Tuesday, March 28, 2023

We read Bereshit a few weeks ago, which prompted me to think about the correspondence of some modern scientific “discoveries” that, in fact, verify ancient Torah teachings over 3,000 years old, thus showing that science and religion are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

For example, in a letter in The Jewish Link (January 17, 2019) I discussed the remarkable correspondence between what Hashem said “let there be light” and what scientists now say was a “big bang.” In a more recent letter in The Jewish Link (September 29, 2022) I put forth another idea that science and religion may have a common nexus between the Torah’s view of an “afterlife”—teaching about neshamas in shamayim—which may be compared to what may be modern scientists’ concepts about an individual’s “information” remaining in the cosmos after death.

Here I would like to follow up on that thought and project it into the future by discussing possible links between how I view the popular concept of resurrection, and the Torah’s concept of tachyas hameisim.

Scientists, using very sophisticated and powerful telescopes and also space probes, have gained unimaginable information about our universe. Most laymen are therefore surprised to learn that with all these advances, scientists can still account for only about 5-25 percent of the mass of the universe. They have no idea whatsoever what constitutes the remaining 75-95 percent of the universe, and simply use terms like dark matter, dark energy and anti-matter as a cover for these unknowns. This leaves plenty of room for other “stuff” the scientists haven’t yet discovered.

As I wrote previously, scientists view any “information” about objects in the universe, presumably including living beings, that do not fall into a black hole, still exist “somewhere out there” in the cosmos. This agrees with the Torah’s concept of the soul or neshama passing into shamayim upon one’s death.

Today, technologies like GPS exist that allow the tracking of individual cars among the many millions on the roads at any one time, human operators on earth to communicate with individual astronauts up in outer space, and spy satellites to track the activities of single individuals among the 8 billion people on earth. In view of the exponential advances in science, it is not too far-fetched to imagine that at some point in the future, scientists will be able to tease out all the strands of “information” from single individuals, thus reconstituting his or her entire life, history and spiritual existence, which is basically what the Torah teaches as their neshama.

As for physical existence, scientists, as instruments of Hashem, may eventually be able to verify Torah teachings by providing clues from the field of genetics. They now know that specific DNA groupings are characteristic of specific species, groups, families and even individuals. And since DNA is passed down from generation to generation, individuals today possess some of the same genetic material as their ancestors. Scientists today are at the cusp of being able to clone individual beings from tiny fragments of hair, bones and teeth, so it is entirely conceivable that, in the future, they may be able to clone whole bodies from individual fragments found in ancient archeological digs. And given enough time, resources and with the help of further technological advances, they may be able to reconstruct the physical bodies of entire groups and civilizations. With these in hand, and infusing them with their individually matching neshamas, as described above, entire civilizations may be resurrected.

To me that sounds very much like what the Torah 3,000 years ago said would happen.

Max Wisotsky
Highland Park
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