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The Cherubs' Secret: How to Read the Biblical Creation Story
Video 4 of 4
Okay so pretty much what I wanted to do was - the structure here is I'm going to try to review part of what we did the week before and then take it a little bit of a step further. So you heard a quick version of this - what happened in week 3 is I did a kind of very quick run-through of the six days of creation but it was kind of the end, I did it in about seven minutes, it needed a little bit more time. And there were a couple of questions which I left unaddressed which I - or didn't address fully - that I want to kind of talk about here today.
I put forward a theory which I'll review for a moment, but one or two of the loose ends were the following. One of the questions I had asked the first time around was how is it that we understand the non-creation of water? It looks like water is just there; everything else that gets created gets created, but the vision that we have of pre-creation is a world that's dominated by water that's itself un-created. Veha'aretz haytah tohu vavohu v'choshech al pnei tehom v'ruach Elokim merachephet al pnei ha'mayim. So the only thing that's there is this water - the wind of G-d is hovering over the water, the water is everywhere, it's dark, it's chaotic, but the dominant feature is water. Where did all the water come from?
Generally speaking, whenever anything happens in the six days of creation G-d creates it. When there's light it's not just that there's light; Vayomer Elokim yehi or - G-d creates light. When there's animals G-d creates animals, when there's people G-d creates people, when there's vegetation G-d creates vegetation, the exception is water that just seems to be pre-existent in this pre-creation world, where did all the water come from? So that was one question that I didn't quite get to explicitly the first time around, so I want to revisit that today.
The other question is a kind of a question about sequence which is according to the theory that I articulated, which I'll go over again in a moment, one of the last things that G-d created actually on Day 4 was time itself. [That was/wasn't 3:14] really my argument. And the question is - the question was posed at least in the questions that we get on Aleph Beta - is how can you say that? You've got Day 1, you've got Day 2, you've got Day 3, you've got stuff happening before Day 4, so if you tell me that time itself is created on Day 4, so there is no before, so how could you say that there's stuff that happened on Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3? It happened before the creation of time, that's nonsensical, creation of time is the beginning of everything, creation of time will have to be first.
So these were the questions that were raised and I want to try to articulate a response to them. But the way I'm going to do it is instead of just responding to these questions kind of out of nowhere, I'm going to try to lay out the theory again, to try to take into account these questions.
So here is kind of my theory. The basic idea we were working with is that there is kind of an intertextual linkage in a way between creation on the one hand and the construction of the Mishkan on the other hand. That these two things are linked. And what I established in week 3 is that there is a rationale - a fairly simple rationale for this linkage. And the rationale basically goes like this. What happened in creation? What happened in creation is that G-d started with His everything, which is wherever G-d lives, and then G-d hollowed out a little piece of that and said I'm going to contract Myself and take this little piece of it and build it into a world that is specifically designed for this being called mankind that I want to love and that I want to create. But I know that that being can't exist in My world, so I'm going to take this little piece of My world, I'm going to change its qualities; I'm going to build space, I'm going to build time, I'm going to put all the stuff in there, I'm going to keep all these laws - laws of physics, which I don't really need in My world but I need it in man's world. That's going to be this little apartment for man to live in.
Then G-d creates man. But man's destiny - mankind's destiny - is to reciprocate that because man is going to do the exact same thing for G-d. So man is going to say okay what did G-d do? G-d took His everything and carved out a little piece of everything and made an apartment for the one that He loved. So I, man, I'm going to take my everything - now man's everything is different than G-d's everything; G-d's everything really is everything, man's everything is just a little apartment from G-d's point of view, but from man's point of view it's everything. We don't know anything outside the fishbowl. It's like you ask a fish what's everything? The fish says, the water in the bowl that's everything. That's all the fish knows. So we - what's our everything? It's the universe. We don't know anything more than that. From G-d's perspective it's very small, but from our perspective that's everything. So we take our everything and we carve out a little space for the one that we love which is G-d. And we keep godly laws in this little space and this is going to be a space we make for G-d.
So that's the rationale for arguing that there should be a correspondence between the act of creation on the one hand by G-d and the act of building the Mishkan on the other, because they really are similar things. They both are taking your everything and contracting yourself and creating this little apartment for the one that you love. That's what you're doing.
