Where Magic and Science Meet

a First Course in Jewish Tradition

Magic and Science Meet on Déot

Magic and science are always present together on Déot, but magic predominates. Déot is a large continent with abundant natural resources but only some magic. It imports most of its magic from Talmud. The two main cities, Tur and Shulchan Arukh are both major import centres of Talmudic magic. There are many towns and suburbs. Tur’s main suburbs are Bet Yosef and Hagahot Rambam, where science is more accepted. Shulhan Arukh’s main suburbs are Mapa, Shakh, Bah, and Taz. Further away are the thriving townships of Mé’am Loéz, Qitzur, and Ben Ish Hai.

Magic and science are constant companions, though Shakh is the main importer of Talmudic magic to Shulhan Arukh and Rema, Mapa’s leading explorer, constantly travels back and forth between Tur and Bet Yosef. He is also the primary harvester of Ashkenaz, a unique resource found only on the western part of the continent.

The Land

Déot is quite beautiful. It is mostly a single vast plain, with only one large forest surrounding Bet Yosef. Almost every explorer of the continent has remained. Some of the people on Déot were themselves explorers. They longed for new discovery and were motivated by the successes of the Mishne Torah expedition but lived in a time when discovery was discouraged. These explorers wanted to discover both what else lay in the Halakha Sea, and what lay beyond it; they mounted expeditions to explore elsewhere and discovered a new sea – the Wissenschaft – and a new continent – Artzot Habrit.

The Mendelssohn expedition first discovered the Haskala Channel and two islands: Emancipation and Assimilation. Emancipation Island permits magic but not its import. Assimilation Island bans magic and its import altogether. The Mendelssohn expedition stopped on Emancipation Island a considerable time, supported somewhat by Rambam, the consortium behind the Mishne Torah expedition many generations earlier. No native magic and a ban on importing magic resulted in many moving on to Assimilation Island, but the expedition persisted and eventually discovered the Wissenschaft Sea and Artzot Habrit.

The Magic

The Wissenschaft Sea’s natural magic puts everything it comes in contact with into historical perspective. This magic current also flows, often undetected, into the Halakha Sea. The Rambam consortium surmised this but no effort was made to explore the matter further until modern times, when the Frankel expedition confirmed what Rambam had calculated more than 700 years previously. The Wissenschaft’s current flows silently but quite rapidly, and often produces tremendous storms.

Plagues often result from the Wissenschaft’s currents; however stormy, the current’s magic is generally accessible and powerful. If used cautiously when in Déot or Talmud the magic assists in harvesting all the resources available there. Too much Wissenschaft magic transports the user to Assimilation Island. Leaving proves difficult for most.

Reb Arie

A chaplain, spiritual director, and educator, Arié Chark (“Reb Arie”) is Rector at The Metivta of Ottawa. A strong sense of personal mission has led Reb Arie to convene various civil society projects under the auspices of The Metivta of Ottawa, including the Ottawa Roundtable and the Abrahamic Chaplaincy Board.