Tuesday, June 09, 2015



​   by Reb Gutman Locks   



A Jewish College student majoring in physics asks:

     Judaism uses a calendar that makes it seem like the world has only been around for 5775 years. How can that be if we have fossils that date back millions of years and the dating mechanism for finding out how old they are is only inaccurate up to a few ten thousand years? 

Gutman's response:

     There are a number of ways to address this question. First, know that the Hebrew calendar dates from the 6th "day" of creation and not from the first day. That means that the first six days are not included in the Hebrew calendar. Also, in common language "day" can mean 24 hours, or quite often it is used to mean "era" (period of time) i.e. "in that day".

     The age dating process used by scientists is based on the speed of light having always been constant. When they find that the speed of light at the moment of creation was much faster than it is now they will have to adjust all of their dates to the new information.

     In my lifetime scientists have restated their estimated age of the Universe by some 40%. When I was a teen they said the Universe was some 40% older than they say it is now, so really we cannot rely on their dating. With science we use their current information, but we always know that that information can, and often, changes and we simply adjust to the new information. But, whatever the exact 24 hour age of the Universe is, it really does not affect my daily life.

      Even though the scientists often change their minds, the Torah has never changed a single letter. For instance, up until some 100 years ago scientists laughed at the Torah for saying that the world had been created. They said that it has always been here and that the Torah is simply a traditional book created by man and handed down from generation to generation. Then they discovered the Big Bang; and now they say that the universe was created. They say it happened from a very small, very dense stone, which blew up and the Universe is the result. This is also what is written in the Midrash. They are finally catching up to us.   

     If the Torah was simply man-made and handed down from generation to generation who was there to witness the creation and to accurately report it? The Torah has to be coming from a source higher than man.

     There are many things in the Torah that science has only recently come to accept, such as washing your hands after touching a dead body. They have only been recommending this for some 100 years while the Torah has been saying to do it for thousands of years.

     But perhaps the main thing is that Jews who do not follow the Torah almost always intermarry and have non Jewish grandchildren! They or their children have no reason not to intermarry. To me this is perhaps the greatest physical benefit of a Torah observant life; that there will be a Jewish people in the world and that my family will continue to be Jews.

      Also, it has been shown that Jews who follow the Torah live longer and happier lives than Jews who do not. This alone is enough reason to keep the mitzvahs.

     But without doubt the greatest benefit of a successful Torah life is the spiritual experience that comes when you are blessed to see Hashem's revealed presence. Then you experience the fulfillment of your purpose in having been created.



  1. http://www.simpletoremember.com/faqs/Kaplan-SimpleToRemember.com.pdf

  2. " Also, it has been shown that Jews who follow the Torah live longer and happier lives"

    Where has this been shown?

  3. Please go to my post dated 2 April 2012 entitled The Age of the Universe, http://absolutetruth613.blogspot.co.il/2012/04/age-of-universe.html
    and you will see that according to the Zohar, the 6 24 hour days of creation took 15.34 billion years. Scientists think it is about 13.7 billion years, but they haven't caught up to Hashem's answer, yet. Even Einstein calculated the 6 24 hour days using relativistic affects, and came to 15.75 billion, closer to the Torah answer than scientists. The Torah has all the answers and as scientist catch up to the Torah answer, then they become correct.

  4. Mark-search it out. There have been a number of studies that have shown Jews who pray with a minyan live longer than Jews who do not. Here is one study that shows religious people are happier than non-religious http://www.austin-institute.org/2015/01/23/are-religious-people-happier/ But as I wrote, there have been a number of different studies all showing religious people are more optimistic than non religious people, and optimistic people are happier and live longer lives. Better yet, try it and see how long you live.

  5. When a Jew has yirat & ahavat H', it is so natural and easy to immediately see and understand that Torah is the Absolute Truth because it is Divine. Only when science matches what the Torah says, then that science will be proven to be fact; if it does not concur with Torah, it is missing something and is no longer a fact (truth). As we all know, science is evolutionary and as Gutman has shown us (stated above) what is yesterday's facts are no longer today's facts because they have discovered new 'facts'. Simply put, Torah is absolute, the absolute Truth!

  6. Anonymous, you are so correct. I have been studying science for about 58 years and very little science of today matches what I learned in the 1960's, yet all the scientific answers in the Torah haven't changed in 3328 years. We should never forget that the One Who created the Laws of Physics, the Laws of Chemistry and the Laws of Biology is the same One who wrote the Torah.

  7. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said "A. In view of the unknown conditions which existed in "prehistoric" times, conditions of atmospheric pressures, temperatures, radioactivity, unknown catalyzers, etc., etc. as already mentioned, conditions that is, which could have caused reactions and changes of an entirely different nature and tempo from those known under the present-day orderly process of nature, one cannot exclude the possibility that dinosaurs existed "5722" years ago, and became fossilized under terrific natural cataclysms in the course of a few years rather than in millions of years, since we have no conceivable measurements or criteria of calculations under those unknown conditions. B. Even assuming that the period of time which the Torah allows for the age of the world is definitely too short for fossilization (Although I do not see how one can be so categorical), we still readily accept the possibility that G-d created ready fossils, bones, or skeletons (for reasons best known to Him), just as He could create ready living organisms, a complete man, and such ready products as oil, coal, or diamonds, without any evolutionary process. ...The question why create a fossil is no more valid that the question why create an atom? from "Letters From The Rebbe", volume 1

  8. The Luavitcher Rebbe said "You asked: What should be your response when told that science allegedly has proof that the world has existed for more that the numer of Jewish years? Can this be answered with the famous statement of our Sages that G-d “built worlds and destroyed them?"
    The meaning of that statement is not that G-d actually created earlier physical worlds. Rather, the intent there is to spiritual worlds, as recorded by the Alter Rebbe — based on the Arizal’s writings — in his Torah Ohr on the portion of Shemot." Igrot Kodesh, volume 12, p. 61
    "While there is no need to delve into this at length, the simplest proof that the six days of creation are twenty-four hour days is the fact that the concept of keeping Shabbat after six week days is connected to G-d’s resting after the six days of creation" Igrot Kodesh, vol. 13, p. 137.

  9. As pointed out cryptically in the first comment above, R' Aryeh Kaplan came to the same conclusion stated by The Absolute Truth in a lecture that was given at the Midwinter Conference of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists on February 18, 1979:


  10. Another version:

    The Age of the Universe
    an article by Gerald Schroeder


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