But even though there is a correspondence between them, there's also an inverse relationship between them. Because - and this is where I come back to my Aunt Sadie Mashal - analogy. Basically what I said it's like, look, let's say you wanted to make a place for G-d, so if G-d wants to make a place for you so it's very easy for G-d to do that because G-d knows what human beings need to live in, so G-d can create laws of physics and create a perfect environment for us. But we have no idea what G-d's world is, so if we want to make a little place in our world which is going to be a little G-d's world, so how does that make any sense? We've no idea what G-d's everything is, we don't know what G-d's native environment is like, so how can we re-create it in the Mishkan?
The idea was, and my theory is, is that what the act of building the Mishkan is, even though it's nominally a construction project that involves Melacha, but what it really is, is the use of our Melacha to actually deconstruct G-d's Melacha. In other words, if you don't know what G-d's world is actually like, the closest you can come to G-d's world is at least to deconstruct your world, to make it comfortable for G-d. And this is where my Aunt Sadie analogy comes.
If Aunt Sadie was coming to visit and you didn't know anything about Aunt Sadie but you wanted to give her a nice place to live for three months and you wanted to hollow out one of the places in your house for Aunt Sadie, and the only place you had was little Jimmy's room, and little Jimmy is seven years old. So the first thing you would do is you would say, look I don't know what kind of perfume Aunt Sadie likes, I don't know what color her favorite color is, but I do know that she doesn't need New York Mets paraphernalia all over the place. I do know she doesn't need a bunk bed with a little thing that makes sure that you don't fall of the bunk bed. Because those are what seven-year-olds need, those aren't what Aunt Sadie needs. So I at least clean out all the seven-year-old junk from Aunt Sadie's room, she at least has a nice clean room.
So that's what we want to do in [the Mishkan 9:05], we would say look, I don't know G-d what Your world is like, but the least I can do is to get rid of all this "junk" that You created for us that You don't really need. Which is why the construction of the Mishkan is analogous to the deconstruction of creation. We have to deconstruct creation. So that's why there's an inverse relationship. The idea is that that's an inverse relationship between these things and that's going to be the theory. The theory is, is that you can read creation going forward and it's going to correspond to the Mishkan going backwards. That's basically the idea. So that's one thing you need to know.
Now, another thing you need to know is that this whole project which is - in other words, if you accept this idea that G-d lives in a realm that's outside of our own in some way that we can't understand, and we, in essence, live in a fishbowl. We're living in a little created world and there's a much larger reality outside that which we cannot access because we live within the confines of the fishbowl and within its own special world. So the problem would then be if you were G-d how would you speak to humanity about that?
The issue here is, on the one hand I talked about how the Torah doesn't really have a scientific agenda, the Torah is just trying to guide you when it's talking about creation. So the Torah is really not interested in the science. But even to the extent that the Torah is, to the extent that the Torah doesn't want to, at least, lie to you, so to the extent that the Torah is trying to describe something here, if the Torah would ever touch on G-d's world, how would the Torah talk about this? Or how would the Torah talk about anything in creation? How would the Torah talk about something which is completely beyond man's ken, which is the world of G-d which we have no access to? How would you talk to a fish about that which is outside the fishbowl?
If all a fish knows is water, so it's like how are you going to describe a wedding ring to a fish? What are you going to do? So you'd say okay, the wedding ring is gold, you're a gold fish, so it's like that's a start. So you say, okay fish, look at yourself, now imagine - so what you'd have to do is you'd have to work with the fish's world and you'd have to take these dim sort of analogies from that world and say okay, now imagine that would be something else, so that's what - so G-d has to be doing something like that. If G-d is going to be describing anything it's going to be to try to use these dim sort of analogies, to try to [describe something else 11:46].
Similarly, if we want to talk - there's two aspects, one is to talk about the world which we cannot know, which is the world outside of space and time. You guys, by the way, if you think about creation according to the way astrophysics now understands it, we do understand that the Big Bang created space and time but that doesn't just mean that a long time ago space and time were created, 14 billion years ago there was this moment at which space and time was created. The explosion of the Big Bang creates space and time which means that in the continued expansion of the Big Bang, the continued expansion of the universe - which we can see nowadays in the expansion of the galaxies, the [redshifts 12:31] in the galaxies, the universe is still expanding - is the continued expansion of space and time. In other words, outside of that there is no space and time, that still exists, that's a reality even today. It's not like, well first there was nothing and then there was space and time - no, there is actually even today a realm outside of space and time, beyond all the galaxies. The universe is expanding and with it the dimensions of space and time are themselves expanding.
So when G-d - if the Torah is going to talk to us about stuff like that, it's put in the difficult position of having to use terrestrial metaphors to describe something which is ultimately extra-terrestrial. So that's one issue.
