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When Judaism Meets Science

 

“a rare masterpiece”
– Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, HUC

“careful research, passionate analysis, and good sense”
– Rabbi David Teutsch, RRC

“clear, engaging”
– Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman, Sinai and Synapses

“a tremendous tome”
– Rabbi Wayne Dosick, SpiritTalk Live!

“an absolutely fascinating book”
– Rabbi Richard Address, Jewish Sacred Aging

“scholarly, judicious, and fair–minded . . . and very ‘readable’”
– Ronald W. Pies, MD

“a fresh way to explore Jewish topics . . . useful in teaching adults”
– Rabbi Gail Shuster–Bouskila

“A must read! . . . careful thought and such literary excellence”
– Rabbi Jack Riemer

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Welcome!

Welcome to a discussion about Judaism and science, about fact, fiction, and faith. Now in its eighth year, this site has already explored a wide range of issues, from archeology to zygotes and from adam (mankind) to t’filah (prayer). And we have done so unsponsored and unencumbered by any particular denomination.

Along the way, we have encountered some interesting ideas, met some fascinating people and even gained some new perspectives. And our journey has really just begun. All who are interested in a thoughtful, respectful and constructive dialogue are invited to participate.

Cong. Agudat Achim Explores “When Judaism Meets Science”

Monday, April 5, 2021 @ 02:04 PM
posted by Roger Price
Cong. Agudat Achim

Cong. Agudat Achim (“CAA”) is a full service, egalitarian, and participatory congregation based in Schenectady, New York. For over 120 years, it has identified with the Conservative movement.

In late March, 2021, as part of CAA’s series on Judaism and science, three members of the congregations, each of whom also happens to be a scientist, interviewed your blogmaster, Roger Price, about various aspects of the interplay of Judaism and science. The interviewers were Andrew Gavens, a materials engineer, Advisor at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, and past president of CAA, Jay Yablon, a theoretical physicist at Einstein Centre for Local–Realistic Physics, patent lawyer, and also a past president of CAA, and Susan Sharfstein, a biochemical engineer and professor of nanobioscience at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Steven Jarrett, a retired physician and former Medical Director for the Capital District Regional Office of the NYS-DOH, also submitted questions.

The principal topics covered over the course of about one hour and twenty–five minutes include the motivation for and the process regarding writing “When Judaism Meets Science,” ethical issues associated with CRISPR technology and gene and germline editing, Moses as an author or, alternatively, a scientist, what, if anything, science says about God and the writing of the Torah, the historical accuracy of the Passover and Exodus stories,  how, if at all, the Torah and science agree on the creation of the universe and humankind, and, finally, how Judaism and science inform each other regarding artificial intelligence, possible life on exoplanets, and exotheology.  The full discussion can be accessed on YouTube by clicking here. Introductions begin at the 2:28 mark. Enjoy.

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz Explores “When Judaism Meets Science”

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 05:01 PM
posted by Roger Price
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is a rabbi, educator, activist, and author. Not yet forty years old, Rabbi Yanklowitz has twice been named one of America’s Top Rabbis by Newsweek and has also been named by The Forward as one of the 50 most influential Jews and one of The Most Inspiring Rabbis in America. Rabbi Yanklowitz is the author of nineteen books on Jewish ethics and his writings have appeared in outlets as diverse as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Atlantic among many other secular and religious publications.

In July 2013, Rabbi Yanklowitz became Executive Director, then later President and Dean, of Valley Beit Midrash, a center for Jewish learning, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. In January, 2021, as part of Valley Beit Midrash’s interest in the interface of Judaism and science, Rabbi Yanklowitz interviewed author Roger Price about his book When Judaism Meets Science. The interview, which runs about ten minutes, covers the unique nature of the book’s contents, the differences between the challenges modern science presents today to Judaism, and by extension the Jewish People, and previous challenges, one of the more serious consequences of the current challenge of modern science, and the topic that has elicited the most engaged conversation when the author meets with congregants around the country. That interview can now be seen and heard here:

Enjoy.

Rabbi Yanklowitz was ordained as a rabbi at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, received a second rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of Efrat, and a third rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo of Jerusalem. He studied at the University of Texas as an undergraduate, received a master’s degree at Harvard University in Leadership and Psychology, and earned a Doctorate from Columbia University in Epistemology and Moral Development.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is also the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek (the Orthodox Social Justice movement), the Founder and CEO of Shamayim (Jewish animal advocacy), and the Founder and President of YATOM, (Jewish foster and adoption network). Rabbi Yanklowitz, his wife Shoshana, and their four children live in Scottsdale, Arizona. They are also foster parents.

When Judaism Meets Science can be purchased from various etailers, including Amazon, and also from the publisher, Wipf and Stock.

Rabbi Arnold Rachlis Explores “When Judaism Meets Science”

Sunday, September 6, 2020 @ 05:09 PM
posted by Roger Price
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis

Early in August, 2020, Rabbi Arnold Rachlis interviewed Roger Price regarding his book “When Judaism Meets Science.” Initially, the interview followed an Erev Shabbat service at Rabbi Rachlis’s congregation, University Synagogue, Irvine, California. Over the course of twenty–four minutes, Rabbi Rachlis’s questions and Price’s answers covered a number of issues discussed in Price’s book, including the challenges of contemporary science to Judaism, the rejection of science and facts, vaccinations, artificial intelligence and a Jewdroid, genetics and diseases, Jewish genetic markers, and neuroscience and freewill.

Rabbi Arnold Rachlis has served as the rabbi of University Synagogue since 1987, guiding it from a small havurah to a center that serves more than 600 families. Previously, he served as rabbi of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, Illinois. Rabbi Rachlis was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1975, having previously earned a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an M.A. degree from Temple University and a Doctor of Divinity degree from RRC.

Now the entire interview, by itself, can be seen and heard here: https://vimeo.com/445649383/7bcc001c52

Enjoy!

For nine years, Rabbi Rachlis hosted Of Cabbages and Kings on ABC-TV, as well as a syndicated cable television show on contemporary Jewish issues, Hayom. He has appeared as a guest on NPR, CBS, CNN, and PBS. He was profiled in the award-winning documentary film, The Legacy, and has served as a Judaica consultant for Compton’s Encyclopedia. He has also published scholarly articles, opinion pieces, and poetry in a variety of publications, including Judaism, Reconstructionist, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Jewish Journal, and A Psychology – Judaism Reader.

Rabbi Rachlis has served in Washington, D.C. as a White House Fellow, an honor annually accorded to only a dozen national leaders, and as a Senior Foreign Affairs advisor in the State Department. Chosen by the White House to give the invocation for President Obama’s Town Hall meeting, he was selected as one of the 25 most influential leaders in Orange County. Rabbi Rachlis has also served as Chair of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, a coalition of over 1000 synagogues and Jewish organizations across the country.

When Judaism Meets Science can be purchased from various etailers, including Amazon, and also from the publisher, Wipf and Stock.

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