Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Einstein 'explains" his theory of relativity
EINSTEIN was once asked by his hostess at a social gathering, to explain his theory of relativity.
The great mathematician answered:
"Madam, I was once walking in the country on a hot day, with a blind friend, and I said that I would like a drink of milk."
"Milk?" said my friend, "Drink I know; but what is milk?"
"A white liquid," I replied.
"Liquid I know; but what is white?"
"The color of a swan's feathers."
"Feathers I know; but what is a swan?"
"A bird with a crooked neck."
"Neck I know; but what is this “crooked”?"
"Thereupon I lost patience; I seized his arm, and straightened it, and said, "That's straight." Then I bent it at the elbow, and said, “and that's crooked."
"Ah!" said the blind man, "Now I know what you mean, by milk!"
In effect Einstein was saying, that just as it is impossible to explain milk to a blind man, since he doesn’t have the tools to comprehend it- being sight; so too, trying to explain the theory of relativity to his hostess in the middle of the party, would be hopeless.
The answer that that Einstein gave to his hostess, has nothing to do with her question. From the limited experience of the blind man, he can visualize, only something that he can feel. So he comes to the wrong conclusion.
So too the woman, there is no way to explain the theory of relativity to her, when she has no tools to be able to understand an answer. You need to know at least math, physics, and be able to think abstractly, to even begin to understand.
So too Moshiach, one needs some basic background in Chassidus, in order to be to understand its importance.