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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘scientific’

The Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Common Sense Test

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Contrary to conventional “wisdom,” Iran considers the US and the Arab oil-producing Gulf States – not Israel – the primary target for its nuclear capabilities. Iran pursues mega (nuclear) capabilities in order to advance its mega goal (domination of the Gulf and Sunni Islam), by removing the mega obstacle (US power projection), irrespective of Israel’s existence and policies, the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Palestinian issue.

In the pursuit of agreements and peace with rogue regimes, the Free World must overcome its inherent temptation to subordinate common sense and reality-check to delusion and wishful-thinking, lest such agreements minimize the Free World’s posture of deterrence and the prospects of peace, while maximizing lawlessness, terrorism and the prospects of war.

Irrespective of President Rouhani’s ostensible pledges to end abuse of human rights in Iran, the minority regime of the Ayatollahs and Mullahs persists in oppressing the majority of Iranians and the number of executions since the rise of Rouhani has increased. According to Reuters, November 19, 2013, “The U.N. envoy on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said last month that Iran’s human rights record should not be overlooked amid overtures to the West by Rouhani. He criticized Tehran for executing 724 people in 18 months, including dozens after Rouhani was elected in June.” Rouhani’s intolerance of civil liberties – such as freedom of religion, press, speech and association and equal rights for women and ethnic minorities – reflects his genuine values and worldview.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements…

The diplomatic option is appropriately applied to rogue regimes that abandon violence and embrace peaceful-coexistence. The military option of deterrence should be appropriately applied toward rogue regimes that adhere to violence. While negotiating with the US, Iran is the leading sponsor of anti-US Islamic terrorism; the chief axis of unprecedented terrorism in Iraq; the key perpetrator of subversion and terrorism in the pro-US Arab oil-producing Gulf States; the top supporter of Jihadist movements in Africa and the killing of US GIs in Iraq and Afghanistan; a collaborator with the anti-US regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador; and the anti-US hate-educator of Iranian youth.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

Rouhani has intensified technological, scientific, economic, diplomatic and military cooperation with North Korea. The leading Washington Times’ military correspondent, Bill Gertz, reported on November 26 that the two are currently engaged in the joint development of a new long-range missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which could reach the United States, “the Great Satan” according to both Iran and North Korea.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

A Free World which is overly-anxious to conclude an agreement with rogue regimes is destined to pay a heavy price. Moreover, the assumption that rogue regimes would not sacrifice the welfare of their people on the altar of military superiority dooms the Free World to learn from history by repeating past critical mistakes. In 2009, North Korea welcomed President Obama by flexing its nuclear muscle (test), highlighting the dereliction by Wendy Sherman, who led Clinton’s failed negotiation with North Korea, and is currently heading the negotiation with Iran. Sherman deluded herself that the North Korea dictator supposedly recognized that the adverse economic consequences of pursuing nuclear capabilities could topple his regime. Fifty years of diplomacy, economic sanctions and agreements – loaded with verifications, sticks and carrots – to test North Korean intentions paved the road to another anti-US nuclear rogue regime. Thirty years of US sanctions and diplomacy have not transformed Iran, which is at the last lap of the nuclear marathon.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

Rouhani was not elected democratically, but was handpicked by the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, the omnipotent Shiite Muslim ruler of Iran. Khamenei adheres to the Quran-based Taqiyya, Kitman and Do-Pahlu concepts, which were introduced by the Shiites, shielding Muslims from the “infidel” and from each other via double-talk and deception-based provisional agreements, which are abrogated once conditions are ripe.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

Rouhani (just like Bashar Assad upon succeeding his father) is considered a reformer by Western policy makers and media. However, Rouhani demonstrated his own Taqiyya capabilities, while serving as Iran’s chief negotiator with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He systematically violated commitments made, providing Iran with extra time to acquire nuclear capabilities.  In September, 2002, while serving as the Chairman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Rouhani stated : “When we sign international treaties, it means that we are not pursuing nuclear weapons.  We are not pursuing chemical weapons.  We are not pursuing biological weapons.” Rouhani was one of the planners of the 1994 “AMIA terrorism,” responsible for the murder of 85 civilians in Buenos Aires.
But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

Iran’s track record of systematic non-compliance is consistent with Middle East reality, which has never experienced intra-Muslim compliance with most intra-Muslim agreements, domestically and regionally. Unlike the Free World, which considers agreements as a means to advance peaceful-coexistence, rogue regimes with megalomaniacal-imperialistic aspirations consider agreements a means to enhance their capabilities, in order to eventually overcome partners to such agreements.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

