God is One...so is everything else
A few weeks ago I took my kids to the Liberty Science Center.
There was an interesting exhibit there. It was basically a large screen with a short film.
It begins with a wide angle shot of our entire universe then zooms in again and again through the cosmos to the milky way...to our solar system ...to earth...North America...to a park on the shores of Lake Michigan..to a napping sun bather...zooming into his body through his skin..into his organs....cells...further and further through the maze of DNA, chromosomes...until all you see are atoms (and quarks..but we’ll stop at the atom) dancing around. Right there at the closest you can possibly zoom ..just thousands of atoms.
What struck me is that if you were to pan the camera over a little to the grass and zoomed in that much, you’d see the same thing. Everything in this universe can be broken down to it’s common denominator the atom. If the atom would suddenly disappear everything would just cease to exist. What an amazing concept!
Jewish literature is full of the idea that the physical world mirrors the meta-physical/spiritual. Now take this concept and we can appreciate the idea that everything in this world is a manifestation of Godliness. Rabbenu Bechaya says Hashem Echad..God is One... Everything is god and god is hidden in everything. Take the number one and expand it, no matter how large and complex the number will become, in reality it’s just a bunch of ones. If one were to eliminate the number one, every number in the world would cease to exist!
At the moment of creation there was Yesh M’eyin “something from nothing”..pure godliness and the purest act of love.
Everything that was to be formed and created until the end of time was compacted into that first one.. As it unfolded it became more difficult to see the love and godliness with our limited vision and perception, but the number one is there hidden.
Rosh Hashana is the anniversary of that first idea..that first thought of creation..which was pure love....the Kesser...the first of the 10 sefirot (R'ma MiPano).
What I have to do is mirror that.
In the world of action it's oftentimes very difficult to be pure and good and I find myself trapped in a web of deeds and misdeeds, rationalization and procrastination.
Rosh Hashana is a time to get in touch with our inner inner core..the world of thought...that so wants to be pure and good. To acknowledge that we are far from perfect and need to get better...to let go of rationalizing and submit to that world..that world of thought..where his desire is also pure good...
That's precisely why it's a Yom haDin a Judgement Day..because what excuse do we have not to want to be good? Sure it might be difficult to implement but where's the desire..?