Author Topic: A question related to the pace and timing of scientific progress  (Read 1423 times)

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Offline Yaakov Mendel

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If you take a long-term historical perspective, the speed at which scientific knowledge and technology have made progress over the last centuries, especially over the last two centuries, is absolutely phenomenal. The impact of these developments on our societies and on our individual lives is obviously huge.
It cannot be a coincidence that this exceptional acceleration of human knowledge and control over our environment takes place at the time when Jews return to the Land of Israel after 2,000 years in Exile.
Do you have an interpretation of the fact that these two extraordinary developments are concurrent ?

Offline muman613

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Re: A question related to the pace and timing of scientific progress
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 11:36:31 AM »
I do not have the answer at this time but I did a quick search for any discussion on this topic and I came across the following shuir on Cloning which includes a discussion of the pace of technological advances:

http://ohr.edu/this_week/s_p_e_c_i_a_l_s/632

See part 3 of the shuir for the discussion on technology.... {I have not heard this yet so it may not be the answer}...

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline muman613

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Re: A question related to the pace and timing of scientific progress
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 11:41:29 AM »
Of course Chabad sees the advance of scientific progress to be a sign of the coming of Moshiach:



http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/435108/jewish/The-Fifty-Sixth-Century.htm

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The Fifty-Sixth Century

Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Courtesy of MeaningfulLife.com


In the six hundredth year in the life of Noah... all wellsprings of the great deep burst open, and the windows of heaven were opened...

Genesis 7:11

The Zohar interprets this verse as a prediction that "in the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates of supernal wisdom will be opened, as will the springs of earthly wisdom, preparing the world to be elevated in the seventh millennium."

Indeed, the fifty-sixth century from creation (1740-1840 in the secular calendar) was a time of great discovery and accelerated development, both in the supernal wisdom of Torah and in the earthly wisdom of secular science. This was the century in which the teachings of Chassidism were revealed and disseminated by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov and his disciples. The inner soul of Torah, which until then had been the province of a select number of mystics in each generation, was made accessible to all, imparting a new depth to our understanding of the divine wisdom and infusing vitality and joy into our observance of the mitzvot.

As these supernal revelations poured forth from the windows of heaven, the earthly wellsprings answered in kind. The same century saw an unprecedented eruption of knowledge in all fields of secular science -- in mathematics, physics, medicine, technology and the social sciences -- revolutionizing all areas of human life.

According to the Zohar, this dual revolution came to prepare the world for the "seventh millennium" -- the era of Moshiach, when the six "workday" millennia of history will culminate in an age "that is wholly Shabbat and tranquillity for life everlasting."
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You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline edu

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Re: A question related to the pace and timing of scientific progress
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 01:27:35 AM »
In an article on Tekhelet, the question raised by Yaacov Mendel regarding the pace and timing of scientific progress is also indirectly answered.
The following is an excerpt from http://www.vilnagaon.org/solutions.htm
Quote
18. If Other Generations Didn't Merit to Have Tekhelet What is Different About Our Generation Than Other Generations?


    There is a correspondence between the six days of creation and 6000 years of history from the time of the formation of the first man until the destruction of this world, which will take place according to the Talmud in the seventh millennium as explained in tractate Sanhedrin page 97.
    Rabbi Ketina said, "six thousand years is the world and for one it is destroyed, for it was stated: 'And G-d will be exalted alone on that day'. Abeyei said, two {millennium} it is destroyed for it is stated: 'And he will bring us alive from the two days and on the third day he will raise us up and we will live before him'. It was taught in a Baraita in accordance to Rabbi Ketina's view, just as the sabbatical year causes a cessation once in 7 years so too will the world cease {from development} for a thousand years out of seven thousand years for it was stated: 'And G-d will be exalted alone on that day'. And it states: 'a song of praise for the day of Sabbath, the day that is entirely Sabbath and it states, for a thousand years in your eyes is as yesterday when it passes by'. The Academy of Eliyahu taught: for 6 thousand years does the world last. Two thousand years is null, two thousand years of Torah and two thousand years - the days of the messiah and in our iniquities that have multiplied, it has been deducted from them  what has been deducted."