The November 23, 2013 agreement with Iran provided Iran with the most essential resource – time – to attain nuclear capabilities, transforming Iran from a tactical – to a strategic – threat. Unlike the USSR, the apocalyptic regime in Iran was ready to sacrifice some 500,000 youngsters, in order to clear minefields during its war against Iraq, signaling its defiance of Mutually-Assured-Destruction. The nature of the Iranian regime on the one hand and compliance with agreements on the other hand constitute a classic oxymoron.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

The November 23, 2013 agreement subordinated common sense and reality-check to oversimplification and wishful-thinking. It follows in the footsteps of a policy which provided a tailwind to the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, facilitated the replacement of Qaddafi’s tyranny with a worse anti-US regime, handed Putin a major gain in Syria, instills panic in Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Gulf States and funds hate-education in the Palestinian Authority.

But, Rouhani is expected to comply with agreements….

Happy Chanukkah and Thanksgiving, Shabbat Shalom and have a gratifying weekend,

R’ Eliezer Knew More Science than R’ Yehoshua

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

This is an interesting interpretation by the Torah Temimah where he uses scientific knowledge to explain a dispute in the Talmud.

The verse in Parshas Breishis states “There went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” The Torah Temimah quotes the Babylonian Talmud in Mesechta Taanis 9B that records a dispute between R’ Eliezer and R’ Yehoshua regarding the source of rain.

[Copied from Soncino] “R. Eliezer said: The whole world draws its water supply from the waters of the ocean, as it is said, but there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole of the ground. Thereupon R. Joshua said to him: But are not the waters of the ocean salty? He replied: They are sweetened by the clouds. R. Joshua said: The whole world drinks from the upper waters, as it is said, And drinketh water as the rain of heaven cometh down. If so, what is the force of the verse, ‘But there went up a mist from the earth’? This teaches that the clouds grow in strength as they rise towards the firmament and then open their mouth as a flask and catch the rain water, as it is said, Which distill rain from His vapor, they are perforated like a sieve and they slowly distill waters on the ground.”

The Torah Temimah explains what R’ Eliezer means using (then) modern science. R’ Yehoshua is correct. The waters of the oceans are salty and unfit for drinking. Therefore R’ Yeshoshua concludes that rain water cannot come from the oceans. R’ Eliezer understood that the reason the waters of the ocean must rise to the clouds and then return to the earth is to desalinize the ocean water. Only the water evaporates while the impurities like salt are left behind.

This can be demonstrated by boiling dirty water says the Torah Temimah. The droplets that form on the lip of the boiling pot are pure water no matter what the water in the pot looks like. Similarly, the salt and minerals in water on earth are removed when the water evaporates and are returned to earth via the clouds in the sky. That’s why R’ Eliezer says the whole world draws water from the oceans. R’ Yehoshua is confused because the ocean waters are salty. To which R’ Eliezer replies that the waters are sweetened during the evaporation and cloud process just like the droplets on the lid of the pot boiling dirty water.

I read this and thought this was a pretty good explanation of R’ Eliezer’s position. Unfortunately it leaves R’ Yehoshua in a very vulnerable position. What are we to think happened after R’ Eliezer explained evaporation to R’ Yehoshua? Perhaps when presented with the scientific explanation he acquiesced to R’ Eliezer. The Talmud assumes he did not because the subsequent discussion deals with R’ Yehoshua’s position as equally viable to R’ Eliezer’s.

More importantly, could R’ Eliezer have known this scientific information? According to my brief Internet research, it seems that the basic principles of natural desalination were known to the Greeks. It’s possible that R’ Eliezer adopted something he heard from them. Although I am unsure if they understood that evaporated seawater turned into clouds in the manner the Torah Temimah understands it. Of course, it is possible that R’ Eliezer received this scientific information from God or some Divine Tradition. Personally, I do not subscribe to this view, but many others do.

Perhaps this is the correct explanation R’ Eliezer’s position. It is elegant in its explanation and pretty clever but it leaves us with other unanswered questions. Either way, kudos to the Torah Temimah for using his secular knowledge in his commentary on the Torah.

Read the Torah Temimah here: PDF

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fink-or-swim/r-eliezer-knew-more-science-than-r-yehoshua/2013/10/01/

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