Professor Nathan Aviezer

How Science Deepens Our Understanding of Torah: (i) Rain and Chaos and (ii) The Rainbow and the Photon

Two examples will be given of how advances in science deepen our understanding of the words of the Holy Torah.  The first example relates to rain.  It states in Devorim that since the water in Israel comes from rain which is always uncertain, Israel requires G-d’s constant attention: A land (Israel) which is always looked after by G-d (11:12).  However, recent advances in meteorology have led to accurate predictions regarding future rainfall.  In thus seems that further advances in meteorology, using more powerful computers, will eventually eliminate all remaining uncertainties regarding future rainfall in Israel.  Israel would then no longer require being “looked after by G-d,” a situation that contradicts the verses in the Torah.  This contradiction has been resolved by the new science of chaos, which guarantees that accurate predictions of rainfall in Israel will always remain beyond the reach of meteorologists.

The second example relates to the rainbow.  It states in Bereshit that after the Flood, G-d promised never again to destroy all mankind through a flood.  The sign that G-d brings to seal His promise is the rainbow: I have placed my rainbow in the clouds as a sign of the covenant between Me and the Earth (9:13).  Why is the rainbow the ideal choice for the sign of G-d’s faithfulness?  Modern quantum physics provides the answer based on the photon, the quantum particle of light.