Science and Judaism

1) Which is correct: Evolution or Creation?

2) Age of the Universe

3) Are science and Judaism opposed?

4) Are there limits to Scientific Inquiry?

5) What are Miracles?

6) How do Faith and Reason relate?

7) What difference is there between Superstition and the Supernatural, Magic and Mysticism?

1.      Which is correct: Evolution or Creation?   (top)

     In the Torah, the word for creating something from nothing is mentioned three times during the creation account. The first time was right in the beginning[1], the second was at the beginning of the creation of animal life[2], and the third was at the creation of soul of man[3]. This would seem to indicate that these things required some special act of creation. It was not possible to begin the world, or to move from plant to animal life, or to get to the higher, spiritual dimensions of man, based on evolution alone.

     On the other hand, this indicates that all others aspects of the creation did have an evolutionary dimension to them[4]. Thus we see that G-d says: let the earth produce the grass, etc[5] or else words like (he formed, he made) יצר and עשה (ויעש), which indicate something from something are used[6]. In fact, the commentators tell us that everything was created on the first day in some potential form[7], and was then developed into its final form on the assigned day. Even the body of man was considered a part of the evolutionary process[8].

     This is not to say that Judaism and evolution are in complete agreement[9], and indeed the radical secular bias amongst certain paleontologists has prevented scientists from trying to resolve some of the differences. But it does show that they are not as far apart as is commonly thought[10].
more on Evolution


2.      Age of the Universe   (top)

     Science claims that the universe is between 10 and 20 billion years old[11], whereas according to the Torah, there were 6 days of creation plus 5761 years. Although the scientific dating may be inaccurate[12], there has been no serious scientific challenge to these estimates[13].  Several answers to this challenge talk about two types of time.  The Maharal reminds us that time, being that it is a part of the created world, is a relative concept[14], and indeed, according to relativity theory, it expands and contracts[15]. This allows Dr. Gerald Schroeder to calculate that about 15 billion years in the center of the universe translates into 6 days on the edge of the universe, where the much heavier gravity slows time down significantly. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan comes up with a similar answer based on traditional sources[16]. Similarly, Rav Shimon Schwab talks of two types of time, cosmic time and earthly time. The 6 days of creation are counted according to cosmic time[17], during which period millions of years may have passed according to our measure of time[18]. Rav Dessler brings the Vilna Gaon and other sources to show that time before the sin of the First Man was far more contracted[19]; whereas that same time would be perceived today as stretched out into billions of years.

     There are several other approaches to this problem, using similar lines of logic[20]. Almost all these opinions existed before the scientific community ever suggested a much longer age for the universe, and therefore this is no mere apologetics. On the other hand we should point out that the scientific community has not established a final age for the universe – the figure changes every year, and I am confident that any remaining differences on this issue will be resolved by further adjustments in the figure which scientists suggest[21]. (See the answer to the next question.)


3.      Are science and Judaism opposed?   (top)

     Judaism has always been pro-science, requiring that current scientific knowledge be factored into Halachic (legal) decisions. Science is ongoing and constantly changing; but, with time, scientific theories are getting closer and closer to Judaism. Thus the Big Bang points to the fact that the world had a beginning, implying that it emerged in a creation[22], the attempt to combine the four forces of matter[23] illustrates the
scientists belief that everything is ultimately one unity; Einstein’s theory that matter is energy males it easier to believe in spirituality; while probability allows G-d’s providence and our choice their rightful place.  There are many other examples of this

     There may still be disagreements, but we can wait: science is still on the move and that movement is rapidly in the direction towards Judaism. As science gets closer and closer to Judaism, it will yet reconcile its final differences with the Torah.


4.      Are there limits to Scientific Inquiry?   (top)

     Scientists deal with facts not values[25]. "Science tells us how to heal and how to kill; it reduces the death rate in retail and then kills us wholesale in war; but only wisdom...can tell
us when to heal and when to kill. … The scientist is as interested in the leg of the flea as the creative throes of a genius....

