“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 to the following: “After six hundred years of the sixth millennium (the year 5600, corresponding to the civil year of 1840) the gates of wisdom above and the fountains of wisdom below will be opened, and the world will be prepared 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 science.

We see indeed that the date mentioned marks a period of an increased manifestation of pnimiyut haTorah, as well as the beginning of an unprecedented development of worldly sciences.

We can readily understand that the revelation of pnimiyut haTorah is a preparation to enter the seventh millennium, the Messianic age. After all, in that era “The whole earth shall be full with the knowledge of G‑d” (Isaiah 11:9), and pnimiyut haTorah relates to the future teachings of Moshiach. But how does this relate to the development and discoveries of worldly sciences?

One of the Messianic prophecies states that there will be a 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 telephones, radios etc. These demonstrate 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 their words or even see them with all their motions. This is not some spiritual influence, but actual, physical sounds and sights! This illustrates empirically the concept of the Divine “eye that sees, and ear that hears, and (consequently) all your deeds are recorded.” (Pirkei Avot 2:1)

Moreover, the advances of science increasingly demonstrate the inherent unity in the universe. Once upon a time it was commonly presumed that the various natural forces in the world are separate elements. The advances of science, however, demonstrate that the seeming multiplicity and divisions in the world are more apparent than real; they are merely external phenomena. Scientific discoveries thus help prepare the world for the Messianic age when G‑d’s absolute unity inherent in all creation will become evident to all.