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Unread 12-31-2003, 09:38 AM   #1
RebMoshe
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Quote:
Originally posted by LION


Before i get into it i'm not sure i understand exactly with what is the problem ,are you saying that we would say the earth goes around the sun !?
Are you saying the earth does not go around the sun?
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Unread 12-31-2003, 10:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by LION
Before i get into it i'm not sure i understand exactly with what is the problem ,are you saying that we would say the earth goes around the sun!?
Does the Rambam quote a Torah source as proof that the sun revolves around the earth, or is it an unqualified statement? If the latter, seemingly, we are to assume, based on his statement at the end of Hilchos Kidush Hachodesh, that it is subject to change if the science of the day changes?

RebMoshe: The Rambam holds that the sun revolves around the earth: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/1103.htm
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Unread 12-31-2003, 10:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by LION
i'm just curious how can something be "true" "Toras Emes" until you could be midayek in every word he says there, but yet what it says there is not really true?
The sicha that YOU referred me to says that Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh is in category b above. Category b seems to imply merely an obligation of investigation to the best of one's ability, not a guarantee that one's findings will indeed be accurate (despite the fact that they were sought leshem Mitzvah).

To this I suggested the example of a Prophet, whom we are to follow regardless of the possibility that he is false. Another example is the fact that we believe the testimony of two witnesses although they may be fabricating, and we believe the testimony of two eidim zomemin despite the same concern.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:02 AM   #4
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And what bigger proof for this than the first quote above, where the gaonim say that "in this issue we follow the opinion of the non-Jewish scholars." I.e. the Torah scholars' scientific understanding was not to be accepted EVEN THEN, within the same generation.

How much more is this so when comparing our generation and its scientific discoveries to past generations that lacked our knowledge.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by noahidelaws


Does the Rambam quote a Torah source as proof that the sun revolves around the earth, or is it an unqualified statement? If the latter, seemingly, we are to assume, based on his statement at the end of Hilchos Kidush Hachodesh, that it is subject to change if the science of the day changes?
Where dose science contradict this [i'm aware of what they say.....]?

Do you want me to post the countless letters and sicho'sin Which the Rebbe discusses this issue ?

Quote:
Originally posted by RebMoshe

Are you saying the earth does not go around the sun?
In a word..Yes.

Quote:

The sicha that YOU referred me to says that Hilchos Kiddush Hachodesh is in category b above. Category b seems to imply merely an obligation of investigation to the best of one's ability, not a guarantee that one's findings will indeed be accurate (despite the fact that they were sought leshem Mitzvah).

To this I suggested the example of a Prophet, whom we are to follow regardless of the possibility that he is false. Another example is the fact that we believe the testimony of two witnesses although they may be fabricating, and we believe the testimony of two eidim zomemin despite the same concern.
'Category b' and so on is talking about when going to learn it, not in torah but for torah.

what i am talking about is once it is written in torah.(see page 40 in the Sicha.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:36 AM   #6
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You refer to that which the Rebbe bring that everything in Torah is be'ruach ha'kodesh. But the same reasoning applies to the debate between the chachamim and the Greek scientists--something recorded in Torah--and nevertheless, we accept the opinion of the Greek scientists!

And anyway, as I said, the Rambam disclaimed and said explicitly that he's deriving his scientific knowledge from the Greeks (albeit the things that they said that he found inherently logical)!

So it could have been said be'ruach ha'kodesh, but that could just mean that it contains eternal spiritual meaning--haTorah medaberes ba'elyonim, as the sicha discusses. Why must we say that it is absolutely true?
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by noahidelaws


RebMoshe: The Rambam holds that the sun revolves around the earth: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/1103.htm
So?
He also says malachim don't have physical bodies and we do not agree.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by LION

Quote:
Are you saying the earth does not go around the sun?
In a word..Yes.
Then I assume there is little to talk about in this issue. If you find it hard to accept reality above perception, then there is little to discuss. (I find it interesting that you choose Ptolomy above Galileo.)
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Unread 12-31-2003, 12:17 PM   #9
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Reb Moshe--go ask your Rebbe about the issue of the sun and the earth. Then we'll see if you're a chosid. But if it remains hard for you, the Rebbe makes it much easier, al pi sechel:

Quote:
...To declare categorically in the name of science, that the earth revolves around the sun, and not vise versa, is...turning the scientific clock back to the 19th century and Medieval science. It is also at variance with the theory of relativity, which has likewise been universally accepted. Science now declares—as categorically as it is permissible for contemporary science—that where two bodies in space are in relative motion, it is scientifically impossible to determine which is at rest and which in motion.