The second issue is even aside from that, even if we're just describing stuff in the universe itself, how would you describe to somebody who lived in 530 BC Einstein's Theory of Relativity? How would you talk about the creation of space and time and how would you talk about the Big Bang and energy? I mean, you just - modern vocabulary has these words, over time we've figured stuff out, but if you're dealing with stuff and you don't know about the speed of light and all, so how do you talk about these things? So again, the best you can really do is - how would you talk - even if you'd say, okay, so in the creation story we want to talk about the creation of the cosmos; G-d created the cosmos. How are you going to talk about that to somebody who doesn't even know there's a cosmos?
In other words, in 530 BC what does everyone think the cosmos is really? In other words, you look outside and you see, okay, what is there, there's like this, yeah, sky. Okay, so how big is the sky? I don't know, I mean, it's like, I don't know, maybe like 20 miles up or something? And then there are these stars - well what are the stars? Oh these little dots in this crystalline sphere. I mean for a long time that's what people thought. So there's some sphere, maybe 50 miles up or something, these little dots, you can see sun goes over the sphere, like that's the universe. I mean it's like it's basically 50 miles up, that's really it.
So G-d is saying no, no, no - it's something more than that. How are you going to even talk to people who don't know that - about more than that - in a way that's honest? Again, you're going to have to use terrestrial metaphors for what you know, what everyone knows, to describe something which is larger, so at least I'm not lying. So at least when humanity gets to the stage where they know about more they can extrapolate and say, okay that's what you were talking about. Again, the Torah is constrained in using a sort of terrestrial metaphors.
Now the question is what are the metaphors? Can we de-code what the metaphors are?
So here's where we get to the analogy which I used before, back in week 3, which is the shifting perspectives analogy. Where I suggested like if you had a Renoir painting and you were looking at a Renoir painting, and the Renoir painting was painted from a certain angle, could you imagine a computer program that you could feed the painting through that would reconstruct the painting as seen from a different angle? So nowadays you can imagine there would be an app that would do that. That that's - it would be a nice, cool, technology app to take all the impressionist paintings and re-create them from different angles. You could imagine you could do something like that.
What I want to suggest now is that we can read creation in the same kind of way. We can actually read creation and say okay, the Torah is giving us one angle on this, the angle of guidance, which - of how to guide a human being by talking to them about creation. That's the perspective from which the Torah wants to talk about creation. But if we want to adopt a scientific perspective and say what's the science behind what the Torah is saying, we would have to shift perspectives. Shifting perspectives would mean we'd feed this through a computer and the computer would do some algebra, it would perform an algorithm.
The algebra would basically be to factor out the Torah's ethical guidance and the easiest way to think about that is that the Torah is going to talk to you - when the Torah talks to you about creation from the perspective of guiding you, it's really talking to you in an overly anthropocentric way. In other words, in a way which makes human beings the center of everything. Because the only interest that the Torah really has in talking to you about this is because it wants to talk about you, and your place in the cosmos. So I always feel like I'm the center of something. Right? Everyone thinks they're the center of everything, that yeah, here's my eyes and everything revolves around me. So the Torah is saying good, that's fine, let's just understand how everything relates to you.
But in fact it's not that way. It's true from one perspective that that's true, but from another perspective the earth is a rather insignificant place. It's the third rock from the sun and pretty ordinary solar system at the edge of a pretty ordinary galaxy called the Milky Way, a Supercluster among a hundred billion other galaxies. It's really not kind of the center of things. But the Torah is not talking about that, it's adopting an overly anthropocentric view.
So what you're going to do is that every time the Torah is going to talk to you in human terms, if you can factor out the humanness, so you can factor out that man-centered view, then you can arrive at what it is that we're really talking about. So that's kind of the background for how to read this.
Now, let's talk about the water. What's the deal with all this pre-existing water? So let's focus on what the central metaphors that the Torah is going to use to describe creation. So what I want to suggest is that the central metaphors actually appear in the second verse of the Torah. Bereishis barah Elokim et ha'shamayim v'et ha'aretz, is the first verse in the Torah, that in the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth. The second verse is going to describe the pre-creation, the world as it was before that happened. Now the world as it was before that happened in the terms of what we've been talking about we could call G-d's world. In other words, before creation that was G-d's world. So the Torah is going to describe - the Torah's description in verse 2, the Tohu Vavohu, all of that, that's actually G-d's world. From man's perspective it's Tohu Vavohu. So from man's perspective looking at G-d's world we're going to find that there's going to be this verse that's going to describe it.
