Home Up About Programs Site Features News Search Contact


The Search for Truth:

Torah and Revelation Meet Science and Secular Knowledge

A colloquium for the entire Jewish community presented in association with

Young Israel of Oak Park


Young Israel of Southfield

Registration Information and Forms

Venues: Location and Parking Information

Colloquium Details

This is the first of a series of programs planned by The Jewish Forum featuring major scholars from within each of the major streams of Judaism, discussing and debating consequential (—and perhaps controversial) internal issues, and intentionally open to the entire Jewish Community. This colloquium provides the community with a view "Inside Orthodoxy," into issues currently controversial and much-debated. It's sub-theme might be titled, "Freedom of Thought and Expression in Orthodoxy."

The Torah tells us that God is the seal of Truth. But as Jews we often encounter truths in the world of science, history, philosophy and theology that seem to challenge our understanding of the eternal truth of Torah. How do we reconcile these difficulties? How do we integrate the paths of Judaism with the wisdom of the world? What happens when rabbinic authority seems to clash with our autonomous understanding of truth and how do we negotiate such conflicts?
The four men assembled for this very special colloquium are world authorities in Jewish law, philosophy, history, science. Lectures and panel discussions will include exploration of the following issues: Da'at Torah versus worldly wisdom; Must a Jew maintain certain core beliefs? Are the Rambam's 13 principles binding on Jewry? Can evolution and Torah be reconciled? Was the world really created in six days and is the universe 5768 years old? What is the current state of rabbinic leadership? Should halakhah incorporate worldly wisdom as part of its decision-making process? Should we subject the lives of great Torah scholars to historical analysis? How can halakhah change while maintaining its permanence? What is the relationship between philosophy and kabbalah? How should we talk with our children about these issues in our homes and schools? And much more.

Never before has this group of scholars appeared together. This is a unique event which promises to be enormously stimulating -- and may transform how you think about Torah.

Please note that our scholars' books will be available for sale at the events.

Recordings of each session should be available for purchase via the Jewish Forum website about two weeks after the colloquium.

Saturday night/motza'ei Shabbat, 8:15-10:15 PM, 2/2/08, Young Israel of Southfield

Rabbinic Authority vs. Worldly Wisdom - A Panel Discussion
Prof. Menachem Kellner
Prof. Marc Shapiro
Rabbi Natan Slifkin
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Sperber
Dr. Elliott Malamet, Moderator

Sunday, 2/3/08, Young Israel of Oak Park

9:30-10:25 AM
Should the Torah's Secrets be Revealed: Maimonides and Philosophical Truth

Prof. Menachem Kellner

10:30-11:30 AM
Can Halakhah Change: Jewish Law and the Truths of Modernity
Prof. Daniel Sperber

11:35-12:30 PM
Are There Things a Jew Must Believe: The Controversy over Rambam's 13
Prof. Marc Shapiro and Prof. Menachem Kellner
Moderated by Dr. Elliott Malamet

12:35-1:30 PM

1:40-2:40 PM
Scientific Truth and Torah teaching: Compatibility or Conflict?
Rabbi Natan Slifkin

2:45-3:40 PM
The Lives of Gedolim ("great sages") and the Truths of History

Prof. Marc Shapiro

3:45-4:15 PM
Closing comments - Full Panel


The Scholars (for detailed biographies click here)

Dr. Menachem Kellner - Professor of Jewish Thought, University of Haifa; author of many books and publications including Must A Jew Believe Anything?

Dr. Marc Shapiro - Weinberg Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Scranton; author of numerous articles and several books including The Limits of Orthodox Theology

Rabbi Natan Slifkin - Renowned lecturer on Judaism and Science; author of several books including The Challenge of Creation

Rabbi Dr. Daniel Sperber - Professor of Talmud, Bar-Ilan University; author of many articles and books including the 8-volume Minhagei Yisrael; recipient of the Israel Prize

Registration Information and Forms

Venues: Location and Parking Information


Home ] Up ] About ] Programs ] Site Features ] News ] Search ] Contact ]

Send mail to webmaster@thejewishforum.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2013 The Jewish Forum Inc.
Last modified: 03/01/13