Thursday, August 25, 2005

My View On Evolution

Last week a Christian asked me what my view was on evolution. I replied, "The question of evolution is completely irrelevant to me. It has absolutely no impact on my daily life. I believe that G-d created the world. I don't concern myself with the details of the process."

He then pushed me for an explanation of the laws of kashrus. After I provided him a thorough explanation, he commented that he thought that these laws were only man's interpretation of a biblical text that was also written by man. To this I replied, "Your opinion is also just an opinion."

26 Comments:

At August 25, 2005 at 7:50:00 AM EDT, Blogger the2ndchipmunk said...

I'm curious - do most orthodox Jews believe that evolution is true?

 
At August 25, 2005 at 8:17:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey id really like to know why ordox jews have those hair locks?? if someone could let me know i would be very grateful!

 
At August 25, 2005 at 8:22:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Anonymous: See here:

http://www.pinenet.com/rooster/hasid2.html#HASID2-Q5

 
At August 25, 2005 at 9:07:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks simple jew....

 
At August 25, 2005 at 10:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

the2ndchipmunk:

See here for information on this subject.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_creationism

 
At August 25, 2005 at 11:24:00 AM EDT, Blogger Akiva said...

Simple - his response struck me as mightly odd. I thought Xian's generally hold the literal words to be true and from (their higher being / avoda zara). Perhaps he's a non-believing xian?

 
At August 25, 2005 at 11:39:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

Rav Avigdor Miller ztvkl writes whyy evolution is an anti-Torah concept and how it doesnt even make sense! scientists have reorganized the strata they got from underground to fit their twisted view of the universe. it seems that the motivation is to throw off any yolk of responsibility to the Creator.

check it out: u can see read this especially in R' Miller's ztl Awake My Glory & The Universe Testifies

PS- A Simple Jew--omg it was so annoying once a goy asked me to explain why we didnt eat meat & milk together but we have lox & cream cheese. it is sometimes so difficult bc u realize that they dont even have like basic knowledge so its hard to give a simple explanation and then go into Sefardim vs Ashkenazim and the lox etc etc

 
At August 25, 2005 at 12:04:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Akiva: They struck me as odd as well. I think you hit the nail on the head with your question.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 12:08:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Gartel:

As for questions from others to explain halacha, I always answer them if I believe the person is asking out of a desire to know, and not as a means to denigrate.

In my conversation with this person it started off in a way that did not indicate that he was trying to ridicule my response.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 12:37:00 PM EDT, Anonymous parvati said...

Why did you censor my post? Do you think it's halacha l'moshe m'sinai that Rav Avigdor Miller's raayos against evolution are good???

Incidentally, when you write:

"The question of evolution is completely irrelevant to me. It has absolutely no impact on my daily life. I believe that G-d created the world. I don't concern myself with the details of the process."

You are maskim that evolution may well have occured, in some form, as part of the Creation. You set yourself totally at odds from Rav Avigdor Miller's approach.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 12:38:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

i see

 
At August 25, 2005 at 12:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Parvati:

I removed your post because I do not allow comments on this blog that denigrate tzaddikim.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 1:06:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

One of the guiding principles of this blog is positivity. Recently I have received comments in which individuals denigrated tzaddikim or their fellow commenter. I will not tolerate this type of comment on this blog.

Comments of this nature will be deleted in the future.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 1:35:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

Sigh.

im sorry for defending a great Rav ztl who impacted my life as well as that of numerous others.

it was not my intention to denegrate a fellow commenter. but i did feel it necessary to assert R' Avigdor Miller's ztl gadlus over the commenter's comment (what was offensive by my stating of his accomplishments? whats wrong with the truth?)

i feel so stifled

 
At August 25, 2005 at 1:40:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

the Rav of my shul once gave a drush. he said that there are times to be quiet and times to speak up. im sorry if i offended anyone, but honestly, i felt it necessary to speak up in this case. i felt it necessary to speak up for the honor of R' Avigdor Miller ZTL and the teachings he espoused in his brilliant life. we dont even reach his toes and that is why i felt it necessary to speak up when i saw he was denegrated.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 1:43:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Gartel: I accept your explanation. Thank you.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 2:53:00 PM EDT, Anonymous parvati said...

Gartel: Unfortunately you are unable to realize that just because someone was a great Rav and Tzaddik does not mean they are correct on every single issue.

Attacking Rav Avigdor Miller's position on evolution does not mean that I am denying the fact that he was a great leader who had a hugely positive effect on the Jewish youth of the past 50 years.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 3:00:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Parvati: Thank you for the clarification.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 5:47:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

parvati -

the Rav of my shul once said: Moshe Rabenu O"H lives on in each generation with the Torah leaders. R' Avigdor Miller ZTVK"L was indeed a leader of his generation. though we no longer have nevuah, when our Gedolim talk & write Torah, we can trust that they have a degree of Divine Assistance. i am still trying to understand how you know better than R' Miller ZTL who truly fulfilled the Mishna in Pirkei Avos and "Dwelled and continued to dwell in Torah". did you read his works? just because his views does not match the twisted view of society, doesnt mean he is wrong. what makes you think he is wrong? thats still bugging me. i mean, i know i can trust him much better than myself on Torah issues. i honestly dont know why you feel otherwise and im really sorry you feel that way.
you think its unfortunate that i have emunos chachamim so i think its unfortunate that you feel that way. im sorry.
i hope this wasnt too offensive bc thats not the intent. im just greatly pained that you feel this way and i feel personally offended.