Many of our rabbis understood that not just in a general way is there a parallel between the 6 days of creation and the six thousand years of history, but rather there is a perfect parallel.
    And this is the preview of the book Kol Hator that was printed in the introduction section at the end of the book Hatekufa Hagdola of Rabbi Menachem Kasher:
    The period of the revealed time of the end, which is the period of the beginning of the redemption (Atchalta D'geula) opened and continues from Jewish year 5500. This thing was known to sages based on the principles of the wisdom of the Kabbalah. For there was a tradition in the hands of the sages of Israel that the six thousand years that our  world stands in its present fashion is parallel to the six days of creation, each millennium corresponding to its parallel day [in the six days of creation]  starting from the first millennium which parrallels the first day until the sixth millennium which corresponds to day six of the creation. Now there isn't a large or small detail in the six thousand years of this world that its principle is not rooted in the six days of creation in a fashion that those of wise intellect that know how to arrange the actions that G-d performed in the six days of creation and comprehend their deeper meaning, knew from the outset all the future things that would come to be in the world, every thing at its proper time and even a small event and this is in accordance to the testimony of the Vilna Gaon in his commentary to Safra Dtsniuta (chapter 5).
    Now behold the Vilna Gaon knew that the period of the footsteps of the Messiah, it and all its occurrences that will in the future occur, were created on the sixth day from the first hour of the morning and onwards until the time end of the day (evening). Now since during the 12 hours of the night, the Holy One Blessed be He didn't perform anything, behold the calculation of the 12 hours of daytime, starts from year 5500, that is to say the middle of the millennium. This is the same way as 12 hours are in the middle of a 24 hour period. Therefore our Rabbi the Vilna Gaon, with great wisdom deduced the time of the creation of the footsteps of the messiah by their root in the six days of creation, that is to say from the first hour of the morning of the sixth day. From the emergence of the word he knew that the period of the footsteps of the messiah in an actual way has opened up from the year 500 of the sixth millennium [that is to say in 5500]. And so too will it be understood by this principle, that every hour from the hours of the sixth day brings to light in an actual way the actions that are rooted in it from the time of creation for the period of 41 years and 8 months [comment by me: the intention is 2/3 of a year] for you find if you divide 12 hours of the day into 500 years, the time of their control, is as stated previously. {End of Quote }
    One should note that in a general way also the Chatam Sofer [Responsa of the Chatam Sofer Volume 6 , Siman 61] as well as the Ohr Hachayim [to Leviticus 6:2] agreed that there is a hint about the development of the redemption by what is described as being created on the sixth day.
    In order to prove that there is  truly a connection, between what took place in history and the six days of the book of Genesis, I will note the following examples.
    Rashi on Genesis 1:4 on the words: "And the L-rd saw the light that it was good and he separated..." - he saw that it wasn't fitting for it to be used by the wicked and he separated it for the righteous in the future".
    And similarly in the first millennium, G-d separated the Garden of Eden for the future. And so too at the end of the first millennium, there was something similar regarding Chanoch that lived 365 years which corresponds to the days of a solar year (a matter of light). Now this is the terminology of Rashi in his commentary to (Genesis 5:22) on the words of "And Chanoch walked" - "he was righteous but was easily susceptible to be influenced to return to do evil, therefore, the Holy One Blessed Be He hurried and removed him and made him die before his time. But according to some of our sages, G-d separated Chanoch by transforming him into something similar to an angel and put him into the Garden of Eden alive. In either case, there is here a matter of separation from the wicked.
    On the second day of the creation "And the L-rd made the firmament and separated between the water under the firmament and the water above the firmament" (Genesis 1:11).
    In my opinion, here is a hint to the great flood that took place in the second millennium, and also to the generation of the division at the time of the tower of Bavel/Babel. The division of the waters on the second day hints at the generation of the division, for behold, the gentiles are compared to water as it is written in the book of Psalms chapter 144 verse 7 "rescue me and deliver me from the great waters, from the hand of the sons of the stranger". [And in accordance to the Targum commentary there, "save me from the populace who are compared to great waters from the hands of the sons of the strangers".]
    Based upon all that was said above it is possible to discover a hint in the Torah when we will have special assistance from heaven for the proper identification of the creatures of the Creator (such as the Chilazon). For behold according to tractate Sanhedrin page 38 in the sixth hour of the sixth day, Adam {first man} called the creatures of the Holy One blessed be He, by names. Just as it is written in Genesis 2:19 "And Hashem the L-rd formed from the earth every creature of the field and every bird of the sky and he brought {them} to the man to see what he would call each one and whatever it would be called by the man, {for}each living creature, that is its name".
    Now according to what I have brought previously in the preview to Kol Hator the sixth hour of the sixth day corresponds to the period which began within the year 5708 and ended at the beginning of 5750. [5*41.66 +500 = 708.33 and 6*41.666 + 500 = 750].
    Now according to this, Prof. Otto Elsner, of the Shenkar College of Fibers, who discovered a few years before the year of 5750 the secret of how to dye Tekhelet with the Trunculus mollusc and thereby solved the central problem that disturbed us in the matter of the identification of the Chilazon and renewing the mitzvah of Tekhelet, merited to receive special Diving Assistance, because of the period in which he acted. Namely, the period of "he called each creature by names". And according to this, it is not correct, to compare between the merits of earlier generations to our generation - for they did not have the Divine Assistance for identification, that we had. A Divine Assistance that is not dependant upon our good deeds that much, but rather by a plan set at the very beginning by the Holy One Blessed be He.
    And perhaps one should add that as far as materialistic striving is concerned, it seems that Elsner exerted himself in the matter of renewing Tekhelet more than the majority of the people of the earlier generations, that lacked this mitzvah. As explained in chapter 5 of Kol Hator "Divine Assistance in a general way and in particular in a miraculous way comes measure for measure. In accordance to the measure that a person puts out, so, they measure for him from heaven, that is to say, that to the same degree that the action of a mitzva is performed in an actual way by natural strivings, to the same degree comes to him Divine Assistance from heaven."
    Now I felt an obligation to mention this matter, because as I see things, the outlook of the great Rabbis on the subject of the development of the redemption has had and continues to have an effect on the readiness or lack of readiness of these great Rabbis to renew the mitzvah of Tekhelet.