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He is everywhere – from the physics of light

Simone Busatto

At the end of his commentary on Mishnayoit Berochois, Maimonides writes, “…. here is not the place to discuss this matter, if not for my objective whenever there is even a semblance on the topic of faith, to explain it to some degree. Because it is essential in my eyes to teach the fundamental principles of our religion and faith more than anything else that I can teach.”

Can we get away from God?  “Where can I go (to escape) your spirit, and where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the grave, behold, you are there.” Psalms 139. God is everywhere at the same time.

The speed of light is an unchangeable constant, according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity. A significant amount of mathematics can be derived from this one guiding principle, and this mathematics leads to some surprising inferences. Based on these mathematical calculations, we know that clocks run more slowly and that an object’s mass grows as it gets closer to the speed of light. Furthermore, we know that if an object could travel at the speed of light – impossible – its clock would completely stop (that is, it would become timeless). The object’s mass would grow to an infinite amount and have infinite energy.

These mathematical calculations also reveal one more thing: the length of something is not always an absolute quantity. The concept of length is relative.

When a spaceship travels faster, the distance between objects outside the spaceship gradually decreases in the direction that the spaceship is traveling. The length of the measurement taken outside of the spaceship shortens in the direction the ship is moving. On the other hand, if an observer were standing on the ground and watching the spaceship fly by, they would estimate that the length of the spaceship was shorter than it is.

When an object approaches the speed of light, its length dramatically shortens (as seen from a stationary observer).

A person standing on the ground and looking at a ruler placed outside of the spaceship will perceive the ruler to be the standard length when looking at it. This ruler would appear to have shrunk in size to someone traveling through space. The ruler’s length would shorten until it was equal to zero as the ship sped up and got closer and closer to the speed of light.

Much more than the ruler itself would become zero inches in length. If you were in a spaceship moving at the speed of light, the entire universe would flatten out to the thickness of an infinitesimally thin piece of paper and appear as a two-dimensional plane. This two-dimensional plane would be infinitesimally thin and parallel to the path being traveled. You can think about this in different ways, but one of them is as follows: if you could travel at the speed of light, there would be no distance. Your journey will begin and end at the exact location if you continue along this path! Your clock has completely stopped, so no time will pass for you from now on.

Now, if you turn your ship in a different direction, the universe will collapse to an infinitesimally thin two-dimensional plane in that direction. You can avoid this by turning your ship in the opposite direction. This indicates that you have instant access to the entire information in the universe. Because time has stopped for you, you would be able to access the entirety of the universe at any given moment, and as a result, you would have the ability to be omnipresent.

Because its length is reduced to zero in the direction it travels, and time appears to stand still, light has a property similar to that of an omnipresent being.

This “light” characteristic of length contraction is a physical example to assist in some small way to demonstrate how God can be present everywhere simultaneously. If light can have this feature, surely the Creator of light on His infinitely greater scale can simultaneously be present in all places. Space does not constitute a barrier to God.

A beautiful song (in Yiddish) is attributed to the great Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, which expresses that there is no place void of God. The entire creation is, Godliness.

Master of the world, I wish to dance before you and sing before you.
Where can I find You, Master of the World, and where can I not find You, Master of the World.
Up is You, down is You, east is You, West is You, South is You, North is You. You You You.
When things go well, it is You, when God forbid not (good), it is also You,
and if it is You, it’s good.
You You You……….

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