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Infinity in Disguise

Infinity in Disguise

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“Ten, ten the spoons weighed” (Numbers 7:86)—the Ten Sayings by which the world was made correspond to the Ten Commandments by which the Torah was given.

Zohar

Infinite Light is masquerading as a finite world.

There are two pieces of evidence. First of all, there’s a world appearing out of nothing. Something out of nothing is entirely beyond our conception, but we can know one thing: something finite can’t generate a world out of the absolute void. Creativity has its limit—there’s got to be something there to start with. Unless you’re infinite. Then creativity is unlimited as well.

It turns out that the light that projects the cosmos into existence at each moment is infinite. If the cosmos it projects appears finite, it must be a disguise.

There’s more evidence, something nobody seems willing to take into account. Perhaps it’s one of those forbidden questions. Perhaps it just breaks too many assumptions. But we’ll ask it anyway: Have the properties of light changed over the centuries? Has the power of gravity weakened with time? Has matter become less material? Everything else decays and passes over time, but the basic forces of nature stand constant and unchanging. If their source was finite, shouldn’t they slowly wear down?

Evidence that they are no more than finite iterations of an infinite force. The force of the One Creator who is beyond time and change. So far beyond, that He can do that as well—He can dwell within time and change, and remain immutable.

Every piece of His world contains another form of infinitude.

The very design of the world incorporates infinity. In each and every thing you can examine in this world, you will find infinite wisdom. You will never exhaust the depth, the beauty, the intricacy, the mystery of any aspect of it—whether a blade of grass or a molecular structure or an atom.

From every event, there is no end to possible outcomes. The complexity of the microcosmos and the macrocosmos is such that infinite possibilities extend from every point in time. There is infinity in every step, in every second, as there is in every inch. The appearance of simplicity, of neatness that we can measure and record confidently in a book, is a facade. It is Infinity in disguise.

He could have made a world neat and tidy and immaculately measurable. Yes, He is infinite—but that also makes Him omnipotent. If He wanted, He could have made a finite world that had nothing to do with Him—no trace of the infinite anywhere.

Apparently, that is not His scheme. As the Zohar comments on the words of the verse, “Ten, ten the spoons weighed”—“the Ten Sayings by which the world was made correspond to the Ten Commandments by which the Torah was given.”

Meaning that everything was made, the design of the cosmos was determined, with an ultimate goal in mind: That the divine should be able to make itself at home in our world.

That is why each article of our world, when you turn it over a few times and rub it between your fingers, turns out to be no more than a front for the infinite. Neat and measurable on the outside, unlimited capacity on the inside. In fact, you could call it “functional design”: finitude, designed to be a home for the Infinite.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
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ruth housman marshfield hills, ma June 6, 2011

once upon a time there were two children, who were about five years old, a boy and a girl, sharing a few moments together during a summer's outing with their parents. The girl asked the boy if he could imagine cutting a piece of paper, and then taking that half, cutting it again, and then that piece, and so on, until the piece got so tiny, we just didn't see it, but we were still cutting. Children understand about the wonder of infinity. They also understand about the atom, because these two, we two, had the deepest of philosophical discussions at age give, and this lead to the concept of the atom, to splitting the atom, to endless particles we could not see.

So we say, Give me Five! Reply

Lora Block Philadelphia, PA, USA June 5, 2011

Tzvi Freeman's Article "Infinity in Disguise" I have read many writings on the power of the Infinite, and as well, writings on "The Lsws of Matrialism". Rabbi Freeman's article is the best writing and a novel turn of phraseology. How true! It has caused me to be able to see more Emmet in G-D's Infinite Universe. I'd like to know if the Rabbi believes in a parallel or Third Universe, as G-D may not have revealed this creation to His Children yet, giving physicists a question to posit and reconcile, as well as the Jewish Religious Physicist. 'something out of nothing" was G-D's divisions of Dark into Light, Separation of Heaven from the Earth, etc. as delivered by Genesis.

Thank you, Rabbi, for this provocative article. You have my congrats for original thinking and creative form of writing.,

Lora Block @lorayip78@gmail.com Reply

Lynn Pittsburgh, PA June 2, 2011

thank you for this insightful teaching I'm not sure i had ever thought of our world in quite this way until you captured it so well for us in words. I'm appreciative, Rav Freeman.

Just last evening as i was planting seeds in the garden (and getting attacked by many mosquitoes) I thought, "Evil must hate gardens." Why? Because of the miracle of each seed--so like G-d--a fruited plant emerging from this humble speck.

