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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is There Something Jewish About Astronomy?

German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein.Image via Wikipedia“I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research,” he wrote. He then described the incredible devotion and solitary labor that it takes to see a work of scientific research through to its truthful end and concluded: “A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.” - Albert Einstein


"But is there something Jewish about astronomy? It’s hard not to draw connections between a vocation that probes the heavens for clues to our origins and a tradition that so fervently demands a quest for knowledge. Jews have been claiming science in general as a characteristically Jewish discipline at least as far back as the 12th-century biblical commentary of Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra. Astronomy, in particular, was a fundamental skill for early Jews setting up calendars and knowing which holidays should come when. The Jewish imagination of a universe with a point of origin and an end helped to structure the modern Western idea of linear time."


See the rest here:
http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/59751/voyagers/ (Tablet Magazine)

Note my own ruminations on Jews and cosmology in "The Standard Model of Cosmology - Simplified".

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