Science in the Torah

Genetics and our sages - Rabbi Zamir Cohen

Did You Know, That recently discovered Laws of Genetics were Known and Practiced Thousands of Years ago by our Sages?

Genetics and our sages - Rabbi Zamir Cohen

The Zohar states in a number of places that the Torah existed before the world was created. It teaches that when God wanted to create the world, He “looked” upon what was written in this supernal Torah, and formed the entire universe accordingly. In the Zohar’s precise words: “The Holy One looked into the Torah and created the universe.”

This means that the Torah serves as a kind of blueprint for the universe and history down to its tiniest details – all that was, is and will be, from the dawn of creation unto the end of the generations.

The Midrash compares this to a king who designs a palace according to his future needs. His plan defines the layout of every room, office, hall, window, opening, etc., and how they will appear once constructed. In the same way, God created the world in accordance with the needs of human beings to fulfill His commandments.

For those of us accustomed to thinking of history as a progression of events, from earlier to later, this idea might sound radical and even strange. How can it be that all of the historical events of which the Torah speaks in greatest detail were already written in the Torah a long time before they actually occurred? For example, how could God’s Torah contain the exodus from Egypt thousands of years before the event actually took place? How could it describe a man named Jacob, son of Rebecca, who went to live with Laban the Aramean before Jacob and Laban were even born?

These ideas only make sense if we keep in mind that the Torah is the creation of God, who transcends time, and knows all of the mysteries of the universe, and what will occur on any particular day at any particular time. Everything is revealed to Him, and He understands all. Something that happened long ago is the same in God’s eyes as something that will happen in the distant future. This is why the Creator of the world can write in fullest detail in the Torah about all of the events of the world well before they actually take place.

Furthermore, the Zohar and the Midrash imply that not only did God write in the Torah all that would happen in the future, but that the entire universe was originally created only in accordance with the words of the Torah, on all its levels, including its most esoteric aspects. The Torah provided a grand plan for the world – foundational and all-inclusive – for according to its contents, God generated the infinite details of creation, the laws of nature, and the events of history. (On this point, the Gaon of Vilna taught: “Everything that ever was, is and will be is all included in the Torah, from [the first line of] of Genesis until the last line of the Bible. And not merely the general principles of the world, but also details about every species and every individual person and all that will take place in each person’s life from the day of birth until the day of death. [This includes] every incarnation and the details of the details of the details. This also includes all of the species of animals and beasts and all of the living creatures of the world. [So too] every kind of grass and plant and all of the details of the details of the details [about them as well]. Every species and member of the species, for all time including what will happen to them and where they came from….”

In other words, if the natural world follows certain rules, it is because this was what was determined in advance by the Creator in accordance with the “operating instructions” contained in the Torah. It is no wonder that the Sages of Israel knew scientific principles that have been discovered only recently – for even science is embedded in the Torah, and is available to every Jewish person studying Torah under the necessary conditions: thoroughly, thoughtfully, honestly, and respectfully.

Scientific knowledge was placed in the Torah so that it might be revealed later. On some occasions, the knowledge is encoded in the Torah, and can only be deciphered after a careful reading of an event or series of events.

This narrative is a prime example of the many places in the Torah where the laws of nature are encoded in the text. In this case, we will uncover the Torah’s understanding of two of the laws of genetics discovered only recently by modern science. This phenomenon is mentioned in Midrash Tanchumah (Naso, chap. 9) as well:

"The King of the Arabia said to Rabbi Akiba: 'I am a Cushite [dark skinned] and my wife is a Cushite, yet she gave birth to a white skinned baby. I will kill her if she had relations with another man.' He [Rabbi Akiva] said to him: 'Are the figures [statues in the form of people] in your house black or white?' He answered: 'White.' He said to him: 'When you were with her she must have looked up at the white figures and then gave birth to a child that looked like them. And if don’t believe it go look at our father Jacob who made streaked rods [for cattle to look upon during conception in order to create streaked offspring].' The King of Arabia thanked Rabbi Akiba."

The following cases were published in medical literature.

The German Medical journal Der Ertz (Volume 7, p. 30) Dr. Untzer notes a case in which a skin disease left a red mark on the forehead of a child. The child’s mother, who was then pregnant, was concerned that if she looked upon the mark, her new baby would be born with one as well. Several months later, she gave birth to twins – each bearing a red mark on its head.

In another incident, Dr. Van Sveeten in Commenter Zu Barhev (Volume 3, p. 406) describes a pregnant woman who was startled when a large worm fell on the back of her neck. When her daughter was born a few months later, the child had a birth mark in the very same shape and color as the worm that had fallen on the mother’s skin.

