Matter and energy. There is NOTHING else. Ain Oid.

E equals MC squared is probably the most famous equation in all of physics. But in his original 1905 paper, Einstein wrote it down differently as M equals E, divided by C squared. That’s because, at its core, this cornerstone of physics is a lesson in how to think about what mass is.

Mass isn’t really a thing at all. It’s a property. A property that all energy exhibits. And in that sense, even though it’s not correct to think of mass as an indicator of the amount of stuff in the material sense, you can think of it as an indicator of the amount of energy. So without realizing it, you’ve really been measuring, the cumulative energy content of objects, every time you ever used a scale!

In general, the word “energy” refers to a concept that can be paraphrased as “the potential for causing changes”, and therefore one can say that “energy” is the cause of any change. But what is energy itself? No one knows! We know it’s there. We know it’s the explanation for mass, but we don’t know what it is itself!

“Forever G-d, “YOUR WORDS” stand in the heavens”. Psalms 119- 89.  Literally, King David is recognizing the ten statements with which God decreed the heavens and earth into existence, and the constant personal involvement God has with the universe. Your decrees, says King David, are always followed through and are carried out by the heavens and the universe.

The Holy Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760) explains on a much deeper metaphysical level, the word of God in the above-mentioned verse, “YOUR WORDS”, is based on the word of God said in the story of creation in Genesis regarding the creation of heaven and earth.

“And God said (WORDS), Let there be a firmament in the waters, etc.” Genesis 1:6, accentuating the words and letters of the speech – “let there be a firmament” (which is only one of the ten statements with which the entire universe was created).

“They ( the energy of these letters and words, says the Baal Shem Tov, are itself, from God Himself) —  stand and are clothed forever in the heaven (within all the heavens) to energize them and give them existence”.

While the speech of a person does not itself crystalize into an actual creation, it may be the trigger and cause for something to happen, in the case of the Holy One blessed be He, the letters and the words themselves is the actual substance and life of creation, as we say in our prayers, “blessed be He, who said and the world came into existence”, and in Psalms “with the word of G-d the heavens were created”. (Psalms 33.6)

Rabbi Shneur Zalman (1745-1813) elucidates this further in his Tanya. “Out of nothing (the nothingness of creation), which transcends nature (since there was no nature to speak of) and is far more miraculous than the splitting of the Red Sea, (the entire universe was created and) that surely with the withdrawal of the power of the Creator from the thing created, G‑d forbid, the created being would revert to naught and utter nonexistence as if it was never created!

The activating force of the Creator must continuously be present in the thing created to give it life and ongoing existence.

Activating forces such as the above are the selfsame letters of speech that constitute the ten utterances by which all beings were created.

This is why the above-quoted verse states, “Forever, O God, Your word stands in the heavens.” God’s speech, which is the force that brings a created being into existence, must be present there forever to give it life and existence.

Concerning this, Scripture says, “and You give life to them all.” Nechemia 9:6  I.e., God provides the heavens and earth and all the creatures found within them with life. Read not “give life,” but “bring into being,” i.e., ex nihilo.

It is written in Reishit Chochmah, as well as in the Shaloh (Shaar Ha-Otiot, pp. 48b, 70a), that although the verse uses the phrase “give life,” this does not mean that God only provides created beings with life in the way that the soul animates the already existent body. Rather, the verse implies that this provision of life also serves to create them and to be responsible for their continued existence.

The world, the universe, according to the Baal Shem Tov and the Tanya, is God manifested. The source of energy itself is expressed as the specific beings, with/as mass.

Rabbi MM Schneerson once advised somebody not to give up hope, to pray, and put his/her trust in God even when according to nature it did not appear there was much reason or possibility things could change.

“Why are you so worried about what the doctors and nature dictate. The pattern of nature itself is an expression of God’s will every second. Every moment is an independent expression and desire of God the situation should be the way it is.  God only needs to desire it otherwise, and literally the next second, matters can change, entirely”.

“And every actuated being will understand you activated it, and every creation will know You created it…….and His Kingdom will rule over everything”. High Holiday Machzor.

What is this energy?  Where did it come from? Who put it there? Energy, the manifestation of God Himself.

Today with Quantum physics and the insights Einstein revealed to the world, the words and teachings of our sages can be better appreciated. We are recognizing matter, and all that is in the universe is just a mere property of energy. Energy and the patterns within these fields of energy is a pure expression of God Himself.

Our only hope for a better coming year 5782, is purely and squarely in His hands and in our observance of His Mitzvot.

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. A Spiritual Soul Book & Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century. Opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach Florida and the first Orthodox Synagogue on Palm Beach Island.
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