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Our Stars, Ourselves

Comment of the Week

Dan Klein
March 04, 2011
(Ravi Joshi/Tablet Magazine)
(Ravi Joshi/Tablet Magazine)

Winner gets a free Nextbook Press book appropriate to his or her comment (provided he or she emails me at [email protected] with his or her mailing address).

This week’s winner is “Rabbi Jonathan Gerard,” who wrote this Talmudic supplement to Miriam Coleman’s meditation on Jewish astronomers:

There is a discussion in the Talmud over who should witness the new moon (essential for setting the dates of Jewish holy days). Should the witnesses be restricted to Jewish astronomers or should they include Arab astronomers? The rabbis conclude that they should rely on Arab astronomers because they were better than the Jewish ones and truth trumps other concerns. Truth, in Judaism, is the goal of a religious quest. In fact, the phrase “God is Truth” recurs in our sacred literature.

In recognition of the Rabbi’s interest in truth, he will receive a copy of Joseph Telushkin’s biography and meditation on Hillel, another Jewish scholar whose quest for truth led to openness.