Can 21st century people understand the concept of "prophecy"? We can, perhaps, understand "inspiration." After all, poets and artists are inspired. But prophecy lies beyond our experience.

The last verse in this week's Torah reading gives us a glimpse of the nature of the prophecy of Moses. The Holy of Holies in the Sanctuary constituted a concentration of divine power. The highest level of intensity was in the sapphire tablets, on which were engraved the ten commandments, which Moses had gotten from Mount Sinai.

These tablets were kept in the golden ark. On top of the ark were two golden winged figures, male and female, facing each other. The divine force was somehow focused at the point between them - and it was from that point that the divine voice spoke to Moses.

Described like that, it seems like a kind of spiritual technology. A further aspect of this is seen in a teaching from the sages. They explain that a stream of divine energy flows from G‑d. One aspect of this energy is that it keeps the world in existence. Another is that it enters the mind of a prophet, such as Moses or Isaiah, and takes the form of words of Torah teachings.

Is this perspective on life any less credible than the mysterious findings of relativity theory and quantum mechanics?

The aim of the Torah is to harness the most profound forces at the heart of existence in order to achieve the divine purpose of creation. The mitzvot are instructions on how to live in such a way that the spiritual potential of the universe is realized. This will eventually - indeed, very soon - achieve the goal of attaining an epoch of universal peace and harmony, in which "the world will be filled with knowledge of G‑d as the waters cover the sea."