     A doctor is as qualified to pass judgment on when life begins and ends as a chef is on which foods are carcinogenic or a computer programmer about which way the PC market is about to go.  All are likely to sound intelligent; none have more than an educated layman's chance of being right. Thinking rigorously ethically is a highly specialized business. Judaism, amazingly, is not only able to address all these problems, but the principles of Judaism anticipate the issues. More than ever, science needs these principles to guide it through issues of ever increasing complexity, ever closer to the beginnings of life itself.

     Victor Weiskopf writes of his participation in the Manhattan Project, the American WW2 initiative to make the atomic bomb: "Today, I am not quite sure whether my decision to participate in this awesome-and awful-enterprise was solely based on the fear of the Nazis beating us to it. It may have been more simply an urge to participate in the important work my friends and colleagues were doing. There was certainly a feeling of pride in being a part of a unique and sensational enterprise. Also this was a chance to show the world how powerful, important and pragmatic the esoteric science of nuclear physics could be."

     After the defeat of Germany, the single, most powerful reason for working on the bomb had been removed. But work continued because, "By then we were too involved in the work, too deeply interested in its progress, and too dedicated to overcoming its many difficulties ... the thought of quitting did not even cross my mind." (After the war, Weiskopf did quit working on the project.) (in The Joy of Insight, Passions of a Physicist, Basic Books.)


5.      What are Miracles?   (top)

     There are two types of miracles, those that occur throughout history and those that occurred around the Sinai experience. The first occurs within nature, producing results that are ordinarily highly improbable (if not impossible), given the laws of nature as we understand them[27]. The Sinai events, however, involve a change in the very order of nature, although even these have logic and operate according to certain laws[28]. Moreover, these miracles were not one-time events at a distance which took the people by surprise. A miracle which someone does by walking momentarily on water far away in the middle of a lake in front of a limited number of people is hardly open to verification. By contrast, the miracle of the manna (the מן) took place for 40 years[29] in front of the whole nation at extremely close range. Someone who was twenty when the miracle began was sixty when it ended. The Jews, the most skeptical nation on earth[30], were able to go out every day with their scientific equipment and make sure that what was happening was for real[31].

     Still. it is always possible to have doubts[32]. It is always possible to come up with some explanation, however unlikely, for the phenomena at hand. For this reason, the miracles are not the central proof that G-d gave the Torah at Sinai. This is left to the prophetic revelation that each and every Jew had at Sinai. Therefore, this is not the central purpose of miracles. Rather, their primary purpose is to be a show of G-d’s ongoing Divine Providence[33]. From these revelations of Providence we learn to see more hidden acts of Providence as well[34]. In fact, when we understand things a little deeper, we realize that נס (a miracle) and טבע (nature) are, ultimately, two faces of the same thing[35].


6.      How do Faith and Reason relate?   (top)

     Since nothing can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, Judaism ultimately requires a leap of faith אמונה[36]. But this does not mean that it is indistinguishable from any other faith. There has to be a way in which we can distinguish our faith from adherents of other religions. Otherwise anything goes.

     As we explained elsewhere, Judaism has empirical roots in the Sinai experience. For a Jew, faith is a rational extension of what he knows to be true. Faith is what allows us to
stretch our horizons into areas we cannot know for sure (which actually is most of our life). Without this faith, we would be very limited indeed. But that does not mean that you can believe what you want. Reason is what ensures that what we believe in is the most rational and empirically supported of all the alternatives. For example, when we say that we believe in G-d, what we mean is that G-d is the best explanation for the facts of the world as we see them

     Judaism values reason so highly that it is at the center of our Oral Law. Something which is purely logical needs no further proof, and is considered as binding as if a verse had been written in the Torah. But Judaism also recognizes that faith based on reason alone would be a cold, philosophical faith, not a real relationship with G-d. (See Belief in G-d, first section). We are multi-faceted and capable of complex relationships with things. A Jew is simultaneously critical and believing, skeptical and passionate, questioning and trusting. it is this marvelous little bag of rich responses, which makes commitment to Judaism so rewarding.  


7.      What difference is there between Superstition and the Supernatural, Magic and Mysticism?   (top)

Superstitions are the beliefs which people have without any basis in fact. The Supernatural however, is a plane or rather several planes of reality which exist between us and the Almighty[38].

