(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org

Date: Sun, 7 May 2000 21:46:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Berchat HaTorah

Hal A. Felsent, in Bais Medrash Volume 2 Number 18 writes:
<  <  No. Even Rabbi Norman Lamm, who literally wrote the book on "Torah
uMadda" (The convergence of Torah and secular learning), refuses to
entertain the possibility of saying birchat haTorah before science, math,
etc.>  >

Actually one of the points of my article, TOWARDS A DEFINITION OF TORAH
printed in Proceedings of the AOJS was that the domain of science is not
constant. In fact my article OPENS with a citation of the famous Tosafot in
Succah 8 commenting on the talmudic statement that the square root of 2 is
7/5. Tosafot gives a geometric proof that 7/5 is only an APPROXIMATION not
the ACTUAL value (Today we would simply say that 7/5 times 7/5 = 49/25
which is not 2).

My article opens with this and points out (in partial contradiction to
Rabbi Lamn) that if say a person had a set order of learning one Tosafot
per day then that person WOULD SAY THE BLESSING OVER TORAH on this tosafot
even though the entire tosafot is purely mathematical.

I then suggest that the Domain of science is NOT defined by content but
rather by its lack of relationship to a torah text. By commenting on the
Gmarrah this mathematical proof BECOMES TORAH. The rest of my article gives
5 methods by which Science can become Torah with about 4 dozen midrashim to
prove it.

Several people have (including Adam) emailed me to receive reprints and
(after the semester ends) I will be sending them out. So if you want the
whole article let me know.

Russell Jay Hendel; PHd ASA RHendel@Towson.Edu
Moderator Rashi is Simple