Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Are you familiar with Rabbi Daniel Lapin?  Country Guy and I happened to see him on a TV show recently and so I looked up his website: .  There I subscribed to his email newsletter.
      I am posting an excerpt from his bio from the website to introduce you to him if you don't know him already and then below that, his most recent email newsletter.  I find his articles interesting, thought-provoking, inspiring, and educational.  I thought you might, too.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths.   In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.  
Before immigrating to the United States in 1973, Rabbi Daniel Lapin studied Torah, physics, economics and mathematics in Johannesburg, London and Jerusalem.  This seemingly unlikely combination forms the bedrock of his conviction that no conflict exists between the physical and spiritual, virtue and strength, or faith and wealth.  He quickly became persuaded that God continues to smile on the United States of America and he became a naturalized citizen on what he describes as the proudest day of his life.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin was the founding rabbi of Pacific Jewish Center, a now legendary Orthodox synagogue in Venice, California.  He implanted the community’s mission of demonstrating the relevance of traditional Faith to modern life.

“The more things change, the more you must depend upon those things that never change” is a theme that the rabbi injects into his presentations.  With his compelling application of permanent principles that address the problems that plague individuals, families and our nation, he has won the admiration of noted figures such as Dr. James Dobson, John Ashcroft, Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Pastor John Hagee, Jack Kemp (1935-2009), Dr. D.J. Kennedy (1930-2007), Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Rabbi Avigdor Miller (o.b.m.), the late Secretary of the Treasury, William E. Simon, Rabbi Aryeh Sheinberg, Rabbi Pinchas Stolper and Zig Ziglar. President George W. Bush appointed him to serve two terms on a United States Commission.
    Spirituality of Science
Rabbi Daniel Lapin   

May 30, 2012                          9th day of Sivan 5772                   Volume V Issue #21
Does anyone wear a pacemaker produced in Pakistan?  Have you noticed any breakthroughs in electrical super conductivity emanating from Saudi Arabia?  Would you buy a sedan designed and assembled in Sudan?  Did the dental anesthetic, Novocain, get invented in Nigeria or Botox in Biafra?

I think that open inquiry is more important than avoiding multi-cultural insensitivity, so let’s ask why virtually all scientific and medical advances of the past thousand years occurred within western civilization.

There is no defect in the people of the countries I have mentioned.  Western civilization’s remarkable monopoly of progress is due to the qualities that Judaism and Christianity imbued in the cultures, societies, and nations they spawned. Widely held beliefs truly do have consequences.

It isn’t that hard to see how a Bible-based view of reality shapes a culture and fuels scientific discovery.  The opening words of God’s directive to humanity “In the beginning God created heaven and earth” strips away the illusion of a random world and sets men on the road to scientific discovery.
Science is mainly about seeking meaningful patterns.  Knowing that patterns in the natural world exist, no matter how elusive they may be, reinforces the persistence of the investigator.

People acculturated by Judaism and Christianity discovered calculus, the periodic table, penicillin, relativity, and planetary motion.  Those Bible-believers invented electricity, and most everything else that makes life today so much better than it was a millennium ago.  What drove their quest was the knowledge that the universe was not random along with the desire to understand God’s universe as a way to understanding Him.

The opening sentence of the Bible told them it had been created by a benevolent Deity to fulfill His grand plans and as such, it was knowable.
That first sentence, in its original Hebrew possesses a striking distinction.  Six of its seven words contain an aleph.  The aleph is not only the first letter of the alphabet, it also means one thousand. 

Ancient Jewish wisdom links that first verse’s six alephs or thousands, to the six thousand years of human history starting from when Adam first spoke.  Furthermore, it links each of the six days of creation to its parallel millennium.  So, the sixth millennium, corresponding to the Bible’s account of the sixth day of creation, ran from the Jewish year 5001 to 6000.  The civil year 2012 corresponds to the Hebrew year 5772 which means that the sixth millennium began 772 years ago:

2012 – 772 = 1240

That sixth day of creation contains one instruction vital for scientific discovery.  God directs man to conquer the earth. (Genesis 1:28)  God urges us to discover ways of making the world safer, a place in which humans can live longer and better with less back-breaking, manual labor.   No wonder Isaac Newton’s discoveries resulted from him being a Bible-believing Christian.

The Hebrew word telling us to conquer,kovesh, happens to be the 76th word out of a total of 149 words in that sixth day account. 

76/149 = 0.51 

In other words, there is a prophecy that exactly 51% of the way through the sixth millennium there will be a breakthrough which will dramatically increase the way that humans conquer the world.  Well, 510 years into this millennium brings us to 1240 + 510 = 1750.  The year that dates the beginning of the Industrial Revolution! 

Just as the Bible impacts the scientific development of people, so it also shapes their economic development. Though there is an optimistically named Nobel Prize in “Economic Sciences” most question whether economics is really a science.  For instance, if electricity behaved one way this year, quite differently from how it behaved last year, we’d question whether the study of electricity belonged in the sciences.  Yet that is precisely what economics does.
This is because unlike electricity, economics is impacted by the spiritual condition of people.  The spiritual make-up of a culture shapes its economic fortunes.

No comments: