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Baruch Hashem For the Torah Science Fundation!

About

The Torah Science Foundation

What is the Torah Science Foundation?

The Torah Science Foundation was founded with the unique mission of creating a new paradigm for the meeting of Divine teachings and secular knowledge.

Humankind’s greatest moments lie ahead, when all facets of our species’ knowledge will come together to catapult the world into a new age of unity and harmony.

This unity is first and foremost dependent upon the joining of the wisdom of the Torah with the wisdom of secular art and science.

Armed with cutting-edge scientific knowledge and with the deepest, most inner wisdom of our eternal Torah, the Foundation seeks to reveal the inherent unity of all human endeavor. This will provide the basis for a new figure of man, unified in his spiritual and mundane pursuits.

This new paradigm in the relationship between the Torah and secular wisdom will provide fresh insights and resources for advancing and developing all facets of the human quest for knowledge.

The Foundation seeks to help frame novel conceptual schemes needed to usher in a new age in human affairs and scientific inquiry, whether providing inspiration for artisans or providing new advanced models for thinking about and solving the world’s socio-political challenges.

The Torah can be fully engaged only through the wide myriad of languages spoken by mankind. These languages may be artistic, scientific, technological, political or otherwise. Each language serves as a key to unlocking a different facet of the Torah’s multidimensional content.

The mapping of the Torah’s inner wisdom to modern scientific language and issues will provide a critically important conceptual breakthrough in theorizing on all scientific fronts. This in turn may prove to be a tremendous contribution to the return of Jewish heritage as the focal point of universal human thought.

Our conviction is that experimental science does not contradict traditional Jewish belief and values, but can and does serve to develop and deepen those beliefs and values. When the mundane is seen to be a reflection of the Divine, art and science only serve to enrich and embellish our religious yearnings.

The Torah Science Foundation is a multi-faceted organization working on many fronts to bring religious scholars and science professionals together to cooperate on working for humanity by expanding the limits of our knowledge.

All Foundation programming and publications aspire to the highest level of commitment to traditional Torah values and to scientific and academic rigor.

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What are the Torah Science Foundation's projects?

 

www.torahscience.org is the Foundation’s official website. Here you’ll find a cyber-center for all the Foundation’s events, publications, announcements, etc. The Foundation’s website serves as a meeting place for those interested in learning and interacting together on-line. In addition, the website will include forums for exchanging ideas and opinions and for asking questions about Torah and science. We are also planning a community area, where interested members can post their biographies and pictures. The website will also contain a variety of written sources about Torah and science as well as an electronic version of the Foundation’s journal – Wisdom.

The Torah Academy is the Foundation’s future academic institute. Following our basic vision on the unity of Torah and science, the Torah Academy will be a revolutionary institute of higher learning. It will provide graduate-level students with a one (or, optionally, two) year program of intensive study aimed at expanding their conceptual and theoretical thinking. The rigorous curriculum will strive to offer students a pragmatic, in-depth knowledge of the major paradigms and models found in the inner teachings of the Torah and the manner in which they can be applied to modern science.

New Text focuses on expanding the available science curriculum for Jewish elementary and high school students in both Hebrew and English. The Foundation will be publishing enrichment programs and texts in different areas of ‘secular’ studies for these age groups. The new material will help decompartmentalize Torah and secular knowledge, providing our next generation with more synthesized and advanced tools for thinking and learning.

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What is the Torah Science Foundation's vision?

 

One of the most basic differences separating science from Torah is that science is model-based. In other words, science tries to formulate models which could account for phenomena under study. Torah, on the other hand, does not visibly lend itself to the construction of models capable of providing us with a coherent rationale of its contents.

One of the novelties of Kabbalah was the introduction of contextually coherent universal models for the analysis of the Torah. The most basic model, which serves as the starting point for any student of the inner wisdom of the Torah, is comprised of what are known as the 10 sefirot the 10 Divine emanations. This basic model formed the germ of other, more highly complex models revealed by the Arizal (Rabbi Isaac Luria) in the 16th centurymodels which analyze both static configurations and dynamic flow through structures. As implemented by the Arizal and his students, these models can serve as powerful tools for the analysis of even the most complex issues in Torah.

