Hebrew Voices #21 – A Physicist on the Nature of God

A-Physicist-on-the-Nature-of-God-2In this episode of Hebrew Voices, A Physicist on the Nature of God, Nehemia Gordon explores the connection between science and the Bible with orthodox Jewish physicist Dr. Gerald Schroeder. According to Schroeder, there is no conflict between Torah and “teva” (nature), as the two complete one another. Schroeder explains the tradition that Moses was given only part of the Torah, the other part being hidden in nature, an idea introduced in the 12th century by Maimonides in “Guide to the Perplexed.”

We learn from Dr. Schroeder that some current scientists have accepted that the universe does appear to have a creator, but not one who cares. Schroeder and Gordon discuss how the flow of social history speaks to the necessity of a creator and that the Jews serve as a marker for a Creator who cares not just about them, but about all nations.  And we learn a coded phrase in the Tanakh revealing that God cares so much for his free-willed creatures that he has multiple plans for dealing with them.

And (but of course) Gordon and Schroeder discuss the name of God given in the Hebrew text and how centuries of translations have weakened the understanding of it, but how the nuances of ancient Hebrew reveal Yehovah to be an unlimited, dynamic God who cares, plans, reveals himself, and at times hides.

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Related Posts:
A Physicist on Creation, Evolution, and the Human Soul with Dr. Gerald Schroeder

Show Notes:

Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in two fields: Earth Sciences and Physics. Schroeder served for five years on the staff of the MIT Department of Physics. In 1971, he moved to Israel where he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Volcani Research Institute, while also having a laboratory at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition to his current work in radiation control, he teaches at Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies, is the author of five bestselling books, and he lectures on the extraordinary confluence of modern science and ancient Biblical commentary.

Verses Mentioned:


Schroeder-Genesis-and-the-Big-Bang
Schroeder-God-According-to-God Schroeder-Hidden-Face-of-God
Schroeder-Science-of-God Schroeder-Genesis-One

30 thoughts on “Hebrew Voices #21 – A Physicist on the Nature of God

  1. Glad you met up with Gerald Schroeder. I often refer people, both young earth creationists and atheists, to read his books. Genesis is in harmony with current science.

    I notice in part 1 of the interview you guys spend quite some time discussing God being regretful. I see it like this: God knew beforehand, before He created the universe, that man would become violent, requiring a flood to change course. But once it came to fruition, once He saw it actually happening, and could feel it, He became regretful, well sad. But the show must go on, it was a necessary change in direction. It’s like a parent who knows one day they’ll have to discipline their children. In their mind they have it all worked out. But when the day comes to discipline them the emotional weight of what’s happening hits home but they know it’s for their children’s own good. The passage show to me that God is also emotional, He feels pain, hurt, sadness, joy and happiness.

    But here’s something interesting:

    Day 1 of creation is God exists and the separation of light from darkness, the Big Bang. In the first millennium starting at Adam, mankind meets God and learns of the difference between good and evil. The first assembly (convocation, festival) is Passover, which is the sacrificial lamb, the separation between good and evil through atonement. The first item in the Temple layout is the Altar of Sacrifice, but one must first realise this is the way to God before performing the sacrifice. The first step spiritually in an individual’s walk with God is to recognise God exists, that without Him there is nothing, then one sees the difference between good and evil.

    Day 2 of creation is a separation of the waters, scientifically speaking the coalescing of matter (Solar Nebula) to form the Solar System. The second millennium of man began with the flood, man separated by water. The second convocation is Unleavened Bread, the separation of sin from our lives. The second item in the Temple is the Bronze Laver filled with water to wash hands and feet. The second step in one’s spiritual walk is to be washed by the Word of God. The Christian would say to be born again by the Spirit of God.

    I will stop here but I hope you notice the pattern of 6+1 and that the creation days can be correlated to each millennium (starting at Adam), to each convocation, the temple, and to each step in one’s spiritual walk with God. The pattern of 6+1 is mentioned throughout the Torah, from creation, Sabbath Rest, Law of the Hebrew Servant, debts cancelled and rest for the land every seventh year, Menorah Lamp, Seven Convocations (Festivals), etc. God is obviously telling us something, His timetable of 6000 years plus 1000 years, that we must be watchful of the times, that a day is as a thousand years. Genesis 1, and the Torah, is a lot deeper than any of us ever imagined.

    • Considering the Torah was given in such a way to be understood by children Im not so sure its as ‘deep’ as some might think. When I read it I find wisdom, a guide to life for the here and now. Searching the scripture to learn how our Creator expects us to behave is one thing. To search for something that isnt there or reading between the lines for a deeper meaning in my opinion only leads to the creation of more divisive religions.

