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Introduction

Introduction

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A SCIENTIST’S JOURNEY THROUGH TORAH

Stuart Fickler, Ph.D.

Introduction

 

“The Lord God is truth.”  (Talmud - Berachot 14b) 

B’H. We are back!!!

I will be trying a new approach to Project Maimonides. Our original intent was to present a dialogue between Rabbi Klatzkin and myself. As many of you are aware, Rabbi Klatzkin bears an awesome workload and something had to give. And, I must admit that, without the Rabbi’s prodding, I sort of fizzled. But, I could not give up on Project Maimonides.

So here I am again. We are going to try a new approach. I will attempt to maintain a continuing series, and Rabbi Klatzkin will add his comments whenever possible. To start, I will be presenting a series of articles entitled “A Scientist’s Journey through Torah”.

In order to set the series in a proper context, it must be clearly stated that I am not a Rabbi or a Torah scholar. I am a scientist in everything that I do, including my approach to Judaism. However, I have no interest whatsoever in getting into a competition with Rabbis. To the contrary, I am firmly committed to the principle that Rabbinic Judaism and Science are a complementary pair directed toward the same purpose: “the acquisition of knowledge of God and God’s creation”  (Maimonides).  From this perspective, Rabbinic Judaism and Science are the Yin and Yang that must be brought together into a harmonious unity in order to fully find our place and purpose in God’s creation.

The specific goal of this series is to demonstrate, in understandable, non-scientific language, that, when it comes to human purpose and relationships, Torah is an extraordinary “scientific” document. The physical scientist seeks to know and apply the relationships that exist in the material aspects of creation. Torah is God’s revelation of the role and nature of humanity in God’s creation. It specifically and thoroughly defines the relationship of the human being with self, with community, with creation and with God. In science, we find that, often, paradox is the gateway to wisdom. I would like to begin this journey with a paradox. To know God, we must know ourselves; to know ourselves, we must know God. Lech lecha!

Another matter that must be considered is that Judaism is an exquisitely beautiful tapestry made up of many, many strands. Although many of the strands may be different, all are essential to the beauty of the tapestry. Furthermore, the tapestry of Judaism is four dimensional; it exists in space and time. It would be insufferably arrogant of me to attempt to bring all of those strands together in one series of articles. I can only attempt to follows some of those strands and, hopefully help make connection to others.

It is in this context and spirit that we set out on our scientist’s journey through the Torah.

With God’s help, to be continued. Next time: “Why Are We Here?”

Emet v’chaim.

 

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