The Sun Is a Star

Discovering Science From a Background of Orthodox Belief

Lisa Anchin

By Judy Brown (Eishes Chayil)

Published September 06, 2012, issue of September 14, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

I explained it simply. “God does not need tens of millions of years to create Earth. He is God. He could create an exquisitely screwed up world in just six days. Then the seventh for the holy rest.”

We argued for days. My friend said that I was disagreeing out of fear, not knowledge, without even looking into the whys and hows of the world we live in. There is overwhelming evidence, she claimed, years of study. There were billions of dollars invested in advanced research that proves that God was really slow. It took forever and an infinity of exploded suns until He finally came up with Man. It was complicated. The process long and torturous, with stars exploding, planets colliding, suns coming and going, living and dying, until He figured how to turn Earth the right way, at the right distance, with the right elements that would hold the miraculous capacity for life, so that He could evolve innocent apes into guilty men. It was Eden back then, she agreed, mankind in nothing but fur, eating endless apples from endless trees. It wasn’t easy being God, turning small-brained men into higher beings with the sophisticated ability to kill.

I told my friend that God created the world with men, for men, led by men. There was no evolution. We immediately had the capacity to kill. Faith was knowledge. It said so in the Torah. And the proof was God’s own proclamation to the saints, when he announced, “Lo Bashamayim He”: Not in Heaven is the Torah’s meaning revealed, but on earth by men.

We argued all that afternoon, and the following one. I would have continued arguing, but I had to go give birth.

My friend, visiting me a week later, brought me a small pile of books to read, on stars, other suns and evolution. I put an end to it. I told her that if we were to remain friends, we would have to stop this discussion. This is a democracy, after all, and in this great country we are free not to think. Instead, we should respect each other’s delusions. I would let her keep her lie if she let me keep mine. We agreed.

In the end it was my own mind that failed me. It was that space, once safely closed off, where the cosmos insidiously entered. When I looked up at the sky, I no longer saw the sun — only stars.

It was disorienting. It was as if I had received another mind at age 28 and I had to learn everything all over again. I never lost my belief in God. Sense or no sense, I needed someone to be really angry at. I believed in God, his all-greatness, His all-beyond-ness, His all-encompassing incompetence. But it was like seeing the world from a different platform. It was like someone had yanked me from my seat in front into a chair backstage, and now I could see how the cranks turned, how the pulleys pulled, how the props rolled on and off the stage in random but stunningly efficient order. And the show is no longer the same. God’s world is truly a miracle, a miracle of science, and I wanted to know every detail of it, every cosmic discovery. I was joyfully lost in the maze of exploration. But when I looked up, I was stunned. I realized that I did not care that I had lost my seat in the audience.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.