March 2, 2023 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #2170706SQUARE_ROOTParticipant
“How Jewish is Einstein? The question retains its pertinence.
Raised in the Bavarian town of Ulm, Albert startles his irreligious parents by refusing non-kosher foods and observing the Sabbath at the age of eleven .
His religious phase, which lasts less than a year, leaves him with a love of Judaism, a faith in G*D, and a passion for the Psalms [Tehillim], which he quotes at the least provocation.”
FROM: Genius & Anxiety: How Jews changed the world 1847-1947
(chapter 8, page 189) by Norman Lebrecht,
published by Scribner in year 2019 in New York,
ISBN 9781982134228 & ISBN 1982134224March 2, 2023 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #2170727commonsaychelParticipant
No he was an agnostic Baal AviayraMarch 2, 2023 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #2170738somejewiknowParticipant
all that this means, it that’s he wasn’t a “tinok sh’nishba”, instead a full fledged mumarMarch 2, 2023 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #2170739
Being frum before bar mitzvah for less than a year, and proceeding to not keep mitzvos afterwards, does not qualify one to be a baal teshuva. He had a fleeting interest, and who knows what could have happened if he had been around the right people…March 2, 2023 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #2170769
Einstein wasn’t agnostic. Your post is.March 2, 2023 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #2170770
No difference. Whatever you consider unknowledgeable assimilated Jews, he would fall into that category.March 2, 2023 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #2170892
I agree that his piqued interest, about which we know very little(did he ever keep shabbos?), would not take him out of the category of tinshn”sh according to those who say that it applies to secular jews in his time and place.March 2, 2023 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #2170893commonsaychelParticipant
@N0M, FYI, this is what agnostic means:
a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and a frelichen Purim.March 2, 2023 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #2170917Yserbius123Participant
Einstein spoke at length about his beliefs and I think at one time called himself Spinozan. He was very openly in denial of Hashem’s mastery over the world (his famous comment on Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle that “[Hashem] doesn’t play dice with the universe” non-with standing).March 3, 2023 12:27 am at 12:27 am #2170953
I presume most people here can’t parse most of the equations written by Albert Einstein. What makes you think you understand his neshoma?
He was very focused on understanding how the World was created, believing that there is an underlying unity of the world. Not just rejecting statistical view of the world as in “does not play dice”, but trying to uncover how multiple physical theories can be unified. This is solid scientific interpretation of Hashem’s creation of the world and he spent most of his later years pushing in this direction. He was probably Spinozian in the sense that he looed for universal laws only, not Hashem’s continuing role in the world, but I think Spinoza had more serious Jewish background that he consciously rejected.March 3, 2023 7:37 am at 7:37 am #2170965RBZSParticipant
Are WE ba’alei teshuvah?
THAT is what should concern us.
We should not be judging others.
That is for Hashem Alone to do.
Happy PurimMarch 3, 2023 7:39 am at 7:39 am #2170967
Aaq, can we not evaluate a plumbers neshoma because we don’t understand plumbing? What does his scientific knowledge have to do with our ability to understand his spiritual life, or lack thereof? To whatever degree we can judge a person doesn’t depend on how smart they are, or how athletic, or how artistic, because those things have no bearing on a person’s moral capacity.
Einstein was not above anyone else. I only wish you’d have the same attitude when it comes to talmidei chachamim, many of whom you think you can judge, even though you don’t understand their level of learning.March 3, 2023 10:51 am at 10:51 am #2171000Menachem ShmeiParticipant
>Was Albert Einstein a Baal Teshuvah?
Hopefully before he passed away he had a hirhur Teshuva, in which case he is considered a tzaddik gomur as per Gemara Kiddushin (נעשה צדיק גמור).
Another source: יש שקונה עולמו בשעה אחתMarch 3, 2023 10:52 am at 10:52 am #2171005Are RosterParticipant
A better question is: Was Einstein smart?
There is a mountain of evidence that his work was stolen from others, including from his gentile wife who he later divorced, and never gave any credit. Physicists who “spoke to him in learning” report that his own contributions were “junk.”March 3, 2023 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #2171032
Menachem, wbat about “reshoim, even at the opening of gehinnom don’t repent”
Who knows?March 3, 2023 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #2171047amiricanyeshivishParticipant
They say the Rogatchover had some contact with him and was not impressed. But he wasn’t impressed by too many so that doesn’t say much.March 3, 2023 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #2171052leibyParticipant
I don’t see why we should care often people at extreme ends of IQ distribution are quite idiotic in many common sense areas for example einstein was a pacifist which is obviously idioticMarch 4, 2023 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #2171140maskildoreshParticipant
It’s interesting – if you read Einstein’s essays , you will find many expressions of Jewish thought and feeling. He has an entire essay on why Jews don’t go hunting, for example, that is fascinating. He was a Chochom who understood much
Imagine how much Klal Yisroel could have gained if he would have been brought close to the Torah….March 5, 2023 7:49 am at 7:49 am #2171164
Maskil, having a sensitivity to not hunting doesn’t mean he had “jewish values,” it just as easily can comport with secular humanism. Or worse, that aninals are just as important as people.
Does he say that it’s wrong because Hashem has mercy on the animals? Because the gemara says that that’s a mistake, to say yagiu rachamecha on aninals by shiluach haken. Rather it is for OUR sake, to not build in ourselves the midah of cruelty.
Did Einstein say any of that? If not, it’s not a “jewish value”March 5, 2023 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #2171336maskildoreshParticipant
I realize that the language I choose could have come across as something that I didn’t mean. I obviously agree that there’s no concept of Jewish Values outside of the Torah. I can’t agree more. Thank you for clarifying.
