Parshat Mikeitz By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס”ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
Newton’s Law of Gravitation states that for two masses, m and M, separated by a distance r, the gravitational force exerted by one mass on the other is: F = -GmM/r2. G is the universal gravitational constant: G = 6.67 x 10-11 N m2 / kg2
Coulomb’s law, or Coulomb’s inverse-square law, is an experimental law of physics that quantifies the amount of force between two stationary, electrically charged particles. Where ke is Coulomb’s constant (ke ≈ 9×109 N⋅m2⋅C−2), q1 and q2 are the signed magnitudes of the charges, and the scalar r is the distance between the charges.
Contemplating these two laws, one immediately sees a remarkable resemblance between them. Still, gravitational forces are always attractive, while electrostatic forces can be attractive or repulsive.
In the past, we have noted that kabbalistically speaking multiplication signifies a union between energies/charges. Division, the inverse of multiplication, also represents a division of energies. In Torah teaching, we learn “laws” that are quite similar to these physical laws: “As the water mirrors one’s face so too is the heart of one man to another.” (Mishlei 27, 19) This means that the heart of one man “charged” positively towards another causes double phenomena, that also the other person is “charged,” signified by m=mass or q=electric charge, towards the former. Obviously, the closeness of thought/emotion can also be likened to the closeness of space as in the physical law. This means that the closer people are, the distance that divides them, signified by r2, is eliminated on a square-level [i.e., since r [“radius” =distance] is smaller], for there is a dual relationship between the two parties. There is also a spiritual law that is similar to the opposite state of this physical law, i.e., when there is a distance between people/parties, that yet again shows the dual relationship between parties when in the process of separation: “if you leave me one day, I will leave you two days,” (Yerushalmi Brachot 68a) mentioned in context of Torah study and other matters. Obviously, there is a lot more to contemplate on these matters, but this is out of the scope of our discussion.
These are small examples of how Torah teaches us not only a united spiritual perception of the universe emanating from the One God, Giver of the Torah, but also how the physical laws of the universe are united in one whole together with the spiritual realms. This is also the spiritual genius of Yosef, who was able to perceive in the “mundane” dreams of Pharaoh, of oxen and sheep, the internal message behind them, and thereby find solutions also in this world. On Chanuka, we also celebrate the victory of Jews over the Greeks. Greek culture is the cradle of Western Culture, which puts physical science on one of the highest pedestals. When, God-willing, the Jewish People will be able to show how all physical laws emanate from the spiritual, that will be a continuation of the Hanuka miracle for the generations to come. This is also part of the message of Hebron, which means unity, from where Yosef came, for Hebron is the City of Inspiration towards Godly Unity. May God help us realize this remarkable unity between the spiritual and physical realms, thereby magnifying Hashem’s Name and His Holy Land, Land of the Holy Presence.
Miracles from the Holy Land:
In the Yom Kippur War, Tzvika Greengold, at the age of 21, who had been in his home, one morning, “sensed” that he may be needed by the army in the north, and so he set out towards the Golan Heights. Then, he was ordered by his brigade commander to “not let any Syrian Tank pass you.” Tzvika, equipped with only three (!) tanks to his side, combatted a large Syrian artillery force. At some times, some more tanks joined Tzvika, but at others, Tzvika was left with only one tank. Nevertheless, Tzvika, who at one point was also injured, continued to persevere, changing tanks from time to time and firing from them, even though the soldiers in those tanks had been injured, giving the Syrians an impression that the Israeli tanks were much better equipped than they really were. This illusion and numbers of more miracles in this episode caused the heavy Syrian artillery Force to withdraw!