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On November 23-24th, 2015 The Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies organized an international biblical conference with the title „Miracles and Science since the Days of the Patriarchs until the Modern Era”, with the financial support of the Prime Minister’s Office of Hungary.

Among the conference lecturers the audience could great outstanding representatives of Christian Theology, Rabbinical Studies, Theory of Literature and Philosophy, from Hungary, from Transylvania, Israel, Croatia and Germany.

This volume contains the written form of the lectures given in mostly Hungarian except for one lecture in English.

Wonderful people, exemplars. The rabbinical competence which foundation is the monotheistic belief

In his essay, full of personal memories, the author gives the readers unique and insight into the work and personal life of three outstanding rabbis serving their communities in Hungary before and after the Shoah.
The actual message of Rabbi Immanuel Low’s work of life is that rabbinical competence and responsibility, spirit of humbleness and creative cohesive power for the sake of one’s own community should not cease in the new millennium.
Followers of Rabbi Benoschofsky, the number one representative of the Neolog Jewish community of Budapest after the second world war, must remain the “guide for the perplexed”, their instructor, their educator, the guard of faith who plants the love for the Almighty into the hearts all those who thirst for it.
The heritage of the Jungreisz rabbinical dynasty, whose representatives established some thirty, so-called “courts”, is a rabbi personality who is a community builder, person-oriented and socially sensitive, who sets an example of respect of tradition. The author’s father was one of the students of a member of the Jungreisz family until his rabbi was consumed by the terrible genocide of the century.

Author: Alfréd Schőner

The miracle from the point of view of chrystalization of the ecclesiastical canonization process

The miracle – as a proof the salvation of someone spent an exemplary life which pleasing God – has got more emphatic significance in the canonization processes of those who were not martyrs, after the Ancient Epoch of persecution of Christians. The miracles also have taken important place from that time in the formation of liturgical cult of Saints. The historical reality and analysis of the miracle has become indispensable – even nowadays – for the Catholic canonization process, which has been regulated gradually more and more accurate. Based on the conclusion of this process, the competent ecclesiastical authority declares – who is the Roman Pope himself from the time of Alexander III (1159-1181) – the defined conviction of the Church about the salvation of the concrete person. This conviction can be supported by martyrdom, or those miracles and miraculous actions which sign –through the intervention of the Saint – the divine Grace gives particular benefits to some people, because the Saint has a unique and eminent relation to God.

Author: Szabolcs Anzelm Szuromi. O.Praem.

„Asher yotzar”. Reflections of Miracles in Jewish Liturgy

The author gives a detailed overview of one of the special aspects of Jewish liturgy in his lecture. An everyday, that is to say, common theme is analyzed here which does not seem to connected to the world of miracles, at first sight. Nevertheless the self-evidently natural and thus perfect function of the created universe is a miracle in itself. This fact was noticed and acknowledged by the rabbis of the Talmudic era, who suggested that we relate to these natural physical occurrences as to miracles, and they should be treated likewise in everyday Jewish liturgy, as well. The author explores, besides the opinions of the Hazal, the different viewpoints, connected to the subject, of great Jewish rabbinical authorities, such as Rashi, the Ramban or R. Yosef Caro.

Author: Shlomo Spitzer

How will that person die? – Antal Szerb and His Companions -

The paper is participating in the longue dialog apostasy, and Christianizing of Jews. The irony of the matter is that three leading intellectual who perished in the Holocaust were of catholic denomination, whereas serving in a work battalion condemned there as Jews. They must have, a crisis of conscience conceiving their situation. The paper argues that these martyrs, poets, essayists, literary historians never really had a choice of freely chosen identity. They may have been honestly trying to get rid of the discrimination that was befallen on their Jewishness, but in the eyes of wider society they were still considered Jewish, by the majority of the social environment, and by the Anti-Jewish legislation. The paper argues that in spite of their perception and conscience of being fully assimilated to the majority religion or to the mainstream of Hungarian language and literature, they had to put up for their lifetime with the hindrances and hurdles of Jewish existence in Eastern Europe. They lived in the illusion of a fully integrated citizen of Hungary where they lived and died as Jews.

Author: Tamás Ungvári

Revelation – Miracle – Faith in the Rabbinical Literature

Revelation, miracle and faith are conceptions that have not really played central roles in Jewish discourse. This essay is intended to be an experiment for exploration of these abovementioned conceptions and their places in the traditional Jewish literature. As the result of this particular experiment, the author found that these conceptions are inseparable, and they are treated in the Rabbinical texts likewise, however not as dogmas. The essence of Jewish religion and faith is not merely fulfillment of certain theoretical requirements or accepting some dogmas. The most important aspect of Jewish religion is putting those commandments and regulation into practice that can be found in the Torah given by the Almighty.