  2. Big Bang, Quantum Foam, Dark Matter to me all mind boggling theories pertaining to the universe. But wait there’s more! Like Niels Bohr’s and Werner Heisenberg’s mind bender the Copenhagen Interpretation. Which in a nut shell I think says life is bit a dream containing an infinite number of possibilities. Makes me wonder though, if its all a dream then what is reality but what we perceive? What is our perception, if not our creation? Relax, its just a theory. Have fun.

  3. I really enjoy “sci-fi” type discussions as we know and comprehend that there is NO conflict at all between that which is seen and that which is not as mentioned in TORAH and as Paul sumed up in Rom 1:20. Having said that, I would like to point out that it seems all too easy to conclude concepts if we think we have gotten to the bottom of an issue when in fact, we have not. This, in my humble opinion is the case here concerning the dynamic nature of YHVH. Brother Gordon mentions a scripture that is quite conclusive concernimg Almighty God not being as a man in flux. I believe, if youall will bare with me, that our Great God is up to something long term and when He is appearing “dynamic”, in this period where we are dwelling with the “time aspect” which we are informed will be done away, He is actually demonstrating RELATIONSHIP. Now, I believe that this very thing is what Yahovah is and has been up to all along to the extant that He even allowed a war in Heaven soas to cause a juxtaposition in which to relate. Think about it. What self respecting Angel would aspire to war against Almighty God as man would and does do, and why!? So now we can bounce ideas around between light and darkness to gain a comprehension of just who this One is and to the extent of how he loves us so! So how do we avoid “faulty conclusions and deduction”? Especially when we delve into foundational issues? Simple, we get down to the foundations ie, to the nity gritty, so to speak. To do that in this area of discussion we must ask and find out, the answer to three questions. Here they are; 1) Where did we come from and when? 2) Where are we and “when” are we presently? and 3) Where are we going and what is the “when” associated with that existence? There ARE an answer to all three and again, in my humble opinion to avoid errant conclusions such as in this case discussion concerning an aspect or personality trait of Almignty God relating to His being “dynamic” or not,, WE MUST have the answer to at least two of the quests I’ve posed if not all three. THEN proper deduction can be rendered and NOT Before. All else is simply interesting discussion which I do enjoy by the way. Blessings to all as consideration is made, me

    Ps; the general answer IS,,,, Almighty God does NOT do trial runs for His learning to see how things will procede, however, He may do them for US and our learning. I sincerely doubt that He does trial runs period!

  4. Nehemia is very good in making fascinating interviews. Loved this a lot b/c God
    and science always fascinates inspires me. Maimonides didn’t get it first but the idea about Torah & Teva was common within the first century Jews as well such as Shaul (Paul) wrotes in Romans 1 and Colossians. He was a disciple of rabbi Gamliel and later rabbi Yeshua HaNotzri.

    Biblical Astronomer Robert Scott Wadsworth has done impressive work for decades regarding “Torah & Teva” in the stars and how the ancient God-given Hebrew star names (Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 30:26-28) and constellations revealed Yehovah Creator’s redemption plan even before the written revelation of the Bible. Here’s excellent video-seminary about the idea which proves the Sun, the moon and the Stars (constellations) are Yehovah’s Signs (Bereshit 1:14-17), not man’s:

    https://youtu.be/M4vhsjJeWrA

    I’ve learned both Torah and the Star names are in total sync with each other and it has nothing to do with astrology! There’s very strong scientific and historical evidence that God’s promise in the Torah, Bereshit 3:15, about the Seed of the Woman crushing serpent’s head is originally revealed in His ancient Hebrew star names and constellations or Mazzaroth in Hebrew.

    Shabbat Shalom from Finland and keep looking up as father Abraham did too because you will Yehovah and His redemption plan from the Torah and the Stars!

  5. I totally relate to Dr. Schroeder. I have always been amazed by “nature” since I can remember, and I can remember to 9 mos. old.

    Today as a Torah guardian, making a serious effort to do Torah, I read Scripture always, and I can understand now why nature has always fascinated me. There are many verses in Scripture where Abba Yah uses nature to describe His personal nature. I love the shadow picture of Abba as a mother hen. Mother hens will and do die protecting their young. As the hen walks along, chicks following single file, she struts her stuff and expects all of nature to move aside for her most precious cargo. Whatever is unfortunate enough to get in her path gets attacked full force. Here even a 1,100 pound donkey moves aside for momma hen.

    On my wall is a plaque I made, with this verse, ” But now ask the beasts and they shall show you, and the birds of the heavens; and they shall declare it to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of YHWH has done this, in whose hand is the life of all that live, and the breath of all mankind.’

