The making of a skeptic or The 5 books of Baal Habos
Reminiscing over my own Aitz Hadaas I'll summarize it into five books. Think about it, reading 5 eclectic books over a two or three year period, turned my world topsy turvy and undid years of yeshiva study and countless hours of learning. Mind you, I did not go out looking for this change. It happened because the information came to me nonchalantly or as we say "Mesiach Lfi Toomo".
Not in chronological order:
Breishis: VS Stephen Hawking "A brief History of Time", this book about cosmology and physics is a real eye-opener and unlike any physics that I came across in college. One of the things about this book that strikes me, is not only the concept of the book, "a history of time", but it's also a history of man's unlocking the secrets of God's universe(s). Each generation of scientific creativity is built upon the genious of it's predecessors.
Shmos: VS Charles Pellegrino "Return to Sodom and Gomorrah", this somewhat fanciful and speculative book tries to map out and explain the origin of many Bibilical Stories. This is real ironic. I read it as an attempt to help shore up my faltering Emuna. I figured wow, this guy has got archeological evidence to help prove events in the bible. It turned out to be the my TKO. I remember reading this on the airplane to Eretz Yisroel and then again on the return flight home. There was something about this book that just blew me away.
Vayikra: VS Anne Rice "Lestat"; It's extremely odd to include such literature together with the others, yet it did have some impact so I must therefore (abashedly) include it. This wonderful piece of fiction and the rest of the vampire chronicle series, is unlike the movie version of the first in the series; "Interview with a vampire". I never saw the movie, but I understand it's terrible and bears little resemblance to the books. This is a book about, well it's just too bizarre to discuss the details. But it's a great piece of literature about loneliness and the meaning of life and existence. The relevance here? It introduced the novel concept to me, that perhaps mankind is so messed up and life can be so difficult because God is imperfect. It's amazing to me, how a piece of fiction could have such impact on me. But it did.
Bamidbar: VS Unfortunately, I don't recall the title. But it was a modest size book that discussed the age of Planet Earth and described how 20 scientific disciplines converge on a common age for planet earth.
Devarim: VS Any secular book on Jewish History coupled with some info on dead sea scrolls.
These books above were the start.
So, any questions? Comments?
I would really love to hear your personal experiences.
Coming up: "So now what?"