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Gain insight into Torah perspectives on life beyond Earth, the ramifications of unimaginable technological advances, and life in the unexplored depths of ourselves, as seen in the works of the great Jewish thinkers from Maimonides to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Is There Life on Other Planets?

Is There Life on Other Planets?

From inner space to outer space

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Is There Life on Other Planets?: From inner space to outer space

Gain insight into Torah perspectives on life beyond Earth, the ramifications of unimaginable technological advances, and life in the unexplored depths of ourselves, as seen in the works of the great Jewish thinkers from Maimonides to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
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Space Exploration, Life, Science & Technology
Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe is a frequent contributor of articles and media to Chabad.org, is Dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law in New York, N.Y., and Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Torah in Springfield. Mass. Rabbi Yaffe has lectured and led seminars throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
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James March 26, 2014

Nephillim? The fallen angels, where in the Bible they were told to go forth and multiply? The one difference between us and angels is humans could procreate. That is another reason why the devil hates man. We are quarantined from the rest of the universe.
. I think we over think things and support things that the torah and the Bible do not support. Such as Darwinism which is by the way a theory taught in school as fact. And a sound mind that did the research not only backs it up with rational thoughts and science proves Darwin is wrong and using Darwin own words ( Walter Veith Genesis conflict: Amazing Discoveries) getting back on track, their is an accusation that God the Creator is unjust, this is the proving ground. Man sinned, flesh cannot keep the law, Jesus came redeemed us who is guilty of death, Jesus lived a perfect life and died our death that we can claim His perfect life. Satan has weaved so many lies unless we are rooted in the Bible, we will believe a lie. The mind battle Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org March 25, 2014

Re: Very interesting questions re: 'intelligent design' With regards to your question about Genesis 6:2 and the Nephilim (i.e. who or what were they) see Nephilim: Fallen Angels, Giants or Men? The mystery of Genesis 6:1–4 Reply

Charles E. Miller Chesapeake, Va March 25, 2014

Time and Eternity Let us now think about time and eternity. What happens to the past once we have lived it? How many times have we lived this very moment that we are now experiencing? It is my opinion that time is a long tunnel that means that the past, present and future all exist at the same time. We do not know how many times we have lived this very moment. Let's imagine that we have building blocks on a table. We decide to make a tower out of these blocks. The bottom represents the past, the middle the present and the top the future. Now, let us say that G-d takes his hand and removes the bottom block that represents the past. The whole column of blocks, which is time, falls. To me this shows that earlier periods of time and space must still exist for the present and future to exist! This is something to consider. Reply

Anonymous Not Yet Mars!! March 24, 2014

Very interesting questions re: 'intelligent design'. Thanks so much for this simply excellent lecture.

There is another pt. in Genesis, much forgotten, around Genesis 6:2 where the Nephillim are mentioned. (Before Noah, and before the Tower of Babel falls); who are the Nephillim and what is their purpose? Some Christians define these creatures as related to the fallen angels & say they wanted to procreate a separate race of giants who purportedly carried a lesser genetic code than Adamic man. (i.e. larger physical bodies and lesser brains); but why does no one speak of them since?

IF they had a separate 'plan' for humanity than to be the Divine offspring of YHWH then could this intervention have caused a threat to the Divine image? Did G-d then have a pure motive to consider the Flood as an alternative to genetic malfunction?
Difficult to say yet it seems that it is far too easy for agnostics to dismiss the loving-kindness of G-d to favor a representation of G-d as a jealous god, judgemental & perfectionistic, very singular ... Reply

Amichai Schneller st.cloud MN March 3, 2014

just and perfect aliens I think it's agreed that, if there are aliens, if they wish to make contact, we hope to learn from them, maybe help them, help us? and to secure a better understanding of the creator and our purpose in this form of reality. There are five other worlds that dwell beyond human perception, and the barrier (Mochsom) I believe is the end of eternity
for the physical...and beyond it, who knows? (yochai knows!!) Bel Shem Tov knows!!)
Angels? aliens? We can ask them when we are again united.
:o) Reply

Oun Kwon Chicago, IL, USA March 3, 2014

Any transcript? Wonderful programs. Is it possible to have a transcript? I love to review with my eyes what I am listening. Please give a due consideration, as the tv runs longer than one hour. Reply

Elaine Pomeransky March 2, 2014

Kosher aliens Sadly the only way we would have peace amongst the nations would be an invasion from another planet. For all we know, another planet may also inhabit humans. Perhaps we need to ask the question, does it matter if we are Jewish to life on other planets, or are there kosher aliens? Reply

Anonymous March 1, 2014

-a theology/thought does state there is an inter-connectedness of all existing-beings [in different levels of consciousness], and moral-intelligence propounds 'harmony" [not compromise] = appreciate the definition of 'human-being' identification that you have referred here
Thankyou Reply

