Elishakoff, I; Pines, EM. 2007.
BH 17:133-153. CELD ID 21463
|Do scripture and mathematics disagree on the Number ϖ|
The five parts of this paper discuss the seeming contradiction between scripture and mathematics concerning the value of ϖ (pi), and offer possible resolutions. Alongside a review of the widely accepted opinions and some recent investigations, we humbly offer our own suggestions. In Part One, we introduce the apparent conflict and its significance. In Part Two, Professor Elishakoff takes a direct approach, investigating some pertinent issues of Jewish law and offering an analysis in terms of engineering practice. In Part Three, Professor Elishakoff and Dr. Pines discuss evidence that the Sages of the talmudic era had knowledge ofϖ to greater accuracy than that implied by a surface reading of Scripture that defines the Jewish legal standard. A hint of knowledge of ϖ of still greater accuracy is found in the Bible itself. In Part Four, Dr. Pines continues this train of thought into the esoteric, commencing with a supporting information-theory-based analysis. Pines follows up his discussion with an exploration of possible kabbalistic meaning. An appendix with a physics-based speculation further develops Part Four. Finally, in Part Five, the authors conclude that the contradiction implicit in a superficial understanding may be masking an underlying harmony on several levels that makes itself known only through careful examination, which scientific and popular texts should be providing.