Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Isaac Newton's Religious Side

Here is a link to a very interesting article on CNN by AP about documents on display in Israel showing Isaac Newton's religious writings including some Hebrew, a calculation of the worlds end time, the return of the Jews to Israel, the dimensions of the Temple, etc.

According to the site, I am not allowed to re-publish or distribute the article, otherwise I would just copy it here.

The link is:



The official link for the web site of the exhibit is:


There you can find more information and see the original documents.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Processing the Universe?

An open question on a Midrash:

In the Midrash Rabbah on Megillas Ruth, Introduction, Sif 7, it is stated:

"Everything (kol) that was created (bara) in [the] six days of Creation (bereishis) requires processing (asiyah)".

It then lists as an example of this, the fact that mustard seeds and lupines need to be sweetened, and wheat needs to be ground up.

My question is: How does one process a star or galaxy?

If ALL (kol) that was created in the six days needs processing like wheat does, then how do we process stars, comets, galaxies, lava, etc?

At first I thought this could be a hint at some kind of evolutionary process (Hashem Created things, and then they needed to be processed to get to where we are today), but since the two (really three) examples given involve human processing, I do not think it would be correct to say that.

Now, to be sure, some things we know now can be processed in ways we didn't know before.
A couple of examples:
- We use solar panels to process the light from the sun into usable electricity.
- We process Uranium in order to make nuclear power to provide electricity and large explosives.

But how would far away things in outer space come into play here?

Well perhaps, since we have gained so much knowledge of Hashem's Creation by observing outer space, that this is considered "processing" those far away objects.

Another idea would be, as per my QM post below, that when we observe the objects in space, we collapse their wave-function, and thus bring them retroactively into "real" existence. This could be the "processing" of those objects, and their use for us would be the knowledge we gain from observing them. This might be tied into the use of the term "asiyah" by the Midrash, where perhaps a connection can be made to the concept of the level of the world called "asiyah" in Kabbalistic thought.

I know it's pretty far-fetched, but I cannot think of anything else.

Anyone else out there have a good pshat on this?