|…Finally, something far from our usual focus on the eternal Arab war against Israel. In a really interesting irony of history, Israel’s National Library which doubles as the library of Hebrew University is being given the religious writings of Sir Isaac Newton, which were far more voluminous than his scientific papers, which repose at Cambridge University.
Isaac Newton was arguably the greatest physicist of all time but, lesser known, most of his thought was theological. Unlike today’s fashionable atheists, Newton the genius was a true believer in the G-d of the Universe and it is historically most fitting his theological writings are coming to Israel.
His descendants in the 19th century, offered all of his papers to Cambridge University but Cambridge was interested only in the scientific material and I guess turned its nose up at his religious ruminations.
And it is fitting that these religious papers will end up here because Isaac Newton was arguably more Jewish than anything. He was nominally a Christian but he rejected Jesus as a figure of worship. Worshipping Jesus in his mind was idolatry. He most certainly rejected the concept of the Trinity. At Cambridge University professors of his magnitude were required to be ordained as priests only he never was. He always found a reason to put off the ordination. When appointed to the highest chair, he had to get a special waiver from King Charles II because he never was ordained.
And on his death bed he refused the sacraments.
He studied Hebrew, believed in the G-d of the Hebrew Bible and denied the idea that the Jews had become a fossil people. He also foresaw a time when the Jews would return to Eretz Yisrael, just as the Bible predicts on numerous occasions.
He himself, a student of the holy text, made predictions.
Isaac Newton, a rebel in religion with ideas quite at home in Yiddishkeit. So it is fitting that while his scientific papers belong to the English and are archived in Cambridge, spiritually his work belongs here, in a resurrected Jewish Jerusalem…