On February 11, 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that they had confirmed that their equipment had detected a gravitational wave—a warp moving through spacetime caused by a transformation of mass to energy. It’s a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago, but never directly observed until now, and it was hailed as one of the greatest observations in modern scientific history, one that opens up a new way of observing, measuring and understanding the physical universe.

According to their calculations, the wave was released by the collision of two black holes 1.3 billion light-years away. Those two superdense masses merged, converting matter into gravitational energy (à la E=mc2) that propagated throughout the universe until it reached us.

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that the world is a classroom without walls, and everything we see and hear is a lesson. This being an epic event in the history of science, I figured I had to learn a few epic lessons. Here are the ones I find easier to explain:

  1. Everything has bountiful purpose and meaning in our mission in life. Even black holes.

    We gain a tremendous amount of valuable information from all those stars and galaxies shining in the sky. But from black holes that just suck in all energy and information?

    Yes. In fact, we not only received information from them—they assisted us in developing a whole new way to perceive the universe. Gravitational waves pass unhindered through cosmic clouds and without distortion around heavy masses. A new clarity has opened for us—a new window on the oneness of the universe in terms we can view on a screen and hear with our ears. And the oneness of the universe reflects the oneness of its Creator.

    Darkness shines—brighter than any light.

  2. Mass warps things. The greater the mass, the more warped is its universe.

    Since the physical universe is a mere reflection of the spiritual one, it follows that in the spiritual universe, where mass equals ego, those with the most massive egos massively warp their world—especially if they act like black holes, always receiving, never giving. Stay far from them, lest you be sucked into their mass. And make sure to keep your ego-mass fairly small too. Your universe will be all the less warped.

  3. Everything happens in its time. In late 1915, Einstein published his paper on General Relativity—the theory that implied the existence of gravitational waves. Some 1.3 billion light-years away, the Creator of the universe set up a giga-situation just so those waves would be detected smack 100 years later. Tell me that’s coincidence.

    Rather, when it comes time for humanity to gain new eyes and ears, at that time they are given to us. Along with these vital lessons we need to learn right at this point in history. (The signal was detected on September 14, 2015—which just happens to be Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The announcement was made after months of vigorous review and confirmation of data.)

  4. When you gain a new way of perceiving things, you gain a tiny chunk of the known and a vast frontier of the unknown. A whole new universe now lies before us.

    It was Newton’s gravitational theorem, after all, that was humanity’s first great step towards a unified view of the universe. With one simple equation, the phenomena of the heavens and earth all became one. Einstein only took Newton’s unification forward another grand step.

    But this unifying force of gravity remained invisible and elusive. Now, for the first time, our eyes are opened to see it and our ears to hear it. The era when all eyes will see the oneness of the creation and its Creator are swiftly coming.

  5. When you receive a new and startling signal from the heavens above, check your instruments. They must be delicately tuned according to specifications. Science and Torah are both accumulative—any new information must be checked against the accumulated data of the past. Nothing flies unless it explains why everything before it flew.

  6. If you know what to look for and how to find it, seek and you shall find. Science tells us how to find gravitational waves. Scientists searched for 100 years and they found them. Torah tells us how to find fulfillment, peace and happiness. Keep looking.

Those are my six. Tell me yours.