An Agunah’s Tribulations
I was absolutely floored by the grace and dignity found in every word of Batya Israel’s op-ed article on her tribulations as an agunah (“The Torah Never Intended a Get to Be a Weapon,” Jan. 3).
If her heartbreaking story won’t change the fossilized mindset of those who refuse to consider the need for rabbinical leaders to once and for all put aside their petty differences and come together to formulate some way out of this mess, then I fear noting ever will.
FDR And Religion
I liked Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s “Religion in America, Past and Present” (front-page essay, Jan. 3), especially his quotation of President Franklin Roosevelt’s announcement of the D-Day invasion and of Roosevelt’s prayer to God on that vital and pivotal occasion.
So many Americans lost their lives in the D-Day battle. The president referred to them as “Our sons, the pride of our nation.”
Many years ago my grandfather Samuel Solomon, who was a barber, told one of his customers about that my growing interest in the Jewish religion. The customer, a World War II veteran, gave my grandfather a Bible for me that had been used by American Jewish servicemen during the war.
In the endpapers there was the following message, dated March 6, 1941:
“As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.”
It was signed by President Roosevelt.
Reuven (Raymond) Solomon
More On Chazal And Science
Re the recent discussion in The Jewish Press on Rabbi Moshe Meiselman’s views concerning science-related statements by Chazal:
It seems whenever there is an apparent contradiction between Torah and science, some people automatically question the veracity of the Torah. But is science always right? Hardly.
There are ample revisions, errors and even outright fraud in science for one to first investigate the accuracy of science.
One example of how wrong science can sometimes be is the discovery of “dark energy.” After decades of being certain that the universe’s expansion was slowing down, scientists in the 1990s discovered it was speeding up. They named this outward force dark energy. The expansion of the universe is the foundation of cosmological physics, yet no one has any idea what dark energy is or whether it even exists.
Another example is the long-held belief that radioactive decay is constant. This notion has been thrown into turmoil by experiments in 2006 by Professor Claus Rolfs of Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. Prof. Rolfs showed that radioactive decay can be greatly accelerated under certain conditions. That means a fossil dated as being millions of years old could conceivably be only thousands of years old.
One of the numerous cases of scientific fraud is that of Dr. Yoshitaka Fujii, a Japanese researcher in anesthesiology who held an M.D. degree. In 2012 it was discovered he fabricated data in some 172 scientific papers. Obviously, science, like any other field, has its share of bad apples.
The point is that to reflexively doubt the Torah when it disagrees with science is plain and simple bias. An honest search for the truth would dictate, at the very least, equal scrutiny of science. There are enough discrepancies between scientific dogma and scientific facts for one to thoroughly investigate science before questioning the Torah.