    And the plaque next to that has:

    Jer 8:7. “Even a stork knows her appointed times. The turtle dove, a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their migration, but My people do not know the right-ruling of YHWH.’

    Above all the things that Yah put on this earth, I find the most amazing thigs reside in the heavens. We learn that The Father has given each and every star a name. And isn’t it the most Yahsome thing ever, that by the name of the stars, we can actually read the heaven like a scroll.

    When I explain this concept to atheists, they can for the first time in their lives, see physical proof that YHWH is Elohim. Those “messengers” have been there forever. Adam saw the same stars we do today.

    Nimrod most certainly understood the message written in the heavens. I am certain he was one of the few people left on earth who actually had this understanding, because he sure duped the whole earth into thinking he was a mighty one. X-mass and Ea_xer proves that sun worship still exist today as much of a snare as they were in the time of Nimrod.

    I imagine that when Yah spoke to our father Abraham, Yah asked Abram if he understood the message written in the heavens, as a scroll, when He asked, “Tell me if you can give an account? So shall your seed be.’

    Thankfully, Abba will never allow Babylon to be completed.

    Shalom.

    • Again I want to say these Nehemia’s interviews are very inspirational. Many times I listen to these I feel I cannot get my fingers off the keyboard b/c of deep desire to share thoughts with others 🙂 HalleluYah bless you my Jewish brother there in my future home-land in Israel!

      And thank you Ezracha Bat Ephrayim too for your interesting and inspirational insights as well. Interestingly in the original Hebrew text of Bereshit 15:5 that “seed” of Abram whom Abba Yah is talking about in the stars is not plural seed (zareikem) but one singular seed (zareka). Why to command Abram to count the number of the stars then if the original Hebrew text is speaking about one singular seed? If it would have been about numbering the stars Abram’s job would have been very easy! Counting one single star ha ha! 🙂

      Is this zareka of Bereshit 15:5 the same promised singular seed of the woman in Bereshit 3:15 which uses EXACTLY the same word for seed? This Zareka-seed seems to be all over Genesis / Bereshit…and the stars. Is this Zareka the Redeemer / Messiah through Abraham -> Isaac -> Virgin Nation of Bethulah Israel? Yes, I believe so b/c of the massive historical, biblical and astronomical support for the idea…in the Torah and Teva (in this case in the few hundred stars in the common constellations which are known for thousands of years having names, God-given names? -> Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26-28!

      If someone is interested to hear more please check out the link to our Hebrew astronomical study behind my nick name and Shavuah Tovah from Finland!

      • Nehemia, it came to my mind later could the word zareka mean the same as English “seed” for many seeds? I mean the English word “seed” could mean both: many seeds or one single seed. I am not expert in Hebrew so I wanted to double check the meaning of zareka and make corrections to my comment and my website if I am wrong. Thanks!

        Anyways the idea of Yah’s redemption plan in the Stars in addition to Torah does not stand only on one linguistic ground of Bereshit 15:5 but it is scientifically and biblically credible on many other grounds. Thanks!

  6. Just wondering, if God is outside time, why does His name mean “I will be who I will be”?

    Would it not make better sense for it to mean “I am who I am”? – that He already exists as all that He is, rather than He is becoming something that He isn’t yet?

  7. Thanks much children of Yehovah! I am so thrilled about the interpretation of Ex: 3:14 and of course verse 12 also through verse 15! “This is my Name forever hidden in the universe!” That’s from Dr. Schroeder. Then Nehemiah says, “I am now and will continue to be in the future!” Great!
    I read somewhere that Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is a Yidishization of Ahayah Asher Ahayah! Is this true? What’s the proper translation of Ahayah Asher Ahayah!
    Thanks so much for your work and service. May Yehovah whom you serve keep you in His blessing always!

  8. I’ve read several of Dr. Schroeder’s books and appreciate his integration of science, philosophy and religion. Does the recent detection of gravity waves change the concept of gravity and nothing from which creation originates?

  9. I really enjoyed hear Dr. Schroeder speak, I love these subjects. Though my level of knowledge of the universe is far below that of a physicist and graduate of M.I.T. From what I have seen and read about it has only lead me to better understand how awesome and powerful a force God truely is. If I ever visited Israel I would forgo the tourist traps and historical sites and head straight to the Dr.’s class room and camp out.

    Thank you both,

  10. This is now one of my favorite of your podcasts. This is one of those rare speakers that I could probably enjoy listening to for hours. Looking forward to part two very much. Toda.

  11. Thank you for a great interview. This is the first time I have heard a “big bang” theory that makes sense. Yehovah created something from nothing. Then He set it in motion. Then He created the life we see on earth. It was interesting also to hear about plans A,B &C. If mankind had continued honoring his Father, maybe we would be living 900 years according to plan A.

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