As both a working scientist and an active Jew, I am often asked how I compromise my commitment to each discipline in order to make the two harmonious in my life. The truth is I do not feel that I have to compromise either. Science is important to me as it helps answer testable questions about the universe: How does the sun “rise”? How do we get rain? Why do peacocks have long tails? Religion, on the other hand, deals with intangible questions: What does life mean? How can I be a more righteous person? How can I connect spiritually with the world? Since religion and science ask different questions, they do not contradict one another. I feel comfortable discussing the story of creation after reading a paper about the big bang theory, because to me the stories in the Bible are much more than historical accounts. They are guides to how we can live a better life; they are lessons about how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things yet how we have the power to change the world. Judaism teaches me that I should try and understand G-d’s world; science gives me tools to do so.
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