Philosopher Moses Maimonides believed that superstition undermines Judaism as a rational belief system. For him, the purpose of mezuzah has nothing to do with protection, but rather, serves as a didactic device that teaches us about the importance of making ethical monotheism a part of our daily lives. There can be no doubt that Maimonides would have considered the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s mitzvah campaign of promoting the mezuzah as well-meaning, but theologically foolish–and perhaps even pagan-esque, since it devalues the purpose ...Learn More Share
Why did the early rabbis of Late Antiquity believe that the sun revolves around the earth?
On the surface, the Sages wanted to uphold the belief that the earth is still the center of God’s universe. However, in all honesty, one cannot blame the ancient rabbis for thinking that way; the majority of them were unacquainted with the science of the Greeks, many of whom (like Aristotle) believed that the earth revolves around the sun. One would be hard pressed to ...Learn More Share
In honor of the new Torah reading cycle, I thought I would explain some thoughts about the parsha as it pertains to the miracle of Creation.
However, Ibn Ezra is less convinced and contends that the linguistic evidence does not support such an interpretation. The verb בָּרָא’ may also mean to fashion something out of already existing materials (e.g., the creation of man, whose body came from the dust of the earth, and whose soul issued forth from God’s breath). Ibn ...Learn More Share
Does a clone have a soul? God creates human who have souls, but when people create people, do they have a soul? Where do they go when they die? If a clone is not considered to possess a soul, would it be permitted to clone a human being for merely its spare parts? Is Cloning permitted according to the Halacha?
A. Some years ago, the Israeli Chief Rabbi Lau offered an opinion on cloning. The Chief Rabbi said that although there ...Learn More Share