When we look up at the vastness of the universe, does that make us feel very small, or does it make us feel connected to something so much larger?
Rabbi Rachael Jackson is the rabbi of Agudas Israel Congregation in Hendersonville, North Carolina, ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Prior to rabbinical school, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and worked for a decade as an analytical chemist in biopharmaceutical, biofuel, and hazardous waste companies. These two careers are not as divergent as one might think, for Rachael believes that science and religion are quite similar: while each discipline specializes in its own set of questions, both seek to explain the hows and whys of the world. Science and religion inspire awe, and whether Rachael is working with instruments or working with people, reverence and wonder are constants in her life. The focus of her rabbinate is thus on exploring and imparting the meld of Judaism and modernity, and natural law and Jewish living. She is especially interested in the field of medical ethics, and is a Board member of the Pardee Hospital Ethics Committee and the incoming Vice President of the Interfaith Assistance Ministries.
“Gam zeh yaavor”—this too shall pass, whether “this” is a sorrowful or a joyful feeling or situation. This phrase can apply in a myriad of ways if we let it.
As a scientist, it takes years of training and failing, and occasionally succeeding, to become comfortable with knowing that some day you might be proven wrong. How different that looks through the lens of faith!
Big Stories, like the ones forged by religion, could be a powerful motivator for climate action. How might we use this way of thinking to spur action while staying scientific?
Do young adults “outgrow” religion? The Sinai and Synapses Fellows’ personal stories add nuance to this claim.
Is science driving emerging adults from religion? Our Sinai and Synapses Fellows discuss.
Rabbi Rachael Jackson and Rabbi Michal Loving discuss how can science and religion add up to a holistic human experience.
In a day and age of functionality and productivity, where is the need for beauty or connection? And more importantly, how does Judaism fill that need?