Author: János Oláh

Gondolatok néhány bibliai csodáról Maimonidész és Spinoza írásain keresztül

RaMBaM (Maimonidesz) a csodákat a teremtés történetével magyarázza.
Maimonidesz szerint a világot a természet törvényei szabályozzák, de a világot Isten (הקב''ה) a semmiből teremtette. Azt is mondja, hogy a természet törvényeitől való eltérések már a hat napos világteremtésnél önmagába a természetbe bekerültek!
Spinoza így foglalja össze a csodákról irott szövegeit: „kivétel nélkül kijelenthetjük a Bibliában megemlített és valóban előfordult eseményekről, hogy ezek mind a természet törvényei alapján történtek meg.”
Befejezésül az izraeli orthodox filozófust Jeschajahu Leibowitzot idéztem:
„Ha az ember Izrael állam jólétének és biztonságának gondját magán viseli, akkor páncélosokról és bombázó repülőgépekről is gondoskodik, pedig reggel még nagy áhítattal mondta ki „Zur Israel“, „Izraelnek kősziklája“ „Te vagy éltünk bérce, segitségünk pajzsa”, épp úgy, mint bármelyik ateista, aki nem ismeri „Izraelnek kősziklája“ fogalmat.”

Author: Lengyel Gábor

„Not every hour sees a miracle...” Megilla 7b The Notion of Miracle in Jewish Literature

The study attempts to give a historical review of the notion of miracle in the continuous development of Jewish thinking. As it is expected, our starting point is the Bible that is followed by the Talmud. Medieval Jewish philosophy had an affinity to raise essential questions in this regard that were addressed later in modern era, too. Modern Jewish thought and contemporary thinking also pays attention to the question of miracles. It is important to point out here, that the Jewish notion of miracle is not equivalent of the general notion of ad hoc suspension of validity of natural laws. In Jewish thought the natural laws were created by God during Creation, and they are waiting for their role to be fulfilled in the continuous flow of time.

Author: József Szécsi

EXODUS – Miracle and History

The main theme of the study is the exodus, meaning the chronological definition of the israelits’ release from Egypt, some of the happenings like the chronological data regarding the establishment in Egypt, the beginning of the slavery, the Hebrew repressive pharaoh’s person and the events, mostly the scientific explanation of the wonders described in the stories of the ten plagues on the basis of the newest archaeological, geological and climatological investigations.
The study offers an overall image based on the researches of Ian Wilson, Graham Philips, Witus Dröscher and David Rohl. It presents the exodus as a real historical event, having in the background the eruption of the volcano and its consequences the way the newest geological investigations and present volcano eruption examinations certify.
In this context and in correlation of the Holy Scripture’s reports, the exodus is history, but in the meantime it is also a wonder of God, not against the physical and natural laws but on the contrary, in favor of the natural laws, as the use of necessary truth. Thus, the wonder which happened has an exceptional, meaningful character, is namely a religious sign testifying the existence of the savior God.

Author: János Molnár

Changes of Historical Semantics of Conceptions in the Context of Miracles and Science

During the typologization of the different philosophical orientations, the assertion of the semantic aspect plays always a particular role. Apart from their own concrete definitions, what is important is to achieve their semantic specification as leading objective of the individual philosophies. This exigence means, according to the different dimensions of the various schools and periods always other contents, as an exigence, it does however not change. More strictly considered, the particular epistemological grounds, mainly because of the semantic definition, are essential since they are alone to ensure the real meaning of a category, and thereby the legitimacy of semantics. This is also the reason why later the sciences, or the status of the sciences, enhanced and verified by the proofs, comes to defining the whole semantics, essentially also the current philosophical semantics.
In their semantics, the philosophies are, in the rule, building "from bottom to top", said with unusual words, they need a whole gradually developped range of "pre-semantics". The epistemology, and then later the status of sciences, verified through proofs, is increasingly determining the consolidation of such pre-semantics.
The more surprising seems, that there are numerous and quite significant philosophies, that consolidate their semantics not "from bottom to top", but rather more "from top to bottom". In a semantic perspective, such a procedure can be characterized as a "indeterminacy semantics", "undetermined" because we already effectively utilize semantics in the implementation of such a structured philosophy, without having beforehand reached its definition.
The special role of the philosophical semantics in the typology of philosophical schools appears to us mainly in the heuristic productivity of indeterminacy and determinacy semantics. Historically, belong moreover first of all Hegel, Husserl and the postmodernism, but already with the alluded duality, that consists in the group to the axis legitimization - non-legitimization. It seems to us that the utilization of this semantic approach can highlight numerous problems of the history of philosophy unresolved until now, partly however also the systematic philosophy, and sometimes even can also clear up

Author: Endre Kiss

The Casting of Lots in the Bible and the Modern Age: Miracles or Randomness? The Traditional Jewish Perspective

This article analyses the Jewish perspective of the phenomena of Casting of Lots in the Bible and the Modern Age. The author explores the practices of Casting of Lots and the Randomness idea in Biblical life, as well as in rabbinic literature and Jewish Thought, from Talmudic times until today.
Among the questions the author is researching are: What is the significance of the casting of lots in the scientific world and in the world of the Sages?
The author bring few cases in which Casting of Lots was not used but maybe should have been used, like the case of the American Ship the William Brown, The controversial case of the Hungarian Jew Rudolf Israel Kastner. The author bring one of the most fascinating types of Jewish lottery practice known as Goral HaGra and one of the most dramatic events in which the Gra lot was used: The identification of 12 among the 35 fighters who were murdered by Arabs on the eve of the Declaration of the State of Israel, during attempts to reach Gush Etzion. After The bodies of the fighters were destroyed by the Arabs and only after about three years were the corpses gathered and delivered to be buried. The article is finalized with the Jewish Meaning of Randomness.

Author: Dadon Kotel

A csoda héberül

Author: István Karasszon

Csodák a rabbinikus hagyományban

Author: Balázs Fényes