Denying Science Makes A Mockery Of Orthodox Judaism

In a 2009 lecture on Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch for Torah in Motion, Dr. Marc B. Shapiro says: “It’s impossible to cover up these things now they’re out there [online].

“Hirsch says we’re not bound to any opposition to science. He wasn’t any great lover of evolution because it hadn’t been proven, but like Rav Kook, he said we could accept this. We could make our tradition work with this. Hirsch was a big believer that if it is scientifically true, it works with Torah. We can not get up and say that the Torah by definition is opposed to any form of science because you never know what is going to be in the future. We don’t accept all of science just because some hypothesis comes around, but we always have to be open.”

“Hirsch says that chazal (the rabbis of the Talmud) are not interested in determining science. It is a desecration of God’s name and makes a mockery of Judaism to say otherwise. If you assume that everything chazal says is from Sinai and infallible, then it makes a mockery because when you see proof that creatures described by chazal are mythical creatures then someone will say that if chazal was wrong on this and everything is from Sinai, then Sinai is a joke. Reject all of Torah. Hirsch saves Judaism by saying that chazal were great figures who dealt with every eventuality. They weren’t concerned with whether or not there was such a creature. If you tell me there was, then lets look at the halachos (laws) about it.”

“If you look at the internet and the way these gadolim [condemning Natan Slifkin and evolution] have been mocked and made to look like idiots, if you have any education…”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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