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In Let There Be Light, Howard Smith, a research astrophysicist and traditionally observant Jew, explores how modern scientific understandings of the cosmos complement Judaism's ancient mystical theology, the Kabbalah. He argues that science and religion are not only compatible, but that a healthy, productive dialogue between the two sheds light on ethics, free will, and the nature of life, while at the same time rejecting fundamentalist misinterpretation and the pseudoscience of creationism.
Written for a general audience, yet supported by the most current and accurate scientific research, the book discusses topics such as modern quantum mechanics and mystical notions of awareness; how Kabbalah's ten sefirot mirror the developing phases of an inflationary universe; and the surprising parallels that exist between the Big Bang theory and Kabbalah's origin theory. Smith delves into complex ideas without resorting to jargon or mathematical equations, creating an intelligent, authoritative work accessible to all readers.
"More than a literate and frequently mind-blowing synthesis of Jewish mysticism and the science of astrophysics, Smith's book offers us a compelling and instructive glimpse into the mind and the soul of a man of science who is also deeply religious. There is something amazing or awesome on almost every page."
— Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah: A Love Story
"A profound and perceptive discussion of science and religion by a thoughtful and knowledgeable scholar of both, written with depth but in a style understandable to the general public."
— Charles Townes, PhD, Nobel laureate, winner of the Templeton Prize, and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley
"Read this book if you want to discover how religion and science can interact harmoniously, how ancient Kabbalah and modern cosmology intersect, and how both of these approaches together can enlighten us."
— Daniel C. Matt, author of God and the Big Bang and The Essential Kabbalah, translator of the Zohar