Monday, April 27, 2009
The Rebbe: Science and Torah
Adapted from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson
"In the 600th year of Noach's life.. all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened." (Noach 7:11)
The Zohar (I:117a) reads this verse, as an allusion for the following:
"After six hundred years of the sixth thousand (5600), corresponding to the civil year of 1840), the gates of wisdom above will be opened (Chassidus), leading to the opening of the fountains of wisdom below (science).
This will be prepare he world to enter the seventh millennium; just as man prepares on the sixth day (Friday), when the sun is about to set - to enter the Shabbat.."
The "gates of wisdom above" (i.e., the "windows of heaven") refer to the wisdom of the Torah, specifically the insights of Pnimiyut Hatorah (the inner, mystical teachings of the Torah); while the "fountains of wisdom below" (i.e., the fountains of the great deep"), refer to worldly wisdom and sciences.
We see indeed, that the date mentioned marks a period of increased manifestation of Pnimiyut Hatorah; as well as the beginning of an unprecedented development of secular sciences (the industrial revolution).
We can readily understand, that the manifestation of Pnimiyut Hatorah is a preparation to enter the seventh millennium, the Messianic age. After all, that era is marked by "The whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of G-d." (Isaiah 11:9), and Pnimiyut Hatorah is a preparation to the future teachings of Moshiach.
But how does this relate, to the development and discoveries of secular sciences?
One of the Messianic prophecies states, that there will be Divine revelation to the point that, "all flesh shall see that the mouth of G-d has spoken." (Isaiah 4:50)
This means, that we shall then perceive a manifestation of G-dliness, not only with our mental eye, but also empirically, with our physical ("flesh") reality.
Recent scientific inventions include items like, telephone and radios. These demonstrate for us, that one may stand and speak in one place, and others may be at the other end of the world, or even on the moon; and still hear simultaneously all his words, or even see him with all his motions.
We are not discussing here some spiritual influences, but actual, physical sounds and sights!
This offers empirical examples for the concept of the Divine, "eye that sees, and ear that hears; and (consequently) all your deeds are recorded."
Moreover, the advances of science increasingly reveal, the inherent unity in the universe.
There used to be a belief, that the various natural forces are separate elements. The advance of science, however, shows, that the seeming multiplicity and divisions in the world, are more apparent than real, merely external phenomena.
Einstein proved in the twenties, that everything in the universe, is made up of only two qualities E=MC2, energy or matter.
Scientists are now rapidly searching, for the unification of all forces.
Scientific discoveries thus help prepare the world for the Messianic age, when it will become evident to all, how G-d's absolute unity is inherent in, and underlies, the principle of unity in all of His creation.