January 2015 BAZMAN
2420 East Hillcrest Drive Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 (805) 497-7101 www.adatelohim.org
“In These Times”
Tevet - Shevat 5775
VOL. 48 NO. 4
Rebecca L. Dubowe, Rabbi Barry Diamond, Interim Rabbi
Aliza Goland, Executive Director Marcy Goldberg, Director of Education Donna Becker, ECC Director
Seth Stevens, President, Board of Directors Alan Greenbaum, Rabbi Emeritus
David Shukiar, Cantor
Science or Religion? Science and Religion? O
Tuesday, January 27-Adult Ed: How a Scientist Views Religion In this class, Rabbi Michael Lotker, himself a trained scientist, will explore how he gleans knowledge and wisdom from both science and Judaism. Friday, February 13-Evolution Shabbat In response to some religious leaders who attack evolution because it does not comport with their theology, thousands of clergy, including more than 500 rabbis, signed letters expressing support for the teaching of evolution. On the weekend closest to Charles Darwin’s birthday, many congregations celebrate Evolution Weekend (in our case Evolution Shabbat), where we reflect on how the lessons from evolution and our tradition can help to give us a sense of meaning in our lives. Tuesday, February 17-The Great Faith Debate Is faith emphasized in Judaism? Is it required? I will be engaging in a discussion/debate with one of my teachers, Rabbi Mordecai Finley. We discuss the power and perils of faith and how we might approach faith as a way that we come to understand our place in the world. Regardless of your beliefs, these three opportunities will help you to develop a more thoughtful approach to one of the central questions in modern religious life.
ne of the ways that we understand our place in the world is by the stories we tell about our origins and how the world works. But we do not have one story to choose from. Judaism provides multiple, beautiful stories about how God created the world and human beings, each expressing a different theological understanding of the world. Science offers a different set of stories about our origins, although it does not say anything definitively about an ultimate purpose for our lives. For many modern people, there is no conflict. Some believe religion to be the only source of truth, and science better agree or it is simply wrong. Other people claim that science is the only tool we need to explain the nature of our existence and our purpose in the world. Then there are the rest of us, who allow for the possibility of both religion and science positively informing our lives. Still, the questions remain, How do we synthesize these different ways of thinking? Can we be spiritual and appreciate science? How can we understand these traditional Jewish stories about our origins? One Big Question: Three Answers From the end of January through the middle of February, we will have three opportunities to explore those answers together.
Rabbi Barry Diamond
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