Whenever G-d puts a force in the world, it can be used for both good and bad. Prophecy is the expression of bringing a positive and accurate wisdom down from higher realms[39]. The abuse of this is Kishuf – magic. Mysticism, the Kabalah, is the wisdom which describes all those realms between us and G-d in His Essence. Both prophets and mystics were and are able to use their connection with these higher planes to bring certain forces down to earth. But this was not their primary purpose. Prophecy’s primary job was as a revelation of G-d’s will and purpose for the world, and later to strengthen and clarify that revelation[40]. Prophecy included the Kabbalah which, once brought down, could be passed on by those privy to the inner wisdom of the Torah revelation. The primary purpose of the Kabbalah is to understand the cosmic impact, which even our seemingly trivial actions have, and to therefore motivate us to achieve greater heights of spirituality[41].

Science Quotes

[1]  בראשית א:א בראשית ברא א-לקים 

[2]  בראשית א:כא ויברא אלקים את התנינם הגדלים ואת כל נפש החיה הרמשת אשר שרצו המים למינהם ואת כל עוף כנף

למינהו וירא אלקים כי טוב: 

3בראשית א:כז ויברא א-לקים את האדם בצלמו

All three creation words are used for man:

אדרת אליהו בראשית א-א ד"ה ברא:

ואצל בריאת האדם נאמר שלש אלה. ויברא אלקים את האדם בצלמו. וייצר ה' אלקים את האדם עפר מן האדמה. ויאמר אלקים נעשה אדם בצלמינו. בריאה לעומת נשמתו צלם אלוקים. יצירה על ציור ותואר אבריו. ועשיה על אופן תיקונו הנטפל אליו בשמירת בריאותיו. כמו ויעש ה' אלוקים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם.

Where יצירה and עשייה is used,  some form of evolutionary development is indicated. 

[4] אדרת אליהו בראשית א-א ד"ה ברא:

בריאה. יצירה. עשיה.. מלת בריאה הונח להורות על חידוש העצם אשר אין בכח הנבראים אפי' כולם חכמים ונבונים לחדשו כמו הדומם או הצומח וכל  מיני מתכיות. יצירה נופל על צורת הדבר בכמות והוא המקרה הדבוק. עשיה יתכן על תיקון עשיתו והוא שאינו דבוק. 

[5]  ויאמר אלקים יקוו המים, ויאמר אלקים תדשא הארץ, ותוצא הארץ דשא, ויאמר אלקים תוצא הארץ נפש חיה למינה 

[6]  ויעש אלקים את הרקיע ויהי כן,  ויעש אלקים את שני המארת הגדלים,  ויעש אלקים את חית הארץ למינה ואת הבהמה למינה ואת כל רמש האדמה למינהו וירא אלקים כי טוב, וכו' וכן

בראשית ב:א-ב - ויכלו השמים והארץ וכל צבאם: ויכל אלקים ביום השביעי מלאכתו אשר עשה וישבת ביום השביעי מכל מלאכתו אשר עשה  

[7]  בראשית ב:ד - אלה תולדות השמים והארץ בהבראם ביום עשות ה' אלקים ארץ ושמים:

רש"י שם: תולדות השמים והארץ בהבראם ביום עשות ה'. למדך שכלם נבראו ביום ראשון. (וכן כתוב על  פ"א פסוק יד) 

[8] See note 3 above. 

[9] Other than the assertion that certain things were created ex-nihilo, other  requirements of a Torah-true perspective are:

        1.          That the first day not be regarded as more primitive than subsequent days; on the contrary - it was higher spiritually than the other days.                             

        2.          That all evolutionary developments be recognized as only taking place because of G-d's providential  input.

        3.          That the time taken be reconciled with the literal Biblical text.

        4.          That the creation process be regarded as the most perfect for the purposes for which the world was made.

        5.          That the world and its entire species be regarded as essentially co-operative and not in competition.

        6.          That man be regarded as the pinnacle of creation, the purpose for which the creation was made. 

[10] Another area of similarity is the basic agreement on the order in which things emerged. An exception to this is the fact that the Torah states that the sun, moon & stars were created on the 4th day after plant life, created on the 3rd; and that birds which used to be thought to have developed from dinosaurs would also be a problem, though now are thought by some evolutionists to have developed from reptile-like creatures, long before dinosaurs. 