It was as if I was being prepared last night to receive your insight this morning. Thank you so much. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma June 1, 2011

The cher, what is dear in Share: share the road! I see Chabad is now doing this, with English, and just maybe, my writings are prompting this.
It's good to feel read, if even, this is never expressed. But I say, that we all complement each other, as compliment is to complement, and that the learning curve is the acknowledgment of every single one of us. So that too, is a learning curve, and we are surely thrown many curves in life. All life is metaphor, and to perceive the beauty of One, is to see yes, that wherever one looks there are these ongoing mirroring connects of the unity, of universe itself.

In the word infinity is the word finity, or what is finite. So yes, the opposites do implode, to contain each other, as in all life, as in whole and hole. We see this deeply expressed in words themselves, and would expect this.

We cannot get our heads around infinity for a reason, and that is, we have boundaries, me from you, and yet, we are, boundless. Look under a microscope and see how it all does truly, merge. Travel that road! Reply

Anonymous w June 1, 2011

Infinity in disguise Another idea that probably works with this concept is the Atom Bomb. You take a ' measly ' atom and bombard it with other atomic particles, and boom ! We found out how to create amazing power from next to nothing. Then we take His way. Something from nothing at all !! Now that is way beyond boom. Beyond us but not beyond Him. Like the songstress Peggy Lee asked in the lyrics:

" Is that all there is ? Is that all there is ? If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing. "

Yes Peggy, that is all there Is. In another Rabbi Tzvi article, this condition is referred to as Is-ness, Oneness. If we understand Oneness and think in Oneness mode, it really simplifies matters. All you need is bitachon/trust and emunah/faith in Him, and ' That Is all there Is ' .

Actually we can get a sense of it every morning. We wake from 1/60th death, and thank Hashem/Modeh Ani for returning our soul which makes us whole ... like something from nothing. Reply

Dina Grutzendler Bogota, Colombia May 31, 2011

Infinity in Disguise Dear Tzvi

What you write here is extremely interesting. Science has proved parts of this whole and infinity which you talk about.
Holography is a parallel in the sense that any interference you create in the image contains the whole image. That means the totality is in every intersection, and this is scientific fact. It is really very similar to what you are deeply analysing here. Reply

laiib Ny, Ny May 31, 2011

2 for 1 1. re: "If the cosmos it projects appears finite, it must be a disguise."
No, infinite stuff can appear to be finite, depending on the projection. For example, how many points are on a line segment? The same number that are on an infinitely long line. (Plus or minus two, I think.)

2. Has gravity, etc., weakened with time? If it proportionally weakened (to the rest of stuff), who cares -- can't be detected. But universal constants can weaken with time!

3. Here's a hard question? Where did I put my pencil? Reply

Eula Irene Bunting RFD, IL / USA May 31, 2011

An infinite G_D made an infinite world In my opion, this is article is just more mortor in the threory that man was truly made in the image of his G_D! We did not crawl out of mud or out of a hole. We WERE made by a merciful G_D that desires us to love HIM and noone can change my mind on that at least anyone living in this at this time on this planet. Thank you for this teaching. Eula B Reply

Itche Brooklyn December 7, 2010

Re: Anonymous Because G-d is omnipotent He can create a world without a trace of infinity, just as He created a world that conceals the infinite, though it is there and He is there.
In other words, "He could have made a finite world that had nothing to do with Him" in our prespective, not His. Reply

virginia m. mitchell Farmington Hills, MI May 28, 2009

Infinity God could have made a world with "no trace of the infinite anywhere." I think He would want to share his infinite love with us. Reply

Anonymous March 13, 2006

"...If He wanted, He could have made a finite world that had nothing to do with Him--no trace of the infinite anywhere..."

But what about that often published "In truth, there is nothing else but Him" ?

In spite of the to me confusing part, I think it's a very good article; I simply love reading things such as: "...In each and every thing you can examine in this world, you will find infinite wisdom. You will never exhaust the depth, the beauty, the intricacy, the mystery of any aspect of it--whether a blade of grass or a molecular structure or an atom...There is infinity in every step, in every second, as there is in every inch..."

To be totally honest, at times it feels as if a deep hunger inside me is satisfied, to a degree and for some time, when I see things such as the above, in print. In my daily life I often feel like Yentl, looking out the window, seeing only a slice of sky -- even though there's much love in my little universe. Reply

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