Question: We know today that our universe, ranging from the weather to the molecules in our body, operate by definite (mathematical) laws. Therefore, everything in our world happens because of these physical laws. When we pray for “G-dly intervention”, we assume that G-d alters these laws in a way so that something changes. Otherwise, it wouldn’t happen. But we never detect mysterious changes in laws of physics. How is G-dly intervention compatible with science?
Answer: Although I will definitely not do this complex and profound subject full justice in these few lines, I will nevertheless suggest that your assumption might not be correct. You wrote “We know today that our universe, ranging from the weather to the molecules in our body, operate by definite (mathematical) laws” and that therefore, in mechanical terms, there is no room left for God to intervene without breaking His own laws of physics. I believe that this in not an accurate description of those laws. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (as I understand it) states that on the quantum level there MUST by definition remain a level of uncertainty concerning the location and behavior of some particles. This does not only mean that we cannot KNOW their location and behavior, but that they are by definition in and of themselves uncertain.
Within his uncertainty, I believe, lies enough room for God to “play around” if He chooses.
Of course, as I’m sure you are well aware, even if this were not true, a God who created the universe could always find a way to intervene at His will – whether we understood how it worked or not. Heisenberg is just one possible explanation for it.
With my very best wishes,
Rabbi Boruch Clinton