Reader comments

I am a retired Episcopal priest who has given Christmas sermons for thirty years… It is refreshing to see the unnecessary cleavage between science and religion denounced for the illogicality that it is…. Thank you for your sensitive treatment of a dissonance that in reality is creating a spiritual/scientific vision of the universe that even Maimonides forsaw…”
—Reverend Henry Jesse, Colorado

I just finished reading [your] editorial in the Rocky Mountain News in Denver about your book, “Let There be Light.” It was one of the best articles I can remember reading ever. I consider myself an amateur astronomer and I try to keep up on current cosmological news. Reading about the way your book combined cosmology and religion was fascinating. I can’t wait to get the book.”
—Mr. Curt R. Kneif, Denver

I am writing to thank you for writing such a good book, and to say how much your writing gets through to me. I am so pleased, and feel so good reading your words, thoughts, and ideas… This book is so meaningful to me, and I will tell others about it. When I walk outside of town I am in intimate contact with the sky, and the macro-worlds on the Earth– its flowers, insects, clay, and rocks. At these times I feel in touch. A book like yours is for these times. Great.”‘
—A. Cherney, Arad, Israel

Some Reviews

“Howard Smith’s masterful Let There Be Light illuminates the timeless quest for ultimate knowledge and meaning. In creating a conversation between modern cosmology and Jewish mysticism, two esoteric fields of inquiry which Smith deftly makes accessible, Smith explores the harmonies of human inquiry and the uncanny similarities between the respective findings of these systems of inquiry. Let There Be Light is a book of both deep understanding and wisdom: understanding in its capacity of differentiating the stages of cosmic evolution, wisdom in its apprehension of the cosmos’s underlying unity. Students of science and religion will find in Smith a kindred spirit and in Let There Be Light an intellectual companion.”
—Rabbi Benjamin J. Samuels (Newton, MA)

AMAZING – A MUST READ. Absolutely great!

Howard Smith, senior astrophysicist and former head of the Smithsonian Museum’s astrophysics department, smoothly and harmoniously combines astrophysics and Kabbalah to provide an interesting perfective of the mysteries of the cosmos.

“Let There be Light” approaches complicated topics such as quantum mechanics, relativity and cosmic acceleration with amazing simplicity, easily comprehensible for anyone with no science background. In this book, Smith masters the complex task of communicating technical material to the general public. It is a must read if for anyone interested in science, religion or both.”
—Ivonne Kinser (Dallas, TX; from

“Let There Be Light” provides a sophisticated and lucid account of the physics that underlies scientists’ current understanding of the origins of the universe. Indeed, Smith’s discussion of cosmology is the best I have ever encountered in the popular science literature. For this reason alone, the book merits a place at the top any thoughtful individual’s reading list. However, this book is much more than a soon-to-be-acclaimed popular science classic. For beyond the physics and cosmology, Smith introduces topics from Kabbalah/religion and, with the skill of a poet, weaves together concepts from these oft-opposing disciplines (i.e., science and religion). From the complex tapestry that emerges from these efforts, Smith demonstrates how the perspectives and analyses of each of these disciplines can in fact complement, illuminate, and shed light upon the other. The result is nothing less than an intellectually and spiritually uplifting experience. It will leave you trembling.
—”The BookDoctor” (from review)

This past November, a forum of world renowned scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, proclaimed that religion has no place in the modern world. I wish that Dr. Howard Smith, senior astrophysicist at the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and traditionally observant Jew, had been there. In Let There Be Light, instead of ‘dumbing down’ science, as in ‘Creationism,’ or taking a kindergarten approach to the Bible, he compares the most recent theories of cosmology with a sophisticated reading of the first lines of the Torah, drawing on Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah. He deals with two extremely esoteric fields, but by using a conversational tone, he explains each in the simplest yet technically correct terms, and gives examples and analogies. The reader is rewarded throughout with gems of insight; for instance, the Bible says that light was created first, way before the sun. Theologians puzzled over that for centuries, but the startling truth is that light was the first thing in the universe created, and the Kabbalists knew all along. By showing us the intricacies of particle physics, and illuminating science through religion and vise versa, Dr. Smith evokes a sense of wonder, and deeper appreciation of this glorious universe, and its Creator. Charts, index, notes and comments, recommended reading, references.”
—Jewish Book World, Spring 2007

“FIVE STARS: An inviting dialogue perfect for science-minded yet religious readers., December 14, 2006″

Author Howard A. Smith, Ph.D. is a senior astrophysist and former chair of the Smithsonian Museum’s astronomy department – so why isn’t his LET THERE BE LIGHT: MODERN COSMOLOGY AND KABBALAH reviewed in our science section? Because it’s packed with interactions between ancient Kabbalah and modern astronomy and thus forms an important bridge between the two. Learn how science and religion interact harmoniously and how an understanding of the two can bring better understanding of Kabbalah in an inviting dialogue perfect for science-minded yet religious readers.”
—Midwest Book Review

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