State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Final Seminar this Thursday: When Science and Halakha (Jewish Law) Collide

Rabbi Dov Linzer

The end is near—of the CSSR’s Spring Seminar Series that is. We are concluding this season’s series with a seminar by Rabbi Dov Linzer, Rosh Hayeshiva and Head of Academics at Yeshiva Chovevei Torah, this Thursday, April 29th.  Rabbi Linzer’s lecture, When Science and Halakha (Jewish Law) Collide: Sympathies, Strategies, and Solutions, will investigate the complex moral questions surrounding the relationship of scientific discovery and religious belief, and the laws that guide this relationship.

Observant Jews are bound by the  halakha (Jewish law) as developed in the Talmud.  But what happens when the rabbis of the Talmud , in their shaping of halakha, made mistakes in science or in their observation of the natural world?   Could religious Jews admit that their religious authorities made such mistakes?  And, if mistakes were recognized, would  halakha based on these errors have to change as a result? This lecture will explore these issues, and ask what is at stake in how these questions are answered. We will see that where one’s sympathies lie—in the stability of the system or in its consistency with an external “truth”—will determine the answers to these questions and the strategies used to get there.

As usual the seminar will begin at 6:00PM and conclude at 7:30PM. Please join us in Davis Auditorium, Schapiro CEPSR building ( This event is free and open to the public, snacks and refreshments will be served!

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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