“Other than the Creator, there is nothing.”—
Yehoshua Bin Nun, Aleinu
Sure, you are huge. I mean, you are 10 billion times larger than a hydrogen atom. You surely have every right to feel in control, never mind super-significant. And, yes, the Earth is larger than you, but if you travel through all of Europe, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, Australia and the Americas, you should feel nearly all-powerful. There can’t be a higher intelligence than humans, right? It’s just rocks, fire and space out there past this inanimate atmosphere. Humans are it. Until you meet the super-alien, you can’t fathom your smallness.
Yet, let’s face scientific reality: you have only covered the surface. You are 3.5 million times smaller than the Earth; to go even further, Earth is still 36 billion times smaller than the solar system, being only 0.0003 percent of the entire solar system’s mass. That means that the solar system relates to you as even smaller than a hydrogen atom. And that is just the solar system, which is small enough.
The solar system is only a tiny part of the the Milky Way galaxy, which contains about 300 billion stars. Yet, even further out there, the observable universe houses about 10 billion superclusters, and around 350 billion large galaxies. Thus, the observable universe is 66,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (66.5 octillion) times larger than a human. And that is just the observable universe, the edge of which is 46 billion light years (2.7 septillion miles away—that’s 23 zeroes after that 2.7). But that’s just what is observable. Any idea what is beyond the observable? Or is that a leap of faith?
In other words, strictly speaking, Earth, and thus we, are not only an anomalous micro-blip, but we are flashing in and out of so-called reality. For within this micro-blip we call Earth and human life we are made up of atoms, which are broken down into electrons, protons and neutrons, at first. Physics tells us explicitly that the electron can turn into a virtual photon and a virtual electron, which then turn back into a real electron. Thus it is well established that electrons, and thus all physicality, is hovering between the real and virtual in the split of a hair, essentially re-created every instant.
The human, the dog, the cat, the table, are thus all virtual reality, and indeed, recent studies additionally assert that the entire universe is a 3D hologram projected from an unknown source. One might imagine our current physical reality like an old-fashioned movie, projected so quickly on the the screen of space that we are given the illusion that we are, in fact, “real.” This mind-boggling science describing physicality is compounded by our objectively microscopic nature. We are indeed, scientifically, nothing.
Avraham Avinu understood the reality of physical cancelation in his discovery of the Infinite Oneness. This realization of ultimate micro-nothingness of physicality leads to the relinquishing of ego and is at the essence of truly allowing the overwhelming Unified Creator envelop every aspect of a person’s life. There is an Unseen One Force that controls the visible world. This is not scientifically unreasonable, as Einstein also came to the same conclusion. The important difference, however, between these two Jews, is how each acted upon that fact. Does one simply stand in awe of the overwhelming Oneness, or does one search for the message projected by the Projector? Could it be that, as perhaps pure secular thought might surmise, there is no reason for the Beamer to beam, or is the Beamer sending us a message? If the secular world will simply call it an unknown beamer, randomly beaming us in and out of reality, then OK, let’s just wrap it up right now and shut off the light. But if this is indeed The Only Unnamed Conscious Beamer, what is the ultimate message being sent to us from the depths of unseen space?
This is where the Hebrew letters come in. Forget the electrons, quarks and bosons—the Hebrew letters are the means for this message. They are indeed the building blocks of creation, as they are the bridge between the physical and the spiritual world, but not simply the letters we see in the Torah, which is the blueprint of the Creation—rather, ephemeral Hebrew letters that infuse the physical world with strength and the sense of reality. At the macro-level, the essence of common physical phenomena reflect their quality in the Hebrew letters that their names possess. Yet, at the micro-level as well, beyond the quark, lies the aleph, the unheard sound, which hints to the aluf, the Master. This is but one example of many.
Hebrew letters, and thus words, have and continue to have massive impacts on the reality of the Earth, the movement of world events; we know that Hebrew letters and words have and continue to change lives, change directions, change motivations. Hebrew letters are the real physico-spiritual force that the Infinite Creator gave the Earth and are intimately connected to the Infinite. Thus, the Jew, who is connected to the Hebrew in his or her blood, is deeply connected to the Ultimate Source. The message of the Infinite Creator is thus projected via the Jew to the micro-earth in the form of Torah. The Torah, physically speaking, is no more than a minute piece of parchment smattered with boiling oils, tar, wax, tree sap, honey and gall-nut juice. But if one examines her directives closely and deeply, the Source of projection becomes all too clear.
By Rabbi Yosef P. Glassman, MD