It is very saddening to think that those who should be the champions of the Torah-hashkofo and its advocates, especially among Jewish youth in general and academic youth in particular, are timid or even ashamed to expostulate it. This is all the more regrettable precisely in this day and age, after science had finally come out of its Medieval wrappings, and accepted the Heisenberg principle of uncertainty, etc., etc. which makes it so easy for an orthodox Jewish scientist to espouse the Torah-hashkofo boldly and forcefully, without fear of contradiction. Yet some Jewish scientists have not yet managed to free themselves from the fetters of the 19th century approach and inferiority complex. Surely the time is ripe for a reassessment as to where they stand.


http://www.torahscience.org/torahsci/rebbeletter.html
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Unread 12-31-2003, 12:22 PM   #10
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Yankel, let me ask you something. What is the meaning of the statement "the sun revolves around the earth" versus the statement "the earth revolves around the sun"?
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Unread 12-31-2003, 12:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by lambda
Yankel, let me ask you something. What is the meaning of the statement "the sun revolves around the earth" versus the statement "the earth revolves around the sun"?
Your answer can be found amongst the discussion here: http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/show...&threadid=3410
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Unread 12-31-2003, 01:18 PM   #12
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Worth a look, regardless of how you understand astronomical observation:
http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/uncgi/Earth (View from Sun: 147096404 km above 23°5'S 93°59'W)
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Unread 12-31-2003, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by RebMoshe
I do not want to critique what the L Rebbe ZT'L wrote, but his answers apply equally to saying: the sun goes around the earth.
What the Rebbe is obviously saying is that according to science it is absolutely equal to say that the sun revolves around the earth as to say that the earth revolves around the sun. Scientifically, there is absolutely no basis for making one claim over the other.

Torah, however, is clear that all the supernal bodies revolve around the earth. What the Rebbe is saying is that science cannot challenge the Rambam, it can only reply "we have no way of knowing."
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Unread 12-31-2003, 01:55 PM   #14
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Even if you accept that the sun (and all the planets) orbit the earth, the Rambam seems to describe circular orbits, when in fact they are actually elliptical.

There are dozens of problems with the astronomy he aspouses, and he actually admits in the Moreh that the astronomical model he uses is not consistent with observation.

Last edited by lambda; 12-31-2003 at 02:01 PM.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 02:08 PM   #15
RebMoshe
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yankel Nosson

What the Rebbe is obviously saying is that according to science it is absolutely equal to say that the sun revolves around the earth as to say that the earth revolves around the sun. Scientifically, there is absolutely no basis for making one claim over the other.
That is incorrect. There is a great deal of difference to science as to which goes around which. You are unaware of the over 1000 years of problems in astronomy caused by Ptolomy and his geocentric view.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 02:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gevurah
So authoritative......Can you tell me where it says this?
The Rambam: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/1103.htm

The Rebbe: "In the sun's daily orbit in the solar system it must traverse tens of millions of miles. In 24 hours it covers vast distances of the heavens." (Sicha 3rd Day Of Tammuz, 5745 Korach)

zeh hakoton gadol yehiyeh
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Unread 12-31-2003, 04:01 PM   #17
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I had a chance to glean a reference to Yoma 54b while at Tuvia's for Mincha:


"AND IT WAS CALLED SHETIYAH: A Tanna taught: [It was so called] because from it the world was founded. We were taught in accord with the view that the world was started from Zion on. For it was taught: R. Eliezer says: The world was created from its center, as it is said: When the dust runs into a mass, and the clods keep fast together. (Job 38:38) R. Joshua said: The world was created from its sides on, as it is said: For He says to the snow: ‘Fall on the earth; likewise to the shower of rain, and to the showers of His mighty rain. (Job 37:6) "

Inside out or outside in, there we are: Yerushalayim at the center.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 04:09 PM   #18
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Yankel, center there need not mean physical center. There are a number of models for the universe where the idea of a center does not make any real sense. For example, if space extends infinitely in all directions, what makes one point the center over another? What if space is "shaped" like the surface of a sphere or a torus (both possibilities according to general relativity). What is the center then?
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Unread 12-31-2003, 04:11 PM   #19
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"Zion was created first. Around it clung the earth until the very
borders of the world." (Rashi on Yoma 54)
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Unread 12-31-2003, 04:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by lambda
Yankel, center there need not mean physical center.
Right...and resurrection of the dead need not mean physical resurrection (chas v'shalom).

