Jewish Journal


March 4, 2010

Lost Time


Scientists are speculating that the Feb. 27 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile may have shortened the length of an Earth day.

“JPL research scientist Richard Gross computed how Earth’s rotation should have changed as a result of the Feb. 27 quake. Using a complex model, he and fellow scientists came up with a preliminary calculation that the quake should have shortened the length of an Earth day by about 1.26 microseconds (one millionth of a second). By comparison, Gross said the same model estimated the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatran earthquake should have shortened the length of day by 6.8 microseconds.”
-Science Daily

This means as a result of the recent Chile earthquake and the 2004 Sumatran earthquake combined, there is a real possibility the human race could have lost 0.00000806 seconds of human time!

I have recently learned in a beautiful class given by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Jacobson a particular lesson that has given me great insight into the mystical ideas of understanding the lesson that can be gleamed by this phenomenon.

In Rabbi Jacobson’s latest class that can be seen on yeshiva.net**, he comments on the rules of a kosher Torah scroll.  In order for a Torah scroll to be kosher, each letter must be surrounded by white space.  If any letter is connecting, it is not deemed as a kosher Torah.  What is the lesson we can learn from this particular specific law?

Rabbi Jacobson went on to explain that Chassidic mysticism describes two kinds of energy that the world exists on,  “Ohr Pnimi” and “Ohr Makif”. “ Ohr Pnimi is a tangible energy that is internalized within the consciousness of a person.  Ohr Makif is a more intense and powerful energy that encircles and encompasses the person, but can’t be assimilated or integrated with in the parameters of the human consciousness. “

Ohr pnimi represents the tangible letters on the page of the parchment. The letters turn into versus which turn into paragraphs, concepts, and laws that eventually tell us the Judaic story.  We can see it, feel it, touch it, and taste it. It is the Matzah we are commanded to eat on Passover, the huts we are asked to build on Sukkot, or the leather phylacteries men wear daily to connect to their Higher Power.

Ohr Makif, on the other hand, is the energy that encircles us but remains hidden to our consciousness. It is an energy many of us never have a chance of getting acquainted with. It is the energy that represents the blank space on the page between each letter in the Torah. It is a powerful energy that tells us the history of our connection with the Divine.  It is a mystery that creates an eternal bond even more powerful than the words themselves. 

Have you ever seen a sheet of music?  There are five bars and each bar is separated by a space.  You would think that only the dark line that represents the bar has the ability of becoming a note. But the space is just as important. It too, can have a note that plays a sound and each space is called by these particular notes: F, A, C, & E.  How interesting it is that the very space that would seem blank and empty has the notes that make up the word “Face”.  Could it be that music is trying to give us the biggest hint into our Divine experience?  Could it be that this particular idea of Ohr Makif and the subconscious energy that exists in clean blank space is the actual “Face” of G-d? 

I don’t think it’s by chance the human experience that lead to the savior of so many people’s rescue was the remaking and selling of a song entitled “We are the world.” 

When we lost time last week, there was a void.  The entire world was given a revelation.  Maybe the fact that our world was “shaken to its core” and devoid of 0.00000806 seconds of actual time is G-d’s way of showing us his “face”.  In a world that constantly questions his existence, he was saying I have the power to stir the sea, quake the earth, and even control time.  For the first time in history, not since the Jews left Egypt, G-d has shared with us his awesome power over time and space. 

Is it any more relevant that this Power is being revealed to us between Purim and Passover?  Purim represents the ability to see things in hindsight. The miracles were consistently hidden (hence the name of Esther means hidden) to tell us that all of life’s experiences are there for a reason.  Sometimes we don’t know the reason, but we can look back in hindsight and see that each event was perfectly orchestrated, perfectly planned, and indeed a gift.

Passover represents the revealed miracle.  It is a time when we had the opportunity to see nature change completely and be altered for the sake of the Jewish people becoming the nation they are today, a nation created for the sake of becoming the world’s conscience.

And yet, it is this time of year between two awesome miraculous holidays that we received G-d’s awesome might and fury and experienced once again his awesome power.  Many lives were lost, people were displaced, and tragedy has struck the world two times in a row.  Seemingly this feels as though it is the worst experience that could hit the world.  But if we don’t try to make sense of it by realizing that there is a greater plan, a greater lesson, a greater revelation, than the lives that were lost, the many people who were disrupted could all be in vain.

What has happened as a result of these tragedies combined? The world over has showed the power of community by helping their fellow man through fundraising efforts, medical aid, and collective music.  We are filling in that void, and recognizing the gap.  We are finally seeing the space of G-d. We are finally recognizing his face through our own deeds and through our own G-d given power.  The lesson of these tragedies is what we do with it.  As in any tragedy, personal or global, if we don’t find a way to create the space for our own sub consciousness to evolve, we have indeed lost more than what comes from the tragedy itself, we have lost the opportunity to transform because of it.

**To view the entire class go to: http://www.theyeshiva.net/


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