Archive for the ‘Blog & Readers’ Feedback’ Category

Publication of Genesis and Genes

July 2, 2012


I am pleased to announce that my book, Genesis and Genes, has been accepted for publication by Feldheim Publishers. It will be published later this year, אי”ה. [Feldheim operates a number of autonomous divisions. The division that will publish the book is not associated with the part of the company that is in financial trouble.]

Genesis and Genes is a meticulously researched analysis of the relationship between the Torah and science, especially cosmology and biological evolution. It draws on hundreds of sources and contains more than 500 endnotes. The book carries a הסכמה from the Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel, Rabbi Aharon Feldman שליט”א, and the Foreword is written by Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb שליט”א of Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem. Genesis and Genes is probably the most comprehensive book of its type available to the Jewish community. Despite its depth and rigour, however, Genesis and Genes is accessible, and does not require any background in science or Torah.

Genesis and Genes grew from my conviction that such a work is urgently needed, both in the South African Jewish community and abroad. I sincerely hope that you will assist me in making Genesis and Genes available to those who will benefit from it.


Yoram Bogacz



October 4, 2010

This is the policy of the Torah Explorer web site regarding readers’ feedback: 

1. No vitriolic comments are published. 

2. Only substantive (i.e. non-trivial) comments are published.

 I have discovered that the two often go together – vitriolic comments tend to be vacuous. I believe that the absence of such comments adds considerably to the value of the web site.

Readers’ Feedback – Rabbi Light

October 4, 2010

[NOTE: Rabbi Light (all the names in this post are pseudonyms) is a Johannesburg educator. I had previously helped him to reply to the queries of one of his students regarding Judaism and science. I have made slight editorial changes to our exchange. None are significant in terms of content.]


[This is the email which I originally sent to Rabbi Light.]

more… (click here to read the full post)

Readers’ Feedback – “SHALOM” on Professor Shapiro & Rabbi Blue

July 26, 2010

“SHALOM” on Professor Shapiro & Rabbi Blue

[In the following document, Shalom (a pseudonym) addresses a previous post on this website (Professor Shapiro and Rabbi Blue). When quoting their statements, he refers to Rabbi Blue as RB and to Professor Shapiro as PS. My responses to his points are prefaced with My comments…]


Readers’ Feedback – Professor James Shapiro & Rabbi Blue

July 4, 2010


Below is correspondence from Rabbi Blue (a pseudonym). Rabbi Blue is a Johannesburg educator. He teaches at the school which features in the Concerned Parent post on my website, Torah Explorer ( Rabbi Blue refers to correspondence that he has had with Professor James Shapiro of the University of Chicago ( The structure of this response is as follows. First, Rabbi Blue’s email, followed by my response to some of his points. Then follows the correspondence between Rabbi Blue and Professor Shapiro, interspersed with my comments. At all points, my words begin with the heading My response:

(Click Here)

Yoram Bogacz

Johannesburg, July 2010

Readers’ Feedback – Tables Turned on Integrity

December 22, 2009

NOTE: Two previous posts are relevant to this comment by Tables Turned. They are the post “Steven”, available HERE, and the post Tables Turned on “Steven”, available HERE.


Tables Turned wrote:

Concerning R’ Kaplan’s statement, I’ll need to get a copy of “Handbook of Jewish Thought.” In the meantime, I’m sure the meforshim have things to say on Rabbi Akiva’s statement in Pesachim 112a:

See footnote 4.  (I’m sharing the essay because it’s good, not because I’m trying to prove a point).

My comment about Schroeder and the misuse of Torah sources was this: Schroeder was not PURPOSEFULLY misusing Torah sources. Your statement implies he was.

My Response:

As pointed out in the article by Rabbi Doniel Neustadt (in the link provided by Tables Turned), Talmudic authorities sometimes attributed halachos to their mentors, even though they did not actually hear their mentors state these positions. But the most important paragraph in Rabbi Neustadt’s article (in our context) is this: (more…)

Readers’ Feedback – Tables Turned on T.

December 13, 2009

NOTE: Tables Turned is commenting on my exchange with T., which is available here.


Tables Turned wrote:

Just because Resuscitation of the Dead violates the natural order in a dramatic fashion does not mean that the Dor Deah couldn’t have grasped it.  If they can grasp the splitting of the Sea, and the creation of the universe ex nihilo, to some extent at least, then they could grasp RotD, too, to perhaps the same degree. Now, did I just critique the Rambam? Not really. I think that his definition of “grasp” is different from yours. Using his definition, I think he would also say that the Dor Deah wouldn’t have been able to grasp bacteria, or millions of years, either. (more…)

Readers’ Feedback – Tables Turned on “Steven”

December 11, 2009

NOTE: Tables Turned posted the notice below. He is referring to the exchange between me and “Steven” in the Readers’ Feedback forum. That exchange is available here: 


Tables Turned wrote: 

Steven wrote: “I think it’s a big risk when people’s foundations of emuna rest on evidence such as this.” 

Does Schroeder make any effort to say, “listen to what I have to say, but don’t hang your emuna on it.” (more…)

Readers’ Feedback – “Steven”

December 8, 2009

“Steven” wrote: 

I initially got interested in Judaism through exposure to the [Torah] codes, the first cause argument and the works of Dr. Schroeder etc. At some point, I started finding reasonable critiques of these different approaches which I found disheartening (I showed Dr. Schroeder’s book to a physicist friend of mine [PhD from Rutgers and is doing a post-doc at SLAC] who was very sceptical and somewhat critical of it). (more…)

Readers’ Feedback – T.

November 29, 2009

NOTE: The following message was sent by T. It was forwarded by Dani Rabinowitz, a South African who is completing a doctorate in philosophy at Oxford. 

Dear Dani,  

Thank you for this article [i.e. Genesis and the Big Bluff]. This is a very clear and careful presentation. Your friend is to be greatly commended.  

For what it’s worth, he has convinced me of his position. I don’t care much for the debate on evolution though. Even if there is a lot of evidence, the tradition tells us this is misleading. (more…)