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August 03, 1990 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-08-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DETROIT

Scholar Says Torah And Science
Agree On Creation Of The World

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

ashi was perplexed.
He saw Bereshit as
filled with inex-
plicable details: stories of
darkness being separated
from light and of waters
above and below the
heavens. Why, the 11th-
century Jewish scholar ask-
ed, didn't the Torah begin
with something useful, like
the laws of Passover?
Many Jews today are
equally confused by
Bereshit, according to Pro-
fessor Nathan Aviezer,
chairman of the Bar-Ilan
University physics depart-
ment.
But the biblical account of
the creation of the world

makes perfect sense to scien-
tists, Mr. Aviezer said. Both
the Torah and scientists
agree that the world began
with a remarkable burst of
light.
Speaking this week on
"On Contradiction Between
Torah and Science," Mr.
Aviezer, a former student at
Yeshiva Beth Yehudah and
a graduate of Wayne State
University, attempted to
show that events in the first
chapter of the Book of
Genesis can be proven scien-
tifically as having actually
occurred.
He described a new theory
of cosmology, proposed in
1946 by physicist George
Gamow, which purported
that the universe was cre-
ated billions of years ago
through the explosion of an

enormous ball of light.
Gamow, whom Mr.
Aviezer described as
brilliant but strange, based
his hypothesis, called "The
Big Bang Theory," on Eins-
tein's E = mc2 formula, which
states that matter may be
converted into energy.
Gamov asserted that the
reverse is also true — that
energy may be transformed
into matter.
Gamow theorized that an
enormous ball of light con-
tained enough energy to
create all matter that came
to comprise the universe. He
said the matter's first form
was plasma, which did not
allow light to penetrate. The
plasma then changed to
atoms, • which permitted
light to pass through. The
world was soon filled with

Jewish Family Service
Opens Bloomfield Branch

SUSAN GRANT

Staff Writer

I

n an effort to better serve
the Jewish community,
Jewish Family Service
will open a branch in West
Bloomfield at the end of
August.
The branch, which has
enough space for two large
group rooms and two
counseling rooms, will be
located in Suite 202 at the
West Bloomfield Corporate
Center on Orchard Lake
Road, south of Maple Road.
"For almost nine years,
we've been talking about es-
tablishing a presence within
the West Bloomfield and
Farmington Hills area,"
said Alan Goodman, JFS ex-
ecutive director.
"This is designed to fulfill
our mission of serving the
whole Jewish community,"
Mr. Goodman said. Almost
10 percent of JFS clients live
in the northwestern
suburbs. Mr. Goodman be-
lieves that figure will in-
crease once the branch
opens.
"Does this mean Jewish
Family Service is moving to
West Bloomfield? Not at
all," Mr. Goodman said.
But having a West Bloom-
field branch means JFS will
become more visible in the
community, he said.
While many people think
JFS only serves the poor,
there are individuals who

choose JFS even though they
can afford to go elsewhere,
Mr. Goodman said.
By locating the branch in
West Bloomfield, which has
a higher standard of living
than other Detroit-area loca-
tions, JFS hopes to attract
more clients who will pay
full fees for services, he said.
The branch has a budget of
$120,000 for the upcoming
year, he said. While United
Jewish Charities gave JFS

"This is designed to
fulfill our mission of
serving the whole
Jewish
community."
Alan Goodman

$90,000 to open the new of
the remaining money
must be earned from client
fees.
Although the branch will
never be self-sufficient, Mr.
Goodman hopes it will ge-
nerate enough money so the
agency isn't too dependent
on the Federation and other
funding sources.
When the branch opens
later this month, it will pro-
vide counseling for in-
dividuals and married
couples, short and long-term
treatment for children,
adults and couples, as well
as a family therapy pro-
gram. The Family Life Edu-
cation program will also be

