Community Scholar Program (CSP): One Month Scholar, Professor David Ruderman
The Rabbis and Their Fascination with the Natural World: Why are Jews Inclined to be Doctors and Scientists?
God and Nature
For Jews throughout their long history, nature was a critical resource for their own spirituality and faith. As the psalmist declares, “The heavens declare the greatness of God.” For centuries, Jews engaged directly in magic, astrology/astronomy and medicine. Many Jews became important physicians in the Moslem and Christian Middle Ages. When the famous medical school of Padua, Italy first opened its doors to Jewish students in the sixteenth century, Jews took full advantage of this new educational and professional opportunity. In the modern era, Jews excelled not only in medicine but in the other sciences as the disproportionate number of Jewish Nobel Prize winners easily testifies. The three presentations deal with the engagement of Jews with the natural world, exploring the paths of rabbis, philosophers, and even kabbalists inspired by the physical world in which they lived.
Sponsor: Community Scholar Program (CSP)