Friday, 16 Jan 2009

Written by Rabbi Dr Charles H Middleburgh

Professor Immanuel Velikovsky was a byword in the 1950s and 60s for scholarly eccentricity.  An eminent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, friend of Einstein and a significant player in the earliest days of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, what really made his name internationally-speaking was a book called Worlds In Collision which advanced the theory that in the 15th century BCE a comet, passing close to the earth, changed its orbit and axis causing innumerable disasters and calamities mentioned in ancient mythologies and religions; 52 years later it made another pass, this time causing the earth to stop rotating and causing more catastrophes.  A further 7 centuries on, Mars made a closer than usual pass of the earth, initiating a range of new disturbances, and afterwards the celestial order was re-established.

The views expressed in this D’var Torah do not necessarily reflect the position of Leo Baeck College.