Project Genesis

Basics of Judaism

Science and Torah

Science and Torah Cannot Conflict

Question: Judaism believes that the Jewish calendar begins at the time Adam is created on the 6th day (because time is for people). Currently this time is 5770 years, the Jewish year. How does Judaism reconcile civilizations around the world that archaeologists scientifically determine to be thousands of years older than 5770 years old ? If man has only been on Earth for 5770 years how could there be groups of people older than Adam, the first person ?

Answer: Well, I’m not sure I’m going to be of much help. I always remember what my Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg z??l, said: Whenever there is an apparent conflict between Torah and science, we will have to work out whether the science needs to be fixed, or our understanding of Torah needs to be fixed, or both. I’m not an expert in the science, and presumably scientists will refine their views in the future too. As for the Torah, there are a number of ways to understand it. Just as an example, the Ibn Ezra said close to a thousand years ago that a “day?? in the creation may well refer to a stage of the process, however long it took. I don’t know that that is the normative view today, but all these type of things will be clarified eventually. (I don’t know if that would affect how the calendar is set up.)

Best wishes,
Michoel Reach

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