Faith and Science are no longer two solitudes; no longer worlds in collision. Increasingly, faith and science have become synergistic, building a worldview greater than either perspective alone.

A few short decades ago, things were different. Out of ignorance and confusion, the secular and the pious decried each other as narrow-minded and unenlightened.

Today, the tables have turned entirely. Literally every month, there are major conferences featuring serious academics bridging religion and science. New books and articles addressing the spiritual implications of modern science are constantly appearing in both peer-reviewed and popular literature.

In every area and subspecialty of science, we find an accelerating movement towards findings that harmonize modern science with traditional religion, and especially Judaic wisdom as expressed in the Bible, the Talmud, Kabbalah, and Chassidism. And yet, there is more to the conceptual landscape of Torah-and-science dialogue than this newfound synergy. Indeed the interplay of Torah and science runs the gamut of styles of engagement ranging from harsh conflict and stark contrast, through complementarity and harmony, to convergence and ultimately even consonance.

Among the thousands of scientists and theologians who have contributed to this evolving forum, one stands out as an unequivocal master: The Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Arnie Gotfryd, 11 Nisan 5763, April 13, 2003. Toronto, Canada

About the Rebbe:

Menachem Mendel Schneerson inherited the line of chassidic masters that began with the Baal Shem Tov and carried it into the modern day. He studied Talmud and Kaballa from his father, and later from his father-in-law, the previous Rebbe of Lubavitch. He received rabbinical ordination from the Gaon of Rogatchov, Rabbi Yosef Rosen as an adolescent.

He also studied the sciences at the University of Berlin from the years 1928– 1932, when Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger were faculty members, and then the humanities at the Sorbonne and mechanical engineering at the Paris Polytechnic Institute. In 1941, he escaped occupied France to arrive in America.

With the passing of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchaak Schneerson, in 1950, after an entire year of petitions and pressure, he accepted the mantle of leadership of the Lubavitch Chassidim.

Immediately he began sending agents to assist Jewish communities worldwide. In the sixties, he embraced the spirit of nonconformity, which he saw as a spiritual reawakening. Through his work, many hundreds of thousands of Jews have returned to their roots and their spiritual heritage, as thousands of institutions were established in every part of the globe.

Every day, bags of mail arrived at his door, with requests for advice and guidance. He read each one personally and much of this book is based on his responses. However, his frequent informal public talks— or ‘farbrengens’— are the major source. These have been edited and published in over forty volumes.

In the eighties, he told his students they must also be concerned with the spiritual welfare of non-Jews, encouraging all people to follow the Torah’s instructions given to Noah and his descendants. He pushed for spirituality and ethics to be introduced into the public schools, stating that this was the only way to establish a stable society. In recognition of these efforts, in 1983, Congress proclaimed the Rebbe’s birthday ‘Education Day USA’ and awarded him the National Scroll of Honor.

In 1995 following his passing in 1994, the Rebbe was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, an award granted to only 130 Americans since Thomas Jefferson, for ‘outstanding and lasting contributions.’

The Rebbe’s life and teachings resonate with his passionate vision of the Days of Moshiach, an eternal era of Divine revelation, peace and prosperity, and goodness and kindness, which the Rebbe proclaimed to be of immediate relevance. He interpreted the advances of science and technology, and other global trends and historic events as heralding this long-awaited era. He increasingly emphasized to all that our entire goal must be to prepare the world for these imminent times.

Adapted from ‘Be Within, Stay Above,’ by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


First credit for this volume must be extended to the Lubavitcher Rebbe whose life and teachings have illumined the lives of so many millions of Jews and non-Jews in every aspect, including those subjects in the scope of this book. Rabbi Joseph Ginsburg and Professor Herman Branover worked painstakingly over several years to collect, organize and edit the original Hebrew edition. Professor Branover moreover inspired and subsidized both the Hebrew edition and this work. Rabbi Dov Wagner collaborated with me intensively on all aspects of translation. I am also very grateful to Aaron Dukes, Iris Kulbatski, and Sara Gotfryd for their extensive editorial comments that have contributed greatly to the final product. I especially thank my wife Leah for her support and patience. Any comments and corrections will be greatly appreciated.