Books like this one, on Judaism and science, tend to be of two sorts. The first sort aims to justify Judaism by showing that it is consistent with science (Judaism with an inferiority complex). The second sort takes the opposite approach and examines science or scientific theory in the light of Judaism.
The author, Rabbi of Edgeware United Synagogue near London, is trying to do something else. His book has a lot in common with the philosophical proof of the existence of God through the “argument from design.” This argument states that if one immerses oneself in the complexities of our world, one cannot help but believe that the world was designed by a being and did not happen by chance.
Most of the book is devoted to our knowledge of the solar system. The scientific information is fascinating, well-written and profusely illustrated. There are over thirty chapters, for example: “Divine Brilliance,” “A Sunny Disposition” and “Life on the Outside.” I was reminded of a book of parables, first the story, then the moral. Most chapters open with a science “lesson” and followed by a moral with a Jewish message, for example: “Just as the Venera team (who built ships to explore Venus) built on their mistakes… one attempt to attain spiritual greatness paves the way for a second and a third…”
This review first appeared in the AJL Newsletter