Chavah Kwiatkowska Latvia February 27, 2014

Wonderful lecture Dear rabbi, thank you very much!
I'm amazed by this class. Especially by the knowledge ancient generations had. Reply

suzy hander woodland hills, ca February 26, 2014

Charles, not only is there life on other planets, there's life on Earth, too. You are right. Maybe we have lived other places before and keep messing up here, too. We try to reflect something of G-d but keep making more and more mistakes. I only signed up for Mars to get the newsletter that's quite informing. I enjoy your philosophy and writing. Reply

James February 25, 2014

Is There Life on Other Planets? Does anyone read their Bible, or is it someplace collecting dust? Read the book of Job. Reply

Llewellleo Graz February 24, 2014

Fascinating question. The laws of G_d are consistent, if it be here or somewhere else. Are we alone, I would say no, nor do I believe strange creatures live out there, I believe what we see here is part of a greater pattern.Perhaps there are a few differences. I love that we can dream and imagine, that we can create, in our minds, whole new worlds. As long as we not get lost exploring them?! Reply

David Aharon Lindzon [Lindsay] Toronto, ON Canada February 22, 2014

Is there life on any other solar system. I'm reminded of a statement by Rabbi Sa'adia Gaon, a commentator on Sefer Yetzira [book of formation] who says: I don't know if there is life on another star system. but there is no way we can find out. Centuries later we need to travel at the speed of light for 4 years to reach the nearest star beyond our sun. But we can say the creator has the possiblility to make other systems similar to ours and even given a law system to ours.
Reply

J Beck Canada February 21, 2014

Answer to Shoshana
Jerusalem

You have to look at the broader , more historically accurate picture....not just in your life time, once you do , you may realize the accuracy of what I said....moreover I have seen despicable deeds done by Arabs to Jews ...and visa versa...not to speak of the atrocities committed by so called Christians to Jews and Arabs...are there decent Arabs , Jews or Christians ....the answer is obviously YES....but as a whole we the PEOPLE ...meaning all of us , have a lot to learn , moreover anybody who believes that they are the only ones who are just and perfect...and everybody else is scum...I am scared off...and so should we all be... Reply

Annette A Minnesota, USA February 21, 2014

aliens But, how will we know if they are fallen interdimensional beings such as in the Genesis 6 account or (just) other creatures from the created universe? The rub would come if these creatures told us that they had "seeded" us, that all we believe (Torah) is fiction, and that they are our "god", wouldn't it? I believe the whole world could come under a great deception, but G-d's Word would still keep us objective. Reply

drbill Los Angeles February 20, 2014

What about Jews? Another question: If there is intelligent life on other planets, are there Jews there? Reply

suzy hander woodland hills, ca February 20, 2014

Elaine, I am a fiction writer and signed up to fly to Mars for fun, mainly to get the newsletter. I'm too old for the voyage. Humans probably did live there before, and destroyed it. Who can say? Terraforming will take too long and I doubt if any private individuals will fund this mission. Since Cain built cities after G-d's punishment, I hope the people that finally arrive on Mars also build a synagogue. Rabbi Yaffee has an open-mind and probably agrees with Stephen Hawking: 'If you see an alien, don't talk to him.' I enjoyed your comments, Elaine. Please keep writing. Reply

Brigitte K February 20, 2014

absolutely fascinating ! I want to hear more and more about anything this rabbi has to teach ! Reply

Shoshana Jerusalem February 19, 2014

answwer to Jergen Beck The Jews are not killing Arabs and you have a very big chutzpa to say so, and a gigantic lack of basic knowledge of what is happening in the Middle East. When do the Jews kill Arabs? Here and there in self defense? And usually the soldiers don't even kill in self-defense and let them get away with it. How can you dare to even compare us with them? They explode buses, bomb kindergartens, brake into houses and kill entire families, stone Jews driving in cars, stab people in their way to pray at the Kotel. You really owe us an apology. Do know how many Syrians are being treated in our already overcrowded hospitals? Is there another people on the face of this earth as righteous as the Jews? Reply

Elaine February 19, 2014

Interesting points many of you make Charles, you are a philosopher, and our world needs more philosophers. However, I imagine the only mirror/reflection is us who should be trying to reflect something of G-d, but sadly we fail. Suzy, very interested in your 'signing up for Mars.' I would prefer to wait until they've built a city there first. I have my suspicions that we may have lived there before, messed up that planet and came here. Of course, if this were the case then there would be no reason why some of us didn't go to other planets too, just like the Jews during the pogroms. Some came to poverty stricken, Dickensian East London, and the sensible ones went to Holywood :) Reply

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