Quote:
There are a number of models for the universe where the idea of a center does not make any real sense.
Nu, your own words. They are models. The Torah is Emes.

The Rebbe knew Torah, the Rebbe knew science. Some things, maybe, ought to be left in the hands of the emessn Gedolim.
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Unread 12-31-2003, 05:57 PM   #21
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YN:

1. How do we know that when the Gemara says that we are in the centre, that that means that the earth must be stationary? Perhaps the earth is indeed moving relative to the sun, i.e., in terms of the planets in (what modern science calls) the solar system, but not relative to the entire universe, which is moving around with the earth, such that the earth always remains in its centre?

2. Where in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah or anywhere else does the Rambam bring a proof for geocentrism from a verse? And if he doesn't, what is the proof that what he says at the end of ch. 17 of Hilchos Kiddush HaChodesh doesn't apply to his geocentric statements?
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Unread 12-31-2003, 07:02 PM   #22
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Artscroll published a sefer on birchas hachama. The overview has a discussion that relates to this topic, since the calculations there are not exactly in accord with what we know. (He mentions there that the Chazon Ish said that these measurments were not meant to be exact. They were given on Sinai for their practical use.)
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Unread 12-31-2003, 10:08 PM   #23
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(BTW, if the Rebbe says categorically that the sun revolves around the earth, I do not challenge that. I am only asking in order to understand what that means exactly, and why. And at this point, it seems to me that the questions I asked from the end of ch. 17 continue to apply in the sense of "who said this is true" to statements in the Rambam that the Rebbe did not explicitly say still apply.)

And another question: if the earth is stationary, then that also means that it does not revolve on its axis to create the difference between day and night. Are we suggesting that the sun goes all the way in a full orbit around the earth every day to create the diiference between day and night, and that this is the meaning of "the sun rises and sets"? Uh, how can the sun move so fast? (Does anyone know how fast it would have to move to cover that distance in that time?) Uh, is this contradicted by modern science?
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by lambda
Even if you accept that the sun (and all the planets) orbit the earth, the Rambam seems to describe circular orbits, when in fact they are actually elliptical.

There are dozens of problems with the astronomy he espouses, and he actually admits in the Moreh that the astronomical model he uses is not consistent with observation.
The Rambam deducts the "mnas hamaslul"* to make up for the fact that the orbits are eliptical, he describes circular orbits to make it easier on the reader, and then deducts the "mnas", so basically he did all the hard calculating and left us with the easier part of just following instructions to come up with time of the molad**. he does not describe the orbits as they are, nor are the calculations meant to be precise to the minute detail, as he writes many times throughout kidush hachoidesh, that the calculations and descriptions are not precise, they were written with the sole intention of coming up with the time of sighting***. the Rambam stresses this many times.

*see the pirush.
** the differences between a circular and eliptical galgal would not make a practical difference in the possibility of sighting.
***v'ho raya, modern astronomy does view the Rambam's calculations as tottaly precise for the purpose of viewing the moon.

Quote:
Originally posted by noahidelaws
And another question: if the earth is stationary, then that also means that it does not revolve on its axis to create the difference between day and night. Are we suggesting that the sun goes all the way in a full orbit around the earth every day to create the diiference between day and night, and that this is the meaning of "the sun rises and sets"?
If I recall correctly (I don't have seforim near my computer which somtimes gets me into trouble) the Rambam writes that the galgal hayoimi circles a full 360 degrees everyday. The sun moves '58 and something of 1 degree every day in the galgal yoimi, to a total of of 360 degrees in 365 days and 6 hours, (l'halacha, according to Shmuel. 365 days 5 hours and 997 chalokim plus part of another chelek according to Rav Ada. (365 days 5 hours and 993 chalokim and something according to modern science, some want to say that this is what the Rambam refers to when he says that tekufas Rav Ada is amiti yoiser, liche'oira he should have said it's the tekufa ho'amiti, ulai. sounds very apolegetic, and some hold that since the discrepancy is so small it can be explained according to tekufas Rav Ada, maybe, I'm not into astronomy to decide ). See Likutei sichos chelek 16 sicha of parshas boi. mahadura basra with hoisafoi sin hoisafois to LS chelek 22).
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Unread 12-31-2003, 11:37 PM   #25
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“The earth stands forever”

Koheles 1:4
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