"Our minds can only do what our brains are wired for. This is a revolutionary new area of science in which more is discovered every year — which also means yesterday's understanding is constantly being challenged and refined. To a remarkable extent we are our minds; we know nothing but what makes its way into our minds. So the way our minds, and the brains that underlie them, operate has immense importance for every field of study.

"Including religion. The more I learn about the brain, the more I realize that the way it works has tremendous relevance to the questions that have most interested and sometimes troubled me as a rabbi. Our beliefs, our spirituality, our sense of community, our relationship to people and God are no less dependent upon our brains than are reading, laughter, sports, problem solving, love . . . and everything else we do.

"I am a rabbi, not a neuroscientist. So I shall avoid technical medical jargon. What I will not avoid, whether they seem to confirm traditional beliefs or to throw them into doubt, are the theological implications I have found in pondering this new scientific frontier."