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1930s: Torah & Science
The Sorbonne in Paris, France
The Sorbonne in Paris, France

Shortly after their marriage, the Rebbe and his wife moved to Berlin, where the Rebbe enrolled in the University of Berlin and took courses in philosophy and mathematics.

When Hitler came to power in 1933, the Rebbe and Rebbetzin relocated to Paris, where the Rebbe continued with his studies, at the Sorbonne and at a Parisian engineering college, until 1938.

As he pursued academic knowledge at the leading universities of Europe, the Rebbe’s primary occupations lay elsewhere—in his consummate immersion in Torah study, and his work on behalf of Russian Jewry and other communal affairs in conjunction with his father-in-law. To this end, the Rebbe made repeated trips to his father-in-law in Riga and later Otwock (a suburb of Warsaw), and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak would stop at his daughter and son-in-law’s home in his travels through Europe.

Throughout the years of his leadership, the Rebbe addressed the faith/science nexus on a variety of levels. On the question of perceived contradictions between the two, the Rebbe rejected the “apologetic” approach which reinterpreted biblical passages and other articles of faith to better fit the prevalent scientific theory. There was a time, wrote the Rebbe in his numerous letters on the topic, when scientists believed that certain “facts” could be “proven” by the scientific method. Today, however, it is universally acknowledged that the scientific method does not “prove facts,” but rather assigns greater or lesser probability to a hypothesis. The believing Jew, who holds in hand a document which he knows to be the revealed word of the Creator of nature and its laws, has no reason—indeed, no scientific reason—to modify that truth because it seems to contradict a hypothesis to which science, in its present stage of development and drawing on its present reservoir of knowledge, has assigned a certain degree of probability.

The Rebbe's passport
The Rebbe's passport

But the Rebbe saw the faith/science relationship as collaborative in essence, rather than combative. On the most basic level, he saw endless opportunities for harnessing the technological fruits of scientific advancement to further the aim of the believer to make the world a better, more harmonious and more G‑dly place. On a deeper level, he demonstrated how certain truths about G‑d and His relationship with our reality have become more apprehensible to the human mind through the perspective on reality which modern science has opened up for modern man.

(One of many examples cited by the Rebbe: Integral to Jewish faith is the concept of “specific divine providence”—that G‑d is aware of and concerned with every event in the universe, from the birth of a star in a distant galaxy to the turn of a leaf in the wind in a remote forest, and that they all figure in His master plan of creation and contribute to its realization. In earlier generations, this idea lay beyond the realm of rational credulity. The believer could accept it only on faith. Today, when we can watch a spacecraft landing on Mars and use a chip of silicon to compute millions of data points a second, it requires no great “leap of faith” to understand that He who imparted such potential to His creation certainly possesses it Himself.)

Finally, the Rebbe saw science as a way to experience the divine: by delving into the nature of creation, we come to know, love and stand in awe before the face of its Creator. While this has always been the case, recent discoveries and theories in many fields of science have been leaping far higher in their quest for the “greater picture,” and penetrating far deeper to the essence of things, than ever before.


Adaptations of the Rebbe's Teachings:
 The Fifty-Sixth Century
 The Speed of Light
 The Atomic Age
 Laser Technology
 Solar Energy
 The Astronaut

An Archivist Discovers the Rebbe:
 Do You Want to Live in the Dark Ages?

 Sanctifying Science
 Retaining Gravity on the Moon's Surface

 1960: Technology

Books by the Rebbe:
 Mind Over Matter

Correspondence From the Rebbe:
 Harnessing Science to Torah
 Medical Truths
 Torah and Geometry
 The Wager
 Letters to a Scientist
 On Science and Its Truths
 When Science Contradicts Torah
 Moon Landing and Torah
 Does Judaism Really Believe There Are Only Four (Yesodot) Elements?
 First Letter to Professor C. Domb
 Response from Professor C. Domb
 Second Letter to Professor C. Domb
 Proof of Existence of G-d
 Reproof of Existence of G-d
 Hitler's Scientists and the Belief in the Creator
 Preconceptions and Open-Mindedness
 The Age of the Universe
 Analysis of Geochronology
 Post-Genesis Evolution
 Conjectures and Refutations
 The Emperor’s New Clothes
 Dating by Starlight
 Morality and the Holocaust
 Torah and Theory of Evolution
 Maimonides and Freudian Theory
 Torah and Space Technology
 Addressing Problems of Belief
 Does the Sun Really Revolve Around the Earth?
 Does the Sun Really Revolve Around the Earth? (II)

First Person:
 What is the Purpose of Life?
 Travels Through Time, Space and Beyond
 Chasidic Scientist, Solar Energy Pioneer, Passes Away

News Updates: The Rebbe’s Reach Continues:
 Chasidic Scientist, Solar Energy Pioneer, Passes Away

Scholar, Visionary and Leader:
 Studies in Berlin: Science, Torah & Quantum Theory
 Torah on the Radio: Using Technology for Positive Purpose

 The Rebbe's Job Video:
 The Infinite in the Finite

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From a letter by the Rebbe, March 1954 (free translation)

The belief in a One G‑d leads to a belief in a one Torah, which compels that we should be “a one people on earth.” In other words, in all matters a person should seek unity, for only then is the belief in the unity of G‑d complete.

What is truly remarkable is that this idea has also gained prominence in the sciences, particularly in recent years. Increasingly, scientific theory and research is focusing on the endeavor to express all physical phenomena in a single formula and, more importantly, to discover the single unifying force which underlies all other forces, so that all other forces are shown to be aspects and outgrowths of this singular force.

The Rebbe: Timeline Biography
1902: Childhood
1915: Learning
1916: World War I
1923: Soviet Jewry
1928: Marriage
1930s: Torah & Science
1941: Flight from Europe
1939-45: Holocaust & Rebuilding
1943: Author & Teacher
1950: Leadership
1953: Chassidic Feminism
1960: Technology
1963: Rebellion
1967: The Six-Day War
1972: Retirement?
1974: The Mitzvah Tank
1977: Illness & Challenge
1983: Mankind
1986: "Sunday Dollars"
1988: Passing of Rebbetzin
1989: The End of the Cold War
1991: Missiles & Miracles
3 Tammuz 1994: Transmission
1994: Discovery of the "Reshimot"
Today: The Goal