A Norwegian author, Beirnson, writes in his book Miracles of Will that when his wife was pregnant, she was terrified of seeing a man with a fatty growth on his ear. “I am afraid that our baby will have a growth on its ear!” she said. And so it was that their oldest son was born with such a growth on his ear. After a few years passed, his wife was pregnant again and a guest who was seriously cross-eyed visited them. Mrs. Beirnson stared, transfixed, at the visitor. Later, she told her husband that she was afraid that her next child would be born cross-eyed too. And so it was that their child was born with a severe case of cross-eye.

Another case: Dr. Z. Maston writes in the journal Maternal Impressions and their Influence upon the Fetus of the experience of arriving at the house of the William family in order to treat a gunshot wound to the head of Mr. William, caused by a stray bullet from a hunting rifle. He did not expect to have to treat a hysterical Mrs. William, screaming that her husband’s injury was a disaster for other reasons: Mrs. William was pregnant and she was sure that her baby would be born with red marks on its head. Just moments before, while treating her husband, Mrs. William had noticed that she had smeared blood on her hands and face – and instinct told her that this blood would reappear as marks the body of her unborn child.

Two months later, Dr. Maston returned to the William home to deliver the baby. The baby appeared healthy and normal, its skin smooth and clear – except for large red spots in the exact place where its father had been injured. According to Mrs. William, the injury had occurred on the fifty-second day of her pregnancy. “From that moment on,” she said, “I was gripped with fear every time I had to treat my husband’s wounds.”

There are many more descriptions of similar incidents in the Israeli parapsychology journal World of Mystery.

This phenomenon is mentioned in Midrash Tanchumah (Naso, chap. 9):

"The King of the Arabia said to Rabbi Akiba: 'I am a Cushite [dark skinned] and my wife is a Cushite, yet she gave birth to a white skinned baby. I will kill her if she had relations with another man.' He [Rabbi Akiva] said to him: 'Are the figures [statues in the form of people] in your house black or white?' He answered: 'White.' He said to him: 'When you were with her she must have looked up at the white figures and then gave birth to a child that looked like them. And if don’t believe it go look at our father Jacob who made streaked rods [for cattle to look upon during conception in order to create streaked offspring].' The King of Arabia thanked Rabbi Akiba."

There are other interesting cases published in medical literature.

For example, in the German Medical journal Der Ertz (Volume 7, p. 30) Dr. Untzer notes a case in which a skin disease left a red mark on the forehead of a child. The child’s mother, who was then pregnant, was concerned that if she looked upon the mark, her new baby would be born with one as well. Several months later, she gave birth to twins – each bearing a red mark on its head.

In another incident, Dr. Van Sveeten in Commenter Zu Barhev (Volume 3, p. 406) describes a pregnant woman who was startled when a large worm fell on the back of her neck. When her daughter was born a few months later, the child had a birth mark in the very same shape and color as the worm that had fallen on the mother’s skin.

A Norwegian author, Beirnson, writes in his book Miracles of Will that when his wife was pregnant, she was terrified of seeing a man with a fatty growth on his ear. “I am afraid that our baby will have a growth on its ear!” she said. And so it was that their oldest son was born with such a growth on his ear. After a few years passed, his wife was pregnant again and a guest who was seriously cross-eyed visited them. Mrs. Beirnson stared, transfixed, at the visitor. Later, she told her husband that she was afraid that her next child would be born cross-eyed too. And so it was that their child was born with a severe case of cross-eye.

Another case: Dr. Z. Maston writes in the journal Maternal Impressions and their Influence upon the Fetus of the experience of arriving at the house of the William family in order to treat a gunshot wound to the head of Mr. William, caused by a stray bullet from a hunting rifle. He did not expect to have to treat a hysterical Mrs. William, screaming that her husband’s injury was a disaster for other reasons: Mrs. William was pregnant and she was sure that her baby would be born with red marks on its head. Just moments before, while treating her husband, Mrs. William had noticed that she had smeared blood on her hands and face – and instinct told her that this blood would reappear as marks the body of her unborn child.

Two months later, Dr. Maston returned to the William home to deliver the baby. The baby appeared healthy and normal, its skin smooth and clear – except for large red spots in the exact place where its father had been injured. According to Mrs. William, the injury had occurred on the fifty-second day of her pregnancy. “From that moment on,” she said, “I was gripped with fear every time I had to treat my husband’s wounds.”

There are many more descriptions of similar incidents in the Israeli parapsychology journal World of

Mystery.

 

Adapted from The Revolution by Rabbi Zamir Cohen
 

 

Most Read
https://www.hidabroot.com/