The Nature of Nature

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8 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    Some new things or events can still be understood within the framework of previously accepted ideas about “physical law”. This is a middle category. The seed example would fall into this category if an investigator could observe that the seed’s strange behavior violated no known “law”.

    In fact, it’s very easy for people to explain away or ignore pesky observations to avoid challenges to their previous concepts. This has been attempted even in connection with full-blown miracles documented in the Torah, like the Mabul. The builders of the Tower of Babel thought there was a periodicity to great floods. Modern writers, even some well-known Jewish ones, think the Mabul and other events like it are capable of naturalistic interpretation.

  2. Bob Miller says:

    Regarding my comment of 1:16 PM:

    The “previous concepts” I referred to are man-made ones.

    I regard the concepts of the Torah itself to be above challenge on any grounds. Those who differ are invited to state if they believe they are Orthodox Jews or not.

  3. Noam says:

    Nature is God’s way of acting in ways that we can understand.

  4. Barzilai says:

    The challenge with familiar wonders is that once they become familiar, one wonders how things could be otherwise.

  5. Aryeh says:

    Unfortunately,cynicism is still rampant that tries and darkens any sense of awe. From the respected website Slate:

  6. Ken Applebaum says:

    With all due respect, Reb Dovid Feinstein’s answer is a well-known answer said in the name of the Alter of Kelm.

  7. Jon Baker says:

    The Emerson quote is nice, but absent Rav Dessler’s God to guide us through revelation, the more likely outcome of nightfall “once in a thousand years” would be mass hysteria, madness, and possibly death through shock.

    Isaac Asimov wrote a short story on this idea, summarized here.

    Steg (a rabbinical student at YCT) has a nice post on commenter Noam’s idea, on both Torah and Nature teaching us about God and His relationship to the universe.

  8. Jennifer F. says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Not only does it give us a much-needed reminder to observe the wonder that is all around us, but it gives those of us who are not Jewish some fascinating insights into Chanukah. Thank you!

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