I imagine this will sound obvious, but science is pretty amazing. Especially the science of outer-space which makes me feel both tiny and insignificant, and at the same time, proud to be part of the human race that studies such incomprehensible things.
I learned recently about “The Singularity.” The singularity apparently was the cosmic event that kicked off the birth of the universe, according to some theories. The theory goes, that since the universe is expanding – which we can see and prove that through science – there must have been a time when the universe was smaller. Rewind that theory far back enough and all of the universe was so small it was contained in one, singular point, namely “The Singularity.”
When I asked my son, who is an Astrophysics major, if he’d heard of The Singularity, I could hear the eyes rolling through the phone. Duh, of course he had. But I wasn’t deterred from the excitement of this revelation for my non-scientific brain.
How mind-blowing to think of the whole universe as stemming from one singular point! We often talk spiritually about everyone and everything being interconnected – but what if we really are quite literally all the same matter.
Again, my non-scientific brain can’t quite process the implications of The Singularity. But I love it.
I’ve always struggled with the Jewish expectation that we must consider ourselves as if we, personally, were slaves in Egypt. Hence our eating the slave foods and retelling the slave narrative.
Judaism also teaches that all Jews stood together at Mt. Sinai to receive the revelation of the Torah. I appreciate these teachings spiritually. Of course we inherit the experiences of our ancestors – both the high points of revelation and the low points of slavery.
But, The Singularity got me thinking that perhaps our Jewish teachings can be interpreted more literally. What if there is part of my DNA that biologically did experience the Exodus and Mt. Sinai? Does that change my connection to those Jewish events? And if it’s true for me then it must be true for you and all human beings. So what does that mean for our distinct traditions and separate religions, races, nationalities … Did all humanity experience slavery and redemption? Was every human being at Sinai? Why did we evolve so tribally if we have that common origin?
Not surprisingly this junction of science and religion raises more questions than answers. But still, I feel this sense of profound awe that our universe that is so mysterious and immeasurable and simultaneously, may have started from one single point.
As we celebrate our Passover holiday this spring season, perhaps we can expand our minds to consider how far back we can rewind and how connected to the previous generations we feel. And how does that connection serve us? Do we gain comfort and meaning from the past or do we prefer independence and separation from the past?
Passover encourages us to explore, debate, learn and share on this topic among many others.
I wish you and yours a sweet and joyful Pesah and Spring season.