[11] Recently, the estimates have been tending towards the lower side, between 12 –13 billion years. 

[12] Rabbi Tatz’s approach is that until the end of the six days of creation the laws of the universe as we have them today were not finally put in place. Therefore science, based on current laws, cannot inform us of what happened during the six days of creation. 

[13] Unlike evolution, where many prestigious scientists have questioned just how scientific the theory is, the age of the universe, within the given range, has been accepted across the scientific community. 

[14] מהר"ל תפארת ישראל פ"מ: מה שהיה השם יתברך פועל העולם בזמן הוא מצד המקבל 

[15] Both motion and gravity effect time. "In 1905 Albert Einstein formulated the effect of motion on time in his special theory of relativity, and in 1917 he formulated the effect of gravity on time in his general theory of relativity. These effects were observed in experiments conducted in the 1960's and the 1970's. In one such experiment in 1971, atomic clocks were carried in two high speed aircraft. One traveled eastward, that is, in the rotational direction of the earth, and one westward. After the flight, the onboard clocks were found to have either lost or gained time (relative to a ground based atomic clock) depending on their direction of travel, an effect of motion, and their altitude, and effect of gravity. The results confirmed the predictions made in Einstein's theory of relativity." 

[16] Since there are a total of 7 Shmittah cycles, each one 7000 years long = 49,000 years. (ספר התמונה)
We are currently in the 7th cycle, making 6 cycles x 7000 years = 42,000 years prior to the creation of  Adam Harishon (לבנת הספיר)
Since these years are prior to אדם הראשון, they must be measured as Divine years rather than earthly years.
    (רב יצחק מעכו)
A Divine day is 1000 earthly years long (מדרש)
A Divine year is, therefore, 365 1/4 x 1000 = 365,250 earthly years
Therefore the universe is 365,250 x 42,000 = 15,340,500,000 (approximately 15 billion years)
This is the same time claimed by cosmologists (8 - 20 billion)
click here to read more from Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and The Age of the Universe

[17] Some use the fact that the sun etc. was only created on the fourth day as proof that time could not have been measured as we measure it today). 

[18] We might summarize the opinions by saying that some interpretations agree with current cosmology (Dr. Schroeder; R. Aryeh Kaplan; whereas others leave the issue open (R. Shimon Schwab); still others give other times (Ramban; R Yonasan Eibeshitz). It would be fair to say that we do not know, from a תורה perspective, what the relative time interpretation of the creation days is. A תורה Jew can, in this context, be quite open to the modern cosmological time-table, without necessarily deciding decisively in favor of this. (Bearing in mind the huge conflict the scientists themselves have: 8-20 billion years is quite a range!)

                Personally, I prefer Rav Schwab’s approach the best,  for other approaches try to reconcile the Torah view to current scientific views which may turn out to be incorrect in the future. Indeed, although scientists have kept within the 8-20 billion year range for the age of the universe, their specific assessments have been adjusted pretty much on an annual basis. Rav Schwab’s approach can accommodate itself to the vicissitudes of changing scientific opinion. 

[19] מכתב מאליהו כרך ב, חלק שני: בראשית-ימי בראשית וימי עולם דף 151

ימים אלו (של ששת ימי בראשית) היו קודם גמר הבריאה שאז הבחנת הזמן היתה אחרת. אולם התורה ניתנה לנו לפי הבחנתנו אנו, שבא משה והורידה לארץ, וזה גדר "דברה תורה כלשון בני אדם", שמדברת לפי הבחנתנו בגשם וגדרי מקום וזמן שלנו. הוא שכל גילויי ששת אלפי השנה כלולים בימי בראשית... שאילו לא חטא אדם הראשון היה העולם הזה נמשך רק ששה ימים... (אך כשחטא... והימים נתפרטו לששה אלפי שנין). 

[20] וכגון היערות דבש א ע"ש

[21] However, all discussion is within the 10 – 20 billion year range. 

[22] The Big Bang postulates that all matter "exploded" outwards from an infinitely small, infinitely dense, piece of matter (or from nothing for that matter). This was the beginning of the universe as far as we can know anything about it, including time and space.

