote: Given the following mitigating factors, would accurate flat images of such bodies be permissible to create today? The context of the pasuk relates to idol worship, and worship of ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
2 votes

Permissibility of images of celestial bodies

The Taz (YD 141:13) writes that the whole discussion in the Shulchan Aruch doesn’t apply to a Tziyur, a two-dimensional drawing, and the prohibition only governs 3-D depictions (whether Bolet or Shoka’...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
2 votes

Is there lunar drift in the fixed Hebrew calendar?

Wikipedia says: This [the molad] value is as close to the correct value of 29.530589 days as it is possible for a value to come that is rounded off to whole parts (1/18 minute). The discrepancy makes ...
Yishai's user avatar
  • 32.1k
2 votes

Counting and naming the stars

Radak explains in his commentary to Isaiah (40:26) and in his commentary to Psalms (157:4), that although there are a very many stars (he correctly suggests that the number of stars is much greater ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
2 votes

What additional Rabbinic sources support the Flat Earth?

I think this is another Rabbinical source which promotes the idea of a flat earth: The Holy One, blessed be He, raised up all the waters of creation and set half of them in the firmament and half ...
Jake Wilson's user avatar
2 votes

Why did G-d create everything important off-center?

What I recall reading in many places is the word "heart", not "center". The Holy of Holies is the "heart" of the Temple (not its center). The Temple is the heart of Jerusalem (not its center), ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
2 votes

What is the relation between the month Nisan and the spring equinox?

In the Babylonian calendar, which Jews used in the late pre exilic, exilic, and early post exilic periods, the 1st of Nisannu always fell after what we would consider to be the equinox (though not ...
Mockingbird's user avatar
2 votes

Why does plant life come after the earth, waters and the firmament, but before the planets?

The reason seems to be explained by Rambam in Yesodey Hatorah 3.9: "All of the stars and spheres are beings, endowed with a soul, intelligence and understanding; they continue a purposeful life ...
Al Berko's user avatar
  • 26k
2 votes

Why does plant life come after the earth, waters and the firmament, but before the planets?

The order of creation is in two parallel sets of three. (This is often attributed to the Maharal, but I think the idea doesn't emerge until the 20th cent, and then in a number of sources.) On day one ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,668

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