Jewish Law: Judaism and Science

Dr. Stuart Apfel

Stuart Apfel is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at Downstate Medical Center, and has recently become an adjunct faculty member at Yeshiva University where he teaches an undergraduate course in neuroscience. His scientific research has largely focused on the potential clinical application of neurotrophic factors for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy and other neurodegenerative disorders, and on other aspects of translational medicine. He is a founder of Parallax Clinical Research, a consulting firm that works closely with biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies assisting them with advancing potential therapeutics from the laboratory to clinical trials, and ultimately to approval. Dr. Apfel is a popular lecturer at Einstein and Downstate, and has won teaching awards. In addition to his scientific activities, he gives regular shiurim in his community of West Hempstead, and has lectured widely on a variety of Torah related topics, mostly focused on Science and Judaism, Jewish History, and topics in Tanach. Sample Titles The Evolution of the Human Brain Repairing the Nervous System Why do we age, and what can we do about it? Alzheimer’s disease – Can we reduce our risk? From a Single Cell to the Most Complicated Structure in the Known Universe – Embryonic Development of the Brain Our Aging Brain – Can We Keep it Young? Sleep and Dreaming – How and Why Learning and Memory – How it Happens and How to Improve It Understanding Modern Medical Research The Torah Perspective on the Inflationary Universe and Dark Energy Adam and Chava and the Origins of Humanity Talmudic Medicine and other forms of Alternative Medicine Does God Play Dice with the Universe? – Understanding Chance from a Torah Perspective Should a Jew Believe in Evolution? The Mind / Brain / Soul – A Torah, Scientific, and Philosophical Perspective Torah Perspective on the Human Genome Project Orion and the Pleiades from the Perspective of Chazal The God Gene – Are we Genetically Programmed to Believe in God?...

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Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth (Kenny) Brander is Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University.  He concurrently serves as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. The CJF shapes, enriches and inspires the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva. It does so by infusing the student body with the spirit of leadership and a sense of klal Yisrael. CJF serves to build, cultivate and support communities, rabbinic and lay leaders, and individuals. Furthermore, CJF is creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva. Rabbi Brander is rabbi emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and founder of the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. At RIETS, he had the distinction of serving as personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He also received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics. He received his PhD in general philosophy from Florida Atlantic University. Sample Titles Playing God: Can I Choose my Child? PGD and Genetic Screening – A Torah Perspective My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child? The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine Through the Prism of Jewish Law The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in Jewish Law: A Torah Perspective End of Life Issues Through the Prism of Halakhah Fertility Procedures The Gift of Life: Donating Organs; A Jewish Perspective Our Health and Well-being: Compassionate and Halakhic Treatment of the Terminally Ill Patient Stem Cell Research – The Definition of Life as seen in Parshat Mishpatim Ethics of War “Is Zionism Diametrically Opposed to Judaism?” Contemporary...

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Rabbi David Horwitz

Rabbi David Horwitz is a rosh yeshiva and the Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz Professor of Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also is an instructor of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva College and teaches an advanced shiur (lecture) for the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies. In 1997, Rabbi Horwitz received Yeshiva’s 13th Annual Moshe and Madelaine Baumel Judaic Faculty Incentive Award, which honors outstanding Jewish studies educators at the University and RIETS. Rabbi Horwitz is an alumnus of Yeshiva University High School for Boys (where he won the National Bible Contest, Chidon Hatanach), Yeshiva College, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon. Sample Titles Issues in Sefiras HaOmer Inyanei Pesach Halachic Issues in Japan Sefirat HaOmer – Is Verbalization Necessary? Halakha and the Scientific Revolution Rav Horowitz Sefer Hamadda Human Effort and Determinism in Ralbag Memories of the Rav Torah Umadda Rambam vs The Chachmei Ashkenaz on the Haggadah – some surprising differences An Argument of Rav and Shmuel – Matchil B’Gnut U’Lsayem B’Shevach – Spiritual Redemption and Talmud Torah The Corporate Completeness of Kelal...

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Rabbi Edward Reichman, Md

Rabbi Edward Reichman, M.D. is an associate professor of emergency medicine and associate professor of philosophy and history of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, where he teaches Jewish medical ethics. Rabbi Reichman received semikha (rabbinic ordination) from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and writes and lectures widely in the field of Jewish medical ethics. He is the recipient of a Kornfeld Foundation Fellowship and the Rubinstein Prize in Medical Ethics, and was a member of both the board of the Halakhic Organ Donor Society and the advisory board of the Institute for Genetics and Public Policy. His research is devoted to the interface of medical history and Jewish law. Sample Titles Organ Donation And Jewish Law Can One Woman Have Two Firstborn Children? And Other Case Files from the New 21st Century Journal of Anticipatory Medical Halacha When Fathers Become Mothers and Mothers Have Udders: Medical Halakha for the 21st Century A Modern Day Challenge for Shlomo HaMelech: Ownership rights of frozen embryos New Ways to Have your Eggs Served: Ovarian transplantation and the definition of maternity in halakha The Bodies Exhibit and the Preservation of the Human Body in Rabbinic Literature: From Lot’s wife to Gunther’s knife Medical Halakha Update 2008: From artificial life to a DNA-matched wife The Impact of Rav Moshe Feinstein on Medical Halakha The Impact of the Tzitz Eliezer on Jewish Medical Ethics Dead or Alive! The Definition of Death in Jewish Law Halakha under the microscope: Halakhic Issues of the discovery and use of the Microscope Why is This Gene Different from all other Genes? The impact of the Human Genome Project on Jewish law Let’s face it: Face and other non-vital organ transplants in Jewish law The Aftermath of the Tsunami: risk, rescue and plague in Jewish Law The Anatomy of Halakha The not so new metzitzah controversy Posthumous Paternity and Motherless Maternity: New Frontiers in Assisted Reproduction Whose Life is it Anyway: The Terry...

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Dr. David Shatz

Dr. Shatz is University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Thought at Yeshiva University, editor of The Torah u-Madda Journal, and editor of the series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, which has brought into print many of the previously unpublished manuscripts of The Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l. After graduating as valedictorian of his class at Yeshiva University, Prof. Shatz was ordained at  the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and then earned his Ph.D with distinction in general philosophy at Columbia University. He has edited, co-edited, or authored fifteen books and has published approximately eighty articles and reviews, dealing with both general and Jewish philosophy. His publications in general philosophy focus on the theory of knowledge, free will, ethics, and the philosophy of religion, while his writings in Jewish philosophy focus on Jewish ethics, Maimonides, Torah and science, Judaism’s view of other religions, and twentieth-century rabbinic figures. Prof. Shatz has appeared many times on a PBS television series featuring distinguished scientists, theologians, and philosophers. He was named a winner in the John Templeton Foundation Course Competition in Science and Religion and has been chosen numerous times as outstanding professor by the senior class of Stern College for Women. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Tradition and the Steering Committee of the Orthodox Forum. In recognition of his achievements as a scholar and teacher, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion at Yeshiva University, the first member of the various university faculties to receive this highest honor. A book concerning his life and thought will appear in The Library of Contemporary Jewish Philosophers, a series that the  publisher, Brill, states “showcases outstanding Jewish thinkers who have made lasting contributions to constructive Jewish philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century.” Sample Titles The Jew in the Modern World: Reflections of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l Suffering in This World: The Approach of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l Faith, Fate and Folly: Astrology,...

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