Thursday, November 2, 2006
Neo-Tzig: I believe this article can be especially helpful to you.
The Rebbe is the only one who makes the unequivocal statement that the many assertions in the Tanach regarding the structure of the world have to be taken literally. If the Torah says that the Earth is standing still and the sun is going around it, then it is true, even though any first grader in any school will tell you the opposite. The Rebbe is stressing the point that maybe 100 years ago, in the time of classical science, there were questions, but now, in the era of modern science, Einstein, Niels Bohr, Heisenberg, things have changed completely. This is turn Is an additional proof that we are in Moshiach's era, because even the world, the material world, is ready for Moshiach. Even something which is derived from the material world, which is science, cold and detached science, is also converging back to Torah. The exact opposite of what used to be 100 years ago.
One of the exams is the structure of the world. In 1973-74 when I had just come out of Russia, Dr. Tzvi Feier, who used to be the secretary of the Organization of American Orthodox Jewish Scientists, a physicist himself, was the publisher of their magazine, Intercom. He wrote a letter to the Rebbe, asking many questions with respect to the reconciliation of Torah and Science. He got a very detailed answer, and two or three days later the Rebbe wrote him another additional letter. Tzvi was very pleased, and he gave me the Rebbe's answers to read. He asked the Rebbe for permission to publish this in Intercom, which the Rebbe gave. Tzvi published it. The entire paragraph, that there was no scientific problem with the earth standing still, was not in the printed version. I called him up and asked him. He told me he was very uncomfortable including it. He said, "I think I did a good service to the Rebbe not to publish it." I said, "Tzvi, you shouldn't have done that. The Rebbe gave you permission to publish it. The Rebbe put it in the letter for the purpose that everyone should read it!" "Yes, but you know, that would cause all kinds of unpleasant comments, and I appreciate the Rebbe too much to involve him in this." "Don't you think the Rebbe knows better? How do you dare to interfere?"
We made some seminars in Crown Heights for people whose education was in physics. Some of them could learn [Torah, including chasidus] well also. Each session was a few hours. We were digging and digging, and we couldn't find where is the real proof. At Yechidus I told the Rebbe we had difficulties. He said, "You are going too far and too deep. It is on the surface. Look on the surface of Einstein's Theory of Relativity." Still we couldn't understand. A few days later we found in Barnes and Noble's bookstore, a book first published in 1926 by one of Einstein's closest disciples, Hans Reichenbach. This was the English translation. The title was "The Philosophy of Time and Space." He analyzes there, on a very popular level, the whole question, and shows that the heliocentric and geocentric hypotheses are equally acceptable, and that as long as Einstein's theory is accepted, science will never be able to decide between them. If both versions are acceptable, and Chumash, Gemorah, and Rambam choose one of them, why jump to the other?
Let me explain a little more. According to Einstein's theory, there is no absolute space and no absolute movement. All science can do is establish the relative velocity between two bodies. It can never say which one is moving and which one is standing still. It can never say which is on the center and which is on the periphery. That is not in the details. That is the basic concept on which the Torah is built. When we made ourselves crazy analyzing equations and more equations, it didn't help, because we went too deep. The whole discussion of evolution, Darwin, the Rebbe shows the weakness of extrapolation, that it is not really science, just speculation which can produce any results one wants.
(from an interview with Chaim Dalfin in "Encounters with the Rebbe", posted on 613.ORG)