     Previously, science believed in the static universe, i.e. that the world had always existed. Jews, who believed in the Creation story, were contradicted by over 20 centuries of science! And then, in the space of forty years (from the 1920s to the 1960s) and despite the resistance of many leading scientists (including Einstein),  this theory was conclusively overthrown. Suddenly a major conflict between science and Judaism had been resolved! (One of the co-discoverers of this, both of whom won Nobel Prizes, is an Orthodox Jew named Arnold Penzias.)

Scientists today believe that prior to the Big Bang the world was condensed into a infinitely small point. This is indeed how the רמב"ן (Ramban) understands (the creation of the world) מעשה בראשית :

רמב"ן בראשית א א: השמים [היתה] מאין נקודה פחותה  מגרגיר חרדל ונקודה אחרת הארץ וכל אשר עליה 

[23]There are four basic forces in the universe -  the strong and the weak forces, gravity and electromagnetism. Three of  these operate at a sub-atomic level while the fourth, gravity operates at a macro level. Many physicists regard their biggest challenge today to be the combining of these four forces into one. They believe that, up until a short while after the Big Bang, these four forces were in fact one force and that they later divided into their present state.

There was no scientific evidence or intrinsic reason for scientists to believe that the world should comprise of one force rather than four.  Yet pursuit of this project has involved tens of thousands of scientists for decades, at a cost of tens of billions of dollars. The explanation for their search is that scientists "believe" that ultimately the world is a place of great unity.  This is essentially a religious belief. Scientists also believe that the more simple or beautiful (mathematical speaking) a theory, the more true it will prove to be.

Scientists have thus far managed to combine the electromagnetic force with the weak force (called the electroweak force) and they have the basic mathematics to show that these are in turn combined with the strong force (called GUT - Grand Unified Theory). They are now working to show that these three force in turn are combined with gravity. This they call TOE - a Theory Of Everything. This is regarded by some as the last, great frontier in science. All of this supports the idea of a One G-d who is the unifying source behind all reality. (This idea was in stark contrast to the evolutionists idea of a world of chance conflict.)

Timothy Ferris (author of The Red Limit - The Search for the Edge of the Universe, Bantam, 1981) wrote, produced and narrated a PBS science special: "The Creation of the Universe": The search for, and the belief in the possibility of finding, a unified field theory "testifies to the triumph of the old idea that all creation might be ruled by a single elegantly beautiful principle."

Ferris states: "Religion and science are sometimes depicted as if they were opponents, but science owes a lot to religion. Modern science began with the rediscovery, in the Renaissance, of the old Greek idea that nature is rationally intelligible. But science from the beginning incorporated another idea, equally important, that the universe really is a uni-verse, a single system ruled by a single set of laws. And science got that idea from the belief in one God...

"The founders of modern science -- Kepler and Copernicus, Isaac Newton and even Galileo, for all of his troubles with the church -- were, by and large, profoundly religious men.

"I'm not saying that you have to believe in God in order to do science. Atheists and agnostics have won Nobel Prizes, as have Christians and Jews, and Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. But modern scientific research, especially Unified Theory, testifies to the triumph of the old idea that all creation might be ruled by a single and elegantly beautiful principle" (PBS science special: "The Creation of the Universe)     

[24] Amongst the many other examples an observer centered universe (postulated by some) shows how freedom of choice effects the world; the Punctuated Theory of Evolution brings evolution closer to Judaism; archeology has shown the historical accuracy of the Tanach. 

[25] Actually, science deals with theories about facts. It should be noted that scientists today accept that they can never know the world with certainty.  Quantum uncertainty is not simply a function of human error or interference; it is built into the very fabric of the universe as far as we can know it. 