What I meant, and didn’t say clearly, If you read his essays (which I did in the bathroom years ago), you will see glimmerings of a Yiddisheh Neshama that seems to me to have the potential to be truly great .
My hergish was חבל חבל חבל
Imagine if we would have had Chiddushei HaIlyui M’ulm instead of the Manhattan Project and various interesting essays ….March 5, 2023 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #2171355ujmParticipant
Albert Einstein was a Baal Aveira.March 5, 2023 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm #2171349
Maakil – thanks for clarifying, and i agreeMarch 6, 2023 12:35 am at 12:35 am #2171369KuvultParticipant
I was taught in Camp Gan Israel that Einstein would send his difficult problems he couldn’t solve to the Rebbe who would solve them in the Bais Hakesei in just a few minutes & send back the answer.March 6, 2023 1:42 am at 1:42 am #2171418
Kuvult…there isn’t a shred of evidence that the lubavitcher rebbe had any connection with Einstein.March 6, 2023 7:54 am at 7:54 am #2171446ujmParticipant
Avira, kuvult’s comments generally reek of sarcasm where he intends to generate criticism of what he’s saying.March 7, 2023 12:21 am at 12:21 am #2171678
Einstein is different from your neighborhood freethinker as he was delving into mysteries of the universe. It doesn’t mean of course that we should follow his advice on mussar, but he was definitely a serious person. As to my alleged attitude towards rabbis, I more often than not have issues with your interpretation than with original sources.
Ps Einstein also behaved well towards other Yidden during difficult times, as far as I know.March 8, 2023 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #2171919
So know you know that Einstein believed in the existence of God. And you post was agnostic by asserting that he didn’t.March 8, 2023 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #2171923
“he was very open in his denial of Hashem’s mastery over the Universe”
I disagree with this interpretation.March 8, 2023 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #2171924
A hirur teshuvah does not a tzaddik make. The gemara is aware that he may call himself a tzaddik gamur. (But see tosafos.)March 8, 2023 3:03 pm at 3:03 pm #2171926
Please keep anti-Semitic/flat earth fodder off of TYW.March 8, 2023 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #2171927
“follow his advice on mussar”
Advice on mussar doesn’t sound right, so I don’t know what you mean.
For any truth seeker, Einstein’s essays are very enlightening. People get annoyed because he wasn’t controversial on these topics. It won’t help those that just want to win debates.March 8, 2023 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #2171988Menachem ShmeiParticipant
Why would you make up a pshat in Gemara that goes against how way all the rishonim and achronim learn it (I checked) just in order to take away the possibility for a Yid to have done Teshuva?
(Also, if what you’re saying is true, why does someone have to have הרהור עבודה זרה to be considered a רשע? Maybe even without it he considers himself a רשע, as the Gemara says in Niddah היה בעיניך כרשע?)
Please point out which Tosfos you are referring to. Couldn’t find it.March 9, 2023 4:28 am at 4:28 am #2172033
Einstein’s philosophy might have been of Spinoza’s style in terms of his focus on laws of nature rather than Hashem’s participation in every day life. Most people (here) understand what is bad about it, but I think it is less understood that the opposite – focusing on miracles and special moments, while denying the logic – and laws – of the world that Hashem created – is equally bad – and is way more widespread in our communities.
At the same time, Einstein’s physics is a significant part of theory that allows for Creation. According to previous, Newtonian and earlier Greek, physics, the world existed eternally in the same form. There is a Gemora about a dispute between Jewish and Greek scholars whether the world was Created, and Jews admitted that they lost science argument but stayed at their position due to strength of the Mesorah we have. So, Einstein and other 20th century scientists helped us to finally
win the argument.March 9, 2023 11:47 am at 11:47 am #2172153Avram in MDParticipant
“There is a mountain of evidence that his work was stolen from others, including from his gentile wife who he later divorced, and never gave any credit.”
This is simply untrue. One accusation that his wife worked with him was based on a letter to her where he referred to “our” work, but it is pretty clear that he meant this as a romantic attachment. Many of his letters to her contain details of his work, but her letters to him only had general, supportive comments.
“Physicists who “spoke to him in learning” report that his own contributions were “junk.” “
This is also untrue. He debated extensively with Niels Bohr about quantum mechanics, and while Bohr’s views are more accepted today, their exchanges were replete with mutual respect.March 9, 2023 11:47 am at 11:47 am #2172159Avram in MDParticipant
“I think it is less understood that the opposite – focusing on miracles and special moments, while denying the logic – and laws – of the world that Hashem created – is equally bad – and is way more widespread in our communities.”
Explain how it is equally bad.
“At the same time, Einstein’s physics is a significant part of theory that allows for Creation … So, Einstein and other 20th century scientists helped us to finally
win the argument”
Yet Einstein was later than his colleagues to the Big Bang party. He initially introduced the “cosmological constant” (lamda) as a theoretical opposing force to gravitation in 1917 (otherwise, the universe would collapse), and had a hard time letting go of the conception that the universe was static, even as late as 1931. He did think through the evidence and accepted the concept of a dynamic and expanding universe, and was able to drop lambda from his equations, but I think it’s incorrect to suggest that he was trying to prove a creation of the universe through his theories of relativity. Interestingly, lamba has made a comeback with more recent observations that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.March 9, 2023 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #2172459
Avram, thanks for clarifications. I do not mean that he had an agenda to prove Creation, I mean that he technically contributed to understanding Maase bereshis, and it was not an easy or short path, I agree. Even scientists who are involved in such research need to be respoected even if they came to wrong conclusions. Same as Resh Lakish almost always “loses the argument to R yohanan, but he is not to be seen as a “loser”.
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