Orchard of Delights: A Beautiful Book, Inside and Out
While in Israel this past summer, I bought Rabbi Trugman's (of Ohr Chadash) new commentary on the Torah, Orchard of Delights, recently reviewed in the Baltimore Jewish Examiner. I had already been listening with rapture during Shabbatot at my younger son's home to several divrei Torah, or Torah lessons (literally,"words" of Torah), which he gave over at his Shabbat table from Rabbi Trugman's book. The manner in which RavTrugman interweves the spiritual and physical filled me with wonderment. His teachings lend credence to physicist and theologian Gerald Schroeder's philosophy manifested in his books (two of which I have read, and a third, God According to God, which I am currently reading), that not only does science not disprove the veracity of the Torah, but rather the opposite--and that the two, Torah and Science, are compatible and even interdependent. From the introduction to Dr. Schroeder's book, God According to God:
Albert Einstein discovered that matter is actually pure congealed or condensed energy, energy in the form of solid matter. Everything from our bodies to boulders on a mountain is made of the energy of the big-bang creation. The scientific discoveries of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have gone a step farther in closing ranks with the creation, finding that matter and the energy from which matter formed are made of something totally ethereal. In physics we call it information or, more extreme, mind. In the words of the knighted mathematician James Jeans, the world looks more like a great thought than a great machine. Biblical theology agrees totally, telling us, as we will learn, that God used a substrate of wisdom with which to build the world. This Divine wisdom or mind is present in every iota of the world's being. It explains how the energy of the creation, essentially superpowerful light beams, could become alive and sentient, able to feel love and joy and wonder. Divine wisdom was and is present, guiding and forming the way.So too, in the Rabbi's magnum opus, the physical and metaphysical are intertwined, shedding new light on the meaning of the Torah--the Old Testament--for our time.
For those of you who missed the live webcast (see my previous post), here it is in its entirety. Sit down with a cup of coffee or cacao cham* (tea is good, too) and enjoy the depth of the Torah learning in the video below. Especially pay attention to the mention of the revelations of quantum physics with regard to what we think of as the "real world," starting from around 35:00.
*cacao cham: hot cocoa