[26] Will Durant, A History of Philosophy 

[27]  שעורי דעת (א:ח"א, שעור ד' נסים וטבע  ועיין בספורנו  (במדבר כ ג ד"ה וירב העם עם משה)) 

[28] שעורי דעת (א:ח"א, שעור ד' נסים וטבע)

...כשברא הקב"ה את עולמו...ומצא לנכון להתנות מתחלה גם את אופן ההנהגה היוצאת מכלל החקים הקבועים...ומעתה לא יקשה כ"כ מדוע ירד פרעה אל הים בראותו כי נקרע לפני בני ישראל, כי הם ידעו כי גם מה שלמעלה מן הטבע מתנהל ע"פ מערכה ידועה וחקים קבועים 

[29] שמות טז:לה - ובני ישראל אכלו את המן ארבעים שנה

אבן עזרא: זה הנס היה גדול מכל הנסים שנעשו על יד משה כי נסים רבים היו במן   ועמדו  ארבעים שנה ולא כל הנסים האחרים.  

[30] שו"ת הרשב"א ח"א תקמח (בסוף)

וישראל נוחלי דת האמת בני יעקב איש אמת כולו זרע אמת - נוח להם לסבול עול גלות ומה שיגיעם מהאמין בדבר עד שיחקרו חקירה רבה, חקירה אחר חקירה, להסיר כל סיג (dross) מהדברים הנאמרים להם ואפילו מה שיראה להם שהוא אות ומופת ... אף המסופק ענין משה (they even doubted the authenticity of Moshe) ...שהיו פרוכי עבודה קשה ונצטוה משה לבשרם ועם כל זה אמר "הן לא יאמינו בי" (שמות ד) והוצרך לכמה אותות.  וזה אות אמת על עמנו עם ה' שלא להפתות בדבר עד עמדם על האמת בחקירה רבה חקירה גמורה 

[31]  הכוזרי, מאמר ראשון אות ח א כתב שיש ד דברים שמוכיחים נס:

א-שמהפך בו טבע הדברים

 ב - שיהיה הענין הזה לפני המונים

ג - יראוהו בעיניהם ולא יגיעם בספור בקבלה

ד - שיחקרו על הדבר ויבחנוהו בחינה אחר בחינה שלא יפול בלב אדם ספק כי יש בו צד דמיון או צד ספק 

[32]  רמב"ם הקדמה לפירוש המשניות והלכות יסודי התורה כתב שמה שאדם רואה בנס יש תמיד בלבו דופי

 [33] מכתב מאליהו ח"א דף 203:

גדר הניסים הוא, שהקב"ה מראה בגילוי את השגחתו, באופן שכל בעל לב יכיר כי אין זה מקרה טבעי, אלא יד ה' נגלית כאן. ע"כ כשיש נס הבא לטובתנו בעה"ז, כך יש נס המתגלה ביסורינו, כאשר השם ית' מראה השגחתו בגלוי בסייעו לשונאינו

This applies also to the Miracles around the Sinai experience:

S. R. Hirsch (תהלים עח: כג-כד)

... and that substance which He sent down to them and to them alone was rationed out to them in strict accordance with the needs of each individual household. It was quite evident therefore, that these were acts of Divine Providence which lavishes loving care upon every single member of each and every family in Israel, from the oldest to the very youngest… 

[34] רמב"ן שמות יג:טז:

ומן הנסים הגדולים המפורסמים אדם מודה בנסים הנסתרים, שהם יסוד התורה כלה, שאין לאדם חלק בתורת משה ר' עד שנאמין בכל דברינו ומקרינו שכלם נסים אין בהם טבע ומנהגו של עולם

שפת אמת (בהר תרל"ז):

הנסים והטבעים הכל אחד ובאמת אין נס גדול כמו הטבע שהוא הגדול שבנפלאות המושגים לנו ...ובאמת הדורות שנעשה להם הנסים היה קבוע בהם האמונה והיה שוה להם הטבע והנסים  

