What is Nitzotzot?
Bar-Ilan University is a unique project, a religious university striving towards academic excellence coupled with Jewish Identity. With Bar-Ilan as a home, the Nitzotzot program comes to embody the mandate of the university at large – using cutting edge scientific research in collaboration with Torah learning in order to expand and reconfigure our understanding of their symbiotic relationship.
This is the model of thinking that constitutes the basis of Nitzotzot: engaging in a creative analysis of the essential Torah sources in order to shed light on new scientific findings – and then explicating those findings in light of the Torah's teachings.
It is out of this realization that the idea for Nitzotzot was born - the desire to join worlds together, worlds which to some seem remote from one another. Tochnit Nitzotzot (the “Nitzotzot program”) brings together scientists and Torah scholars, each without previous background in the other's field. The scientist presents his new findings, and the Torah scholar defines the challenge which is posed by the scientific discovery. In this way, each confronts new phenomena in the spirit of the rabbinic dictum, "there is no Torah study that does not reveal new insights” and are exposed to profound Torah concepts which can inform their findings and provide ongoing stimulation.
The Nitzotzot Program’s founding is director is Rabbi Shabtai Rappaport Rabbi Rappaport is the current head of the Beit Midrash (Academic Programming) at the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar-Ilan University.