 
At August 25, 2005 at 6:33:00 PM EDT, Anonymous parvati said...

Of course I've read his books!!! Why on earth would I comment on them if I didn't know what they said?

"what makes you think he is wrong?"

Like I said earlier, his arguments against evolution are very weak, and they can be easily refuted by someone with a basic knowledge of biology and physics. He makes many scientific claims for which he doesn't bring sources. This has absolutely nothing to do with the "twisted view of society".

I think I disagree with your conception of emunas chachamim.

"im just greatly pained that you feel this way and i feel personally offended."

I'm not sorry you have the opinions you do, not am I personally offended. You certainly have the right to your shittos! Just try to realize that despite the fact that Rav Miller was a great Torah leader, that doesn't make everyone obliged to hold of all his opinions.

 
At August 26, 2005 at 12:44:00 AM EDT, Blogger Pilot Mom said...

A Simple Jew, I for one have always appreciated your answering my questions when I have not understood a thought or a word or phrase being used. Since I am not a Jew I don't understand some things and you have been gracious to take the time to explain. Thank you.

 
At August 26, 2005 at 6:26:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Pilot Mom: Thank you for your kind words.

 
At August 26, 2005 at 12:01:00 PM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

I posted this before, but it somehow disappeared:

SJ,
Your answer to the evolution question is 100% the right answer.
As to other questions... it's a tough one. It's very hard for me to say when yes or when no, but we are actually not allowed to teach certain things to non-Jews, and teaching Torah to goyim is only allowed if it is relevant to their life; simple curiosity is not a good enough reason, even if the guy is not out to ridicule it. There are people who are very lenient about this, but many are not - in any event, it's preferable to avoid it.

Here is a general example:
When the Baal HaTanya was in prison, he was approached by a certain government minister who asked him why the Torah says that G-d asked Adam (Beraishis) "Ayeka (Where are you)?" ...didn't Hashem know where Adam was?
The Baal HaTanya responded with Rashi's comment, that Hashem was opening the conversation.
The minister replied that he knew Rashi's pshat, but he didn't find it fulfilling. He wanted to know what the Rebbe had to say about it.
The Baal HaTanya then asked "Do you believe in the Torah, that it is from G-d, eternal, true, and for all time?"
When the minister replied in the affirmative, the Baal HaTanya answered him with his answer (that G-d asks us, at all times, "Ayeka" - where do we stand, in our avoda, actions, behavior, etc...)

So, the question to the minister was (at least one level) - Is your question merely academic, or do you have a real purpose to your question. If so, than the question deserved to be addressed -- if not, then there would be no point in answering... We must ask ourselves the same question in these scenarios.

 
At August 29, 2005 at 2:56:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

Parvati-


to quote you:
"his arguments are weak"
"someone with a basic knowledge of biology and physics"
---that sounds like a disrespectful way to talk about one of our generation's most brilliant Gaonim

do u have any CONCRETE evidence for evolution?!

of course you can believe what you want but i dont appreciate the way you speak of one of such a great Rav ztl who is looked up to by so many.

according to evolution (or should i say EVILution) everything developed on its own. with something as complicated and unique as an eye. how could that come by accident?! i read on frumteens, the moderator gives a really good example: if u went to the moon and found a CD player, you would believe that for sure soemoen else put it there bc it couldnt possibly come there by itself and develope the little lazer light inside to play music and the speakers and all without some outside force. its about time we appreciate that Hashem is above us all, constantly involved in our lives.

 
At August 29, 2005 at 6:39:00 PM EDT, Anonymous parvati said...

This is not the place to debate the concepts of evolution, and I don't think "simple Jew" wants us to use his blog for this.

You don't get my point! Do you learn in Yeshiva? of course I can say his arguments are weak in this area without it being a general or personal attack on him. And yes, he was a tremendous talmid chacham, but it is clear from his writing that he does not have an extensive knowledge of science.

Regarding the evidence for evolution, please tell me if you have ever read a 12th grade or AP level biology textbook from cover to cover, or if you have obtained all your knowledge of evolution from Rejoice Oh Youth.

 
At August 29, 2005 at 9:14:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Gartel said...

i've heard plenty of evolution mumbo jumbo.

and actually, R' Miller ztl does have extensive knowledge of science. you can read the way he describes aspects of nature etc like animals, digestion, the human body, etc and tells u how u can appreciate Hashem for this.

and it is rude to say that "he does not have an extensive knowledge of science"

u did not answer my Q if there is actually concrete evidence for the evolution THEORY.

why would i trust a secularist textbook over R' Miller ztl? trust me i've heard enough.

and for the record, you dont need a textbook to learn about the world. we learn in pirkei avos that u learn everything from TORAH. the Chazon Ish ztl spent the majority of his life learning Torah and yet had an extensive knowledge on medical issues and was often sought out by great doctors for his brilliance in the subject.

so, i believe the Torah is a much better source of information than a mere textbook that discusses THEORIES of people who do not even know Torah

 

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