January 17, 2020
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Orthodox Jewish All Star, Dr. Jeremy England, “The Next Darwin”


I had the opportunity to go study at Oxford
in the wake of the second Intifada. There was a lot of real hostility both towards Israel
and also towards America that I encountered in political discussions when I was there.
And I think it really shocked me. There were still people in the world who really hated
Jews, leading to violence against Jews in the present day. And so that sounds like a
very negative way to start encountering Judaism but I always thought that to some degree that
is paralleled by the story of the binding of Isaac that in the transmission of Judaism
from one generation to the next, there has to be a knife in the picture. In short, I
don’t think there’s any problem with being a scientist while also having a commitment
to HaKadosh Boruch Hu and Torah, and I almost would go so far as to say that those who see a
strong tension there either need to have a subtler understanding of the Torah, or of what
science is, or both. Science is a process of trying to persuade everyone to agree about
what is generally a reproducible effect in a given, very controlled setting. And you
do that over and over again and people become very confident in something. The experience of
the individual is the polar opposite of that because you don’t have control, and you don’t, as a result, have the ability to predict what’s going to happen. I think “emunah”, a faithfulness
to a relationship with HaKadosh Boruch Hu, is about having an attitude about what your
intention is and what your goals are in the face of that uncertainty. Because you could
look at that uncertainty and you could say, “I assume it’s basically pointless and random,
and sometimes it’ll help me and sometimes it will hurt me and I don’t ever know which will
be when, I’m just kind of cringing in the dark and not sure when I’m about to get punched
on the nose,” and that’s a choice. Other people pretend it isn’t there and kind of lie to
themselves until they get really walloped because it is there, and they’re eventually
going to have to confront that. And I think that “d’veichut Hashem”, and taking hold of
Torah, and cleaving to G-d, is really about a choice in attitude about how to decide when
you don’t know everything.

Otis Rodgers

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5 COMMENTS

  1. shughl1 Posted on May 3, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Good video! Thank you, Allison

    Reply
  2. acchaladka Posted on May 18, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Great quality and very interesting points. More videos like this, please.

    Reply
  3. AwesomeDNA Posted on June 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    As a citizen of the world and an African in particular, I still have memories of what South Africa used to be like…

    Reply
  4. V. Steen Posted on June 2, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Wish we could turn back time… to the good ol' days

    Reply
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