Shlomo Ezagui

The Omnipotence of God – from the Physics of Light

Greg Rakozy

God is the cause of being for all, but itself is non-being, for God May He Be Blessed is beyond all beings. At its essence, Judaism and its rituals are an attempt to connect man with the Divine. Religious beliefs, practices, and the various forms of worship help bring us into harmony with the supernatural source of blessings and creation.

The ground of all beings is a mysterious phenomenon. God is beyond our powers of rationalization, and it is the height of foolishness and arrogance to claim that we can know God’s ultimate nature. Our language is too limited, and our powers of conceptualization are too restricted to encompass any actual aspect of God fully.

To speak of God properly is to speak of the one Infinite Source of all that is eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, perfectly transcendent of all things, and for that very reason, absolutely immanent to all things.

God so understood, is not just any kind of “being.” He is not one more object in the inventory of things that are, or any sort of discreet object at all. Rather, all things that exist receive their being continuously from Him, the infinite wellspring of all that is, in whom all things live and move, and have their being.

Our Holy Torah commands us to understand God to the best of our limited capabilities: “Know the God of your father and serve Him with a complete heart.” Knowing God on a rational level and being able to relate to Him, in addition to our faith and trust in Him, leads to serving Him with a complete and whole heart. In that spirit, I present the following article in our series of articles:.

So far, we have seen that the physics of light expresses God’s absoluteness and timelessness. God’s characteristics are deeply embedded in the unique physical principles that govern the physics of light.

First, we saw that the absoluteness of God, Creator, and source of light paralleled the absoluteness of the speed of light. Second, anything moving at the speed of light does not experience the passage of time. This slowing down of time was one consequence of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, which was derived from the initial observation that the speed of light is absolute. This timeless property of light is related to God because God is timeless, as He can experience the past, present, and future simultaneously.

The following is another consequence of the Special Theory of Relativity: No object can accelerate to the speed of light since this would require infinite energy.

In the Special Theory of Relativity, the mass of an object increases as its velocity increases. This is another natural corollary that follows from the initial assumption that the speed of light is the same in all reference frames (when combined with conservation laws). All objects start at rest with a certain “rest mass.” For example, an object might have a rest mass of 1000 ounces. This is the type of mass that we are all familiar with.

As an object, such as a spaceship, accelerates to higher speeds, its mass increases. This increased mass is called the “relativistic mass.” If an object possesses a greater mass, the energy required to accelerate the object to a higher speed is also greater. It requires ten times more energy to accelerate a 20,000-pound truck from 50 mph to 60 mph than it does to accelerate a 2,000-pound car.

It can be shown that mass increases by the same factor that governs the slowing down of clocks on the spaceship. So, for example, if the speed is such that the clock’s rate is reduced by a factor of two, then the spaceship’s mass increases by a factor of two.

So, in a sense, mass is relative. It is crucial to remember that nothing has changed for an observer traveling in the spaceship. Just like the clocks, this change in the mass is with respect to an observer in a different frame of reference. The clocks on the ship appear to be running normally to someone on the ship, and the mass of the ship appears to be normal as well. However, to someone who is at rest and observing the spaceship from afar, it appears that the clocks on the ship are moving slower, and the mass of the ship is increased.

These changes in mass are tiny at the velocities we are accustomed to with everyday objects like cars and airplanes. The increase in mass of a car moving at 60 mph would be imperceptible. For these differences to become noticeable, the object needs to move at some speed that is a considerable fraction of the speed of light.

As the spaceship accelerates, its mass increases. As the mass increases, greater thrust is required to accelerate the spaceship to higher velocities. And as the spaceship gains more speed, it gains more mass, requiring even more thrust to reach the next velocity. It can be shown mathematically that if a spaceship reached the speed of light, its relativistic mass would be infinitely large! Special Relativity stipulates that if the speed were exactly equal to the speed of light, this mass would be infinite.

Therefore, it would require infinite energy for any object to accelerate to the speed of light. Because we do not have access to infinite energy, no object in the known universe can accelerate to the exact speed of light.

Even if you attempted to accelerate a tiny object like an electron, it would still require infinite energy. The closest science has come to accelerating subatomic particles to close to the speed of light is at the Large Hadron Collider. The Large Hadron Collider uses 7 Teraelectron volts of energy to accelerate subatomic particles to 99.9999991% the speed of light. To accelerate that last little bit would require (almost) all of the energy in the known universe!!

Any object that starts with a non-zero mass at rest will have infinite mass and energy if it ever reaches the speed of light! Light is the fastest thing in the universe; no physical object can ever reach this speed. If you want to travel at the speed of light, you need infinite energy! Therefore, not only is light the absolute standard by which all other things must be measured, it is also entirely out of our reach.

Even if you could conjure up enough energy to reach 99.9999999999999999999999 percent the speed of light, a beam of light would still whiz past you at precisely the speed of light. You can’t even begin to catch it!

God imparted His characteristics into the physics of light, and we can conclude that one of God’s attributes as the source of light must be infinite power. We know that God is omnipotent or infinite in power and strength. Nothing is out of God’s reach or capabilities. God is God, and no person on earth can come close to approaching even a minuscule fraction of His greatness, even if they had access to all of the energy in the universe.

God is Omnipotent.

“Even if a sharp sword is at a person’s neck, one must never give up hope.” Talmud. Isaiah, the prophet of God, told King Chizkiyahu, that he was condemned to death, but the king did not accept this fate and gloom. King Chizkiyahu prayed to the all-powerful God and was granted marriage, children, and another 15 years of life.

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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