Einstein’s Brilliance, Humor, and Connection to Israel
The Fellowship | March 13, 2019
March 14 (also known as “Pi Day”) is also the 140th birthday of renowned scientist and intellectual, Albert Einstein. While we all know of Einstein’s contributions to science, very few know about his connections to the Jewish state. JNS’ Israel Kasnett tells us some of what has recently been revealed about Einstein’s contributions to his beloved Israel:
One thing is for sure. While the writing on the pages lying on the table under a clear protective glass appeared as nonsensical gibberish or useless, mind-bending mathematical equations, they were anything but. These were some of Albert Einstein’s original manuscripts—110 pages in all—recently donated to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem by the Crown-Goodman Family Foundation, purchased from Gary Berger, a private collector in North Carolina.
The pages, donated just before Einstein would have turned 140 (he was born on March 14, also commonly known as Pi Day, when mathematics is celebrated), are just further testament to Einstein’s intellectual legacy. His contributions to science are world-renowned and far-reaching. However, not many people make the connection between the Jewish physicist and the State of Israel, and how his brilliant theories years ago contributed to the science behind Israel’s alleged second-strike nuclear capabilities, as well as SpaceIL’s lunar lander “Beresheet,” currently hurtling at 6.5 miles per second through space towards an eventual and hopefully successful moon landing.
Einstein was one of the founders of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. To him, the university represented a combined commitment to a Jewish identity, the pursuit of truth and respect for all human beings. For these reasons, Einstein bequeathed his personal and scientific writings to the university, and the Albert Einstein Archives were born. As the Archives’ academic director Professor Hanoch Gutfreund shared, “We at the Hebrew University are proud to serve as the eternal home for Albert Einstein’s intellectual legacy, as was his wish…”