offered to synagogues,
schools and Jewish commun-
ity institutions in the West
Bloomfield area.
Future plans include mov-
ing the JFS volunteer pro-
gram to the branch office,
Mr. Goodman said. Even-
tually the West Bloomfield
office will provide most ser-
vices now found in the Oak
Park building.
Yvonne Bernstein, a JFS
clinical supervisor for five
years, was named branch
manager. JFS has hired one
full-time and one part-time
social worker to staff the
branch office. Other social
workers will be based in the
Oak Park building but
schedule time each week in
West Bloomfield.
"Scheduling will be the big
challenge," Mr. Goodman
said. "We have to make sure
the space is being used to the
maximum."
Much of what is scheduled
at the branch office depends
on what services the corn-
munity wants, he said. Even
the branch office hours,
which offer Sunday and
more evening hours, are
different than in Oak Park
to better accommodate the
needs of area residents.
"The whole approach is
trying to get a feeling what
is needed there," Mr. Good-
man said. "It's different be-
cause nothing is carved in
stone. We want the people
we serve to determine what
the needs are."



- 7.0a110■11,11 sle.
0.0.9 ■ 1..4

these atoms.
The scientific community
ignored Gamow's theory,
Mr. Aviezer said. Then it
was proven true.
In 1965, American scien-
tists Penzias and Wilson de-
tected light remnants of the
original fireball described by
Gamow. The two received
the Nobel Prize for their
discovery.
"All predictions of the Big
Bang Theory have been con-
firmed," said Mr. Aviezer,
author of In the Beginn-
ing. . .Biblical Creation and
Science. "This has become
the accepted' cosmological
theory today."
Mr. Aviezer compared the
Big Bang Theory with the
biblical account of creation.
Both began with a sudden
burst. Both describe an im-
mediate, brilliant light. And
just as the Torah speaks of
God separating dark and
light, Gamow also spoke of
darkness turning into light
in his description of the
plasma changing to atoms.
"The creation of the world
is no longer a matter of faith;

the creation of the world is
no longer a theological
hypothesis," Mr. Aviezer
said. "The creation of the
world has become a scien-
tifically established fact."
What scientists cannot ex-
plain is how Gamow's ball of
light came into existence,
Mr. Aviezer said. "Who
flicked the switch to make
the universe start?"
The most brilliant
theorists today continue to
be mystified by how some-
thing apparently came out of
nothing, Mr. Aviezer said.
A Brief History of Time au-
thor Stephen Hawking, an
atheist, writes in his book
The Large Scale Structure of
Space-Time that the force
behind the creation of the
world is outside the scope of
physics.
While scientists may not
all agree with the Bible's
revelation that God created
the universe, Mr. Aviezer
said complex physics conclu-
sions regarding how the
universe was created "show
remarkable consistency with
the simple words that open
Bereshit."



Yeshiva Teachers Settle
Contract Dispute

SUSAN GRANT

Staff Writer

ecular studies
teachers and admin-
istrators at Yeshiva
Beth Yehudah ended a year-
long dispute last week by
agreeing to a four-year con-
tract.
The afternoon teachers at
the Joseph Tannenbaum
School for Boys in Southfield
and the Sally Allen Alex-
ander Beth Jacob School for
Girls in Beverly Hills had
been working without a con-
tract since last September.
In May, after contract
negotiations failed, the 40
teachers went on strike.
The strike ended when
teachers and administrators
agreed to arbitration by

S

P'shara, Jewish Dispute
Resolution Inc., a rabbinical
and legal group based in
Washington, D.C.
For two days in late June,
teachers and administrators
discussed the proposed con-
tract with a three-person
P'shara panel. The 11 issues
under dispute included
wages, health benefits, sick
pay, strike pay, tuition rates
for teachers who send their
children to the school and
the length of contract.
The dispute was resolved
last week when P'shara
handed down a 40-page con-
tract determination. Neither
Rabbi E. B. Freedman,
school administrator or San-
dra Ellenstein, the secular
teachers' representative,
would talk about the con-
tents of the new contract. ❑

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

15

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