The innovation of Hassidut was the application of the Arizal’s models to analyze the human psyche (nefesh). This, alongside with the Ramchal’s (Rabbi Moshe Chayim Luzatto) use of the same dynamic models to study human history, opened the path for applying the inner wisdom of the Torah to the study of human and natural phenomena.

In keeping with the order of organized study of the inner wisdom of the Torah, the first stage of analysis of the various areas of Divine and natural knowledge is based on the basic model of the 10 sefirot. This analysis begins with identifying the direct ‘parallels’ (the word Kabbalah itself stems from the adjective meaning ‘parallel’) between the various fields of inquiry and the sefirot. This provides us with only a static model. Our homepage reflects this first stage of analysis where the various scientific fields are ordered according to their correspondence with the sefirot.

A more ambitious goal of this analysis is to reveal the dynamic flow of ‘energy’ through this static model, thus revealing ‘parallels’ to other disciplines and areas of science, including the Humanities, and more importantly, providing insight into the possible relationships between the different areas of human knowledge.

The next step is to apply models from Kabbalah to specific areas of knowledge. Examples of this can be found in the various articles appearing on our site. Application of Kabbalistic models, especially the multi-dimensional ones of Lurianic Kabbalah is no mean task. However, when models have been applied correctly they serve to open up fresh understandings of the current knowledge, and point the way for new directions in research and development.

Ultimately, we believe that most scientists will seek to gain an understanding of Kabbalistic and Hassidic models, as they provide the most complex, rigorous, and well-suited conceptual schemes for the study of every area of human life.

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What is the significance of the Torah Science Foundation's logo?

 

To appreciate the significance of the Foundation’s logo we need to take a look at the following sources:

 

In the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life... all the fountains of the great depth were broken apart, and the windows of heaven were opened...

- Genesis 7:11

In the six hundredth year of the sixth [millenium], the gateways of heavenly wisdom and the fountains of lower wisdom will be opened, and the world will be uplifted to prepare for the ascension of the seventh [millenium]...

- Zohar I, 117a

 

Heavenly wisdom is the wisdom of the Torah, lower wisdom is secular wisdom...

- Ashmoreth Haboker, ibid.

 

The Zohar, one of the basic books of the inner wisdom of the Torah, analyzes human wisdom in two distinct areas: revealed (Divine or heavenly) and scientific (secular, or lower). From the writings of the Hassidic masters we learn that the terms for these two types of wisdom are higher waters (mayimelyonim,mayim elyonim) and lower waters (mayimtahtonim.gif 76x13,mayim tahtonim).

The Zohar quoted above predicts that human knowledge, and hence the entire human condition, will go through a paradigm shift when these two types of wisdom are unified – when these two waters are brought together.

The Foundation’s logo is the Hebrew letter aleph.(aleph ) which is graphically constructed from three other Hebrew letters: two symmetric yud.(yud) and a vav.gif 11x12(vav) dividing them. It is explained in the Arizal’s writings that the top yud.gif 17x12corresponds to the higher waters, the bottom yud.gif 17x12to the lower waters, and the vav.gif 11x12that separates them to the firmament that separated them during creation (“And G-d said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide water from water”, Genesis 1:6). As the top yud.gif 17x12corresponds to Divine wisdom, which becomes less palpable as it ascends – the top yud.gif 17x12in our logo starts (at the vav.gif 11x12) from a mid-blue coloring and fades out into whiteness and finally becomes completely transparent. As the bottom yud.gif 17x12corresponds to mundane, scientific wisdom, which becomes more and more factual as it descends, it begins (at the vav.gif 11x12) with a mid-blue coloring and ‘solidifies’ into blackness and opaqueness.

Whereas the firmament only served to separate between the two types of wisdom, the letter vav.gif 11x12(vav) is the Hebrew conjunction ‘and’. It thus serves to bring the two waters back together again into a unified whole of human knowledge, fostering growth and respect between the Divine and the mundane.

Thus the Foundation’s logo symbolizes the unification of the higher and lower waters; revealed and scientific wisdom.

 

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