[35] והסביר הפחד יצחק (חנוכה, רשימה, ה, בסוף הספר) ...כל חוקי הטבע אינם אלא הגבלות. ההגבלות האלו במהותן עומדות הן בסתירה לאותו אור הראשוני שהיה התחלה לבריאת העולם. שכן על האור הראשוני הזה נאמר שבו היה האדם צופה מסוף העולם עד סופו ...(בלי הגבלה) ... לחוקים של טבע ... אלא שהאור הראשוני הזה נגנז לצדיקים לעתיד לבא. ... (וו)בכל מקום שחז"ל אומרים על איזה דבר שהוא נגנז ... הכונה היא ... שקודם הגניזה היתה פעולתו בגילוי ולהדיא; ואילו אחר גניזתו אינו פועל אלא ... בהסתר ובכיסוי. מה שאנחנו קוראים נס ומה שאנחנו קוראים טבע אינם אלא שני אופנים בפעולת האור הראשוני הזה. האופן הראשון הוא בזמן שנעשה נקב כחודו של מחט באותה גניזה, ואז ממילא בטל חוק הטבע המשתייך לזה.... (= נס). ולעומת זאת בשעה שהגניזה סתומה מכל צד, ואז האור הראשוני הזה אינו פועל אלא בכיסוי ובהעלם הרי אנחנו קוראים לזה טבע. וזה שכתב הרמב"ן כי כל הטבע אינו אלא נסים נסתרים. כלומר, אותו האור עצמו שהוא שרש הנס הוא הוא עצמו שרש הטבע. אלא שפתיחת הגניזה היא נס, ואילו עצם הגניזה היא טבע. 

[36] מדרש תנחומא פ' שופטים, סי' ט' ד"ה (ט) והיה הכל: בא חבקוק והעמידן על אחת שנאמר (חבקוק ב') וצדיק באמונתו יחיה. 

[37] Of course we want much more from our belief in G-d than to turn it into just another scientific theory. We want a relationship with G-d. But the starting point is as we have stated it. 

[38] These are divided into Olamos which are in turn divided into the Sefiros. 

[39] ספר העיקרים ג:יב -שכתב שהנבואה היא סעיף מתורה מהשמים כי כל תכליתו הוא לגלות  ולחזק תורה מהשמים 

דעת תבונות (קעח דף רא הוצאת הרב פרידלנדר):

הנבואה היא ידיעה והשגה שהקב"ה נותן לנביא מכבודו יתברך. 

דרך ד' ג-ג-ו:

... הרי הוא משכיל בהשכלה עליונה  מכל השכלה שאפשר לאדם והיא השכלה בבחינת היותו קשור  בבוראו. והנה גלוי כבודו ית' הוא יהיה הפועל בכל מה שימשך לנביא בנבואתו: והנה ממנו ימשך בכח הדמיון שבנפש הנביא ... ומתוך הדמיונות ההם תמשך בו מחשבה והשכלה ... 

דעת תבונות (קעח דף רא הוצאת הרב פרידלנדר):

ויראו מהם כל השפעותיו בכל דרכיהם, ויראו כל עניניהם שבהם תלויים כל חוקות השמים והארץ וכל צבאם וכל פרטיהם. ועל כן ידעו העבר והעתיד מה שהקב"ה עושה בעולם 

[40] רמב"ם הל' יסודי התורה פ' ז' הל' ז':

לכונן אותם  ולהודיעם מה יעשו או למונעם ממעשים הרעים שבידיהם

ספר העיקרים ג ח: להזהיר על קיום התורה

ספר העיקרים ג:ח:

 ... הנבואה ... לא להגדות העתידות ... אלא שגם זה היה נמצא בנביאים ... להורות על אמתת נבואתם כדי שיאמינו דבריהם 

[41] ר' חיים פרידלנדר: היא לא רק להחכים אותנו בהבנת הדברים, אלא ללמד אותנו הלכה למעשה את דרכי עבודת השי"ת. כל מה שמגלה השי"ת לנו מדרכיו ומעולמו הוא למוד עבורנו ונבין מה היה רצונו בבריאת השלבים השונים של העולמות, ומה התפקיד שמוטל עלינו ביחס לעולמות אלה. (מבוא לקל"ח פתחי חכמה דף 23) 

Specifically, this means knowing the cosmic dimensions of each מצוה. This makes us more alert and responsible to the significance of our actions: 

חכמת האמת מלמדת אותנו איך שכל מצוה, על כל פרטיה ודקדוקיה, עומדת ברומו של עולם … "ואיך כל דבר הקטון כאן למטה בארץ הולך ומתרחב למעלה, ומרעיש כל העולמות. אז ישים האדם אל לבו. ודאי זה כל תועלת החכמה הזאת האריך בה גם נפש החיים. ."  (שערי רמח"ל עמ' פא ס' קכ מהדורת פרידלנדר)

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