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For the week ending 15 February 2014 / 15 Adar I 5774

Jeremy Lerner

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Age 23
Phoenix, AZ
PhD Candidate in Applied Mathematics, NY
Shoresh and Center Alumnus

Talmudic Study: 1500 years of Applied Mathematics

Jeremy Lerner, 23, is currently working for his PhD in Applied Mathematics at Stony Brook University in New York. Jeremy grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson with a B.A. in Mathematics. He describes his studies: “I am finding the PhD program in Mathematics very rewarding although it does have one downside. People always expect me to be able to do all kinds of mathematical gymnastics in my head. But when it comes to mental math, I always tell them — Hey, I'm a mathematician, not a calculator!”

He was first introduced to Judaism through two Jewish studies programs at the University of Arizona. Given his cerebral and scientific inclinations he was immediately attracted to the open and analytical conversations about G-d and the Torah. After graduation he decided to spend a year studying at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem. Four months in the Shoresh Program and eight months in the Center Program. He especially enjoyed the academic and intellectual rigor of both the philosophical discussions and the Talmud study.

The Talmud has often been described as a branch of mathematics set to music — logical analysis and dialogue with its own unique cadence and rhythm. At Ohr Somayach Jeremy discovered a way to synthesize his quest for Jewish knowledge with his interest in mathematics. That partnership continues today as, along with the challenges of his graduate studies, Jeremy continues to make Talmud study an integral part of his schedule.

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