Israel’s Religious-Zionist Rabbis are welcoming the introduction of evolution into the High School core curriculum, according to a report on NRG.
From Rabbi Amnon Bazak of Yeshiva Har Etzion to Rabbi Yuval Sherlo of Yeshivat Amit, and even Rabbi Shlomo Aviner of Ateret Cohanim, the rabbis are not expressing concern over teaching the theory of evolution in state religious schools, and some are even saying it is a good thing.
Rabbi Bazak said it is important that students learn how to deal seriously with questions of religion and science, and in particular, evolution. Rabbi Bazak said that ignoring evolution in the religious education system creates the impression that it’s better to ignore or reject as nonsense any threatening concept.
Rabbi Sherlo said, instead of seeing Israeli children lose their religion, we can use this to teach them to own their faith, and for us to grow students who believe, and have their eyes open and filled with knowledge.
The rabbi added that new scientific theories excite him, and it offers the student the opportunity for a deeper reading of Creation as well as to understand that the Torah and science are speaking in two different languages, and there can be no contradiction between the two.
Rabbi Aviner said, the question isn’t whether man evolved from animals, but rather if we still meet the animal in the person in the real world.
Rabbi Aviner added, the story of Creation is not literal, but rather a hint, a secret. And Rav Kook did not see a contradiction between evolution and the Torah.
Evolution is still a scientific theory, he pointed out, and new facts or hypothesis could one day replace it. Rabbi Aviner hopes Israel does not see its own version of the Skopes Monkey Trials.