Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rabbi Slifkin's Shiur in Brooklyn

I attended Rabbi Slifkin's Shiur in Brooklyn this past evening. Overall, I had an enjoyable time as I got to meet Rabbi Slifkin (and got to see Gil, who hosted the event).

The topic at hand was dinosaurs and how they fit in with the Torah and it's accounts. He presented several ideas (God planting the evidence there, the non-24-hour day, Dr. Schroder's solution) gave explainations as to why these theories can't reconcile the differences between the current scientific understanding of the age of the universe and the Torah account. In the end, the approach that he liked the best was the one from Rav Dressler, as he stated in his sefer Michtav Me-Eliyahu.

An interesting part of the evening was when he passed around a dinosaur tooth and a fragment from a dinosaur egg. He asked us to keep the tooth in the case, as at a past event, someone dropped it and it broke, requiring him to glue it back together ("Can you imagine, it survived intact for 100 million years, only to break...").

It's a shame, though, that the turnout was very low. Apparently, fliers were put up around the neighborhood, but were torn down nearly as quickly as they were put up.

There will be other events in the New York area where people can meet and greet Rabbi Slifkin and listen to his lectures on various topics. There will be a walking tour of the Bronx Zoo this Sunday and two all-day lecture events in Kew Garden Hills next Tuesday and Thursday. Details are available on his website (click on Regional Programs from the menu at left).

So, were there any other bloggers at the event?

The Wolf

25 comments:

Orthoprax said...

I was there too. I bet there were more skeptics than true blue believers there. And there was that one guy who asked about the "alleged Abraham." Wow, that took balls. I just sat there quietly, observing.

Just Passing Through said...

I was there too. The crowd was small and I think bloggers comprised a nice nu,ber of attendees. Who else was there?

BrooklynWolf said...

The guy who asked about the "alleged Abraham" is someone who reads our blogs. I met him after Rabbi Weider's shiur in Manhattan a few weeks ago. I don't think he has a blog himself (although feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) but he does read ours.

The Wolf

hayim said...

For those of us who weren't there, what was this question about an "alleged Abraham" ?

BrooklynWolf said...

Rabbi Slifkin had explained how some concepts in the Torah aren't meant to be taken literally but only represent certain ideas or concepts. So one person asked what the "alleged person" known as Abraham represented.

Rabbi Slifkin asked him to keep to the topics at hand (dinosaurs, age of the universe).

The Wolf

Sarah said...

So we have you, Daniel, JPT, Gil, me, Godol - soon we'll have someting around 50% attendance in blogger form.

And to think he knew (and asked us not to blog about it ... what was he thinking?)

Enigma4U said...

My favorite question was by a fellow woman who asked why the mabul is not a good enough reason to explain how the dinosaurs became extinct. I would have rolled my eyes in exasperation, but Slifkin is a better man that I am. He took the time to explain to her the fallacy in this kind of reasoning.

BrooklynWolf said...

Sarah,

It seems (based on what was said there last night) that blogging was the only reliable way to get word of this event around.

Enigma,

Especially when he'd already addressed it earlier in the evening...

The Wolf

BrooklynWolf said...

BTW, was Godol really there? I would have liked to have met him.

Wolf

Sarah said...

BW, Wouldn't we all? I assume he was there, as he said in his post that he would be.

Enigma, one of the few clustered in the women's section, I see ... I rolled my eyes too :)

Gil Student said...

Godol wasn't there.

BrooklynWolf said...

Every time someone mentions the dinosaurs dying in the mabul, I always have this comical image that I saw from a Chick tract of people riding on them (like Fred Flintstone) and taming them.

The Wolf

Just Passing Through said...

As to the promoting of the event, I think someone told me that everytime a flyer went up, it would get ripped down in a short time.

Enigma4U said...

Sarah,

Next time come over and say hello ;-)

Chana said...

DovBear posted and asked the same question, who was there, who wasn't, etc.

I'm going to hear the man speak, too! *smiles*

I'm very excited. It sounds like it will be fascinating! :)

Sarah said...

Enigma

Next time you have to tell me how to find you ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is not available on Google:

http://www.geocities.com/y_berkovits/Slifkin-Ban.html

If you think it's useful, perhaps you should link to it. The author apparently was outraged by the ban, and not shy.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Speaking of breaking million-year-old objects...

In college, i took a number of Geology classes (and should have minored in it, but missed the opportunity). One class involved all these field trips and labs. We had a major lab project where we had to collect fossils from differently-aged chunks of rock in Upstate New York, analyze them, figure out what they were and what the different paleo-environments they lived in were like.

For a few months i had this hard feeling on my bed when i tried to sleep, and i thought it was just a pole from under the mattress. Eventually though, i stuck my hand down there and found a rock with the fossil imprint of a brachiopod which i had somehow misplaced while doing the project.

So what do you do with a random rock with a fossil in it? I started using it as a candlestand for my shabbos candle(s), since as a rock it's nonflammable.

That went on for years, until this past year one of my aptmates or one of their 'helpful' friends threw it out. I mean, who the heck throws out a rock with a 400 million year old Devonian brachiopod fossil in it? Sheesh...

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

In other news, i'm planning on attending one of R' Slifkin's lectures in Queens next week. Seeyall there!

Larry Lennhoff said...

Anyone going on the 2PM Bronx Zoo tour?

BrooklynWolf said...

I would love to, but with 2 adults and 3 kids, it's a bit pricey for me.

The Wolf

DarkBlueHat said...

Besides, they won't let wolves into the zoo...

BrooklynWolf said...

Actually, according to my wife, getting in isn't the problem; it's that they probably won't let me *out* again. :)

The Wolf

DarkBlueHat said...

Maybe if you put on sheep's clothing...

BrooklynWolf said...

DBH,

Nah. Then they'll just stick in the petting zoo.

The Wolf