What does the verse say? Veha'aretz haytah tohu vavohu v'choshech al pnei tehom v'ruach Elokim merachephet al pnei ha'mayim - so the earth is chaotic, it's Tohu Vavohu, that's element number 1. Choshech al pnei tehom - there's darkness upon the face of the deep, that's element number 2. And; Ruach Elokim merachephet al pnei ha'mayim - there's water everywhere, that's element number 3. The key to keep in mind here is that there are three elements and just let's focus on what they are again. Element number 1 is characterized by chaos - Tohu Vavohu, there is ultimate chaos. Element number 2 is there's; Choshech al pnei tehom - there's darkness on the face on the deep, so we're going to call that darkness. And element number 3 is that there is water everywhere.
So when you put all of this together, all three together, and I say okay, what's your impression of this world? Would you like to live in this world? Would you like to live in a world that's very chaotic, that's completely dark, where there's water everywhere? Your answer would be a resounding no, I do not find that a very hospitable world to be living in. G-d says, exactly, that's all I want you to understand. This is My way of describing to you a world in which you cannot live.
Now imagine an enterprising reporter would say, well exactly why can't you live in this world, what bugs you about this world, you human beings? So you'd say well really there's three things that bug me about this. I'd have to say I'm looking into this whole thing, first thing that bugs me is I can't stand the chaos; I'm an ordered kind of guy, when everything is completely chaotic I don't know what's going, what's coming, what's up, what's down, I don't want to live in a chaotic world. That's (a). Second thing that bugs me is the lack of light; it's very dark, I can't live in the dark, dark does not work for me, light is the source of all life and I can't live in the dark. The third thing that bothers me is water. If there's just water everywhere so water everywhere is completely [inhospitable 21:12], I'm not a fish, I cannot breathe in water, I cannot walk around in water, I don't like having water everywhere.
G-d said, exactly, that's what I want you to understand. Okay, there's too much water for you, it's too dark for you, and it's too chaotic for you, that's what's wrong with My world. Now, you know what I'm going to be nice about - G-d says? I'm going to take away all three problems to create your world, that's what I'm going to do when I create your world. I'm going to take away your darkness problem, I'm going to take away your chaos problem, and I'm going to take away your water problem, and you're going to see that happen in creation.
Now what I'm going to suggest to you is that - again, going back to the metaphors I was talking to you about before, there's two parts of creation that you're going to see, there's superstructure and there's infrastructure. Superstructure is the easy stuff, superstructure is the obvious things that G-d does. So whenever you have a doing verb, when G-d does something, you're going to see the creation of something new, we're going to call that superstructure. So whenever G-d creates animals, that's superstructure, whenever G-d creates people, that's superstructure, vegetation - superstructure. Before there was less and now I look and I see there's something new.
But that's not the only thing G-d does in creation, G-d does stuff where nothing new is created. So you say well You're involved in creation why would You do things where You're not creating anything? The answer is G-d is creating the predicates necessary for creation; He is involved in infrastructure work, making infrastructure in such a way that you can build superstructure on top of it. So nothing new is happening, but very crucial stuff is occurring. That's what I called the Havdalot last week. The Havdalot, nothing new is happening when G-d distinguishes between this and that, same stuff as was here before, but G-d has created an essential distinction which is like an infrastructure point, a foundational point that you can build upon, you can build upon these things.
In modern scientific terms a way of thinking about the difference between superstructure and infrastructure in the universe is to say that superstructure is the stuff that's in the universe, but infrastructure is the stuff that's necessary to support the stuff that's in the universe, which, is really, you might say, the dimensions or the environment. What supports the stuff? The environment supports the stuff. Environment isn't stuff, but environment is the background necessary for there to be stuff. The great environment for the universe is the dimensionality of the universe, which is to say space on the one hand, time on the other hand. And I'm going to also argue that there's another great infrastructure development which is light, which is actually even more basic than space and time itself, for reasons which I'll try to argue to you. And what is going to happen is that each of these infrastructure developments correspond to the taking away of one of the reasons why we couldn't live in G-d's world.
So if you think about Tohu Vavohu, so Tohu Vavohu is chaos. I don't know what's coming, what's before, what's after. I'm going to argue that time takes away Tohu Vavohu. Because time allows for an orderly progression of events. Without time everything is chaotic, everything is all mushed together. So time creates order. Choshech is taken away obviously by light. And water - what is water? Water, I want to argue, is the - well you'll see, it's the terrestrial metaphor actually for lack of space. And I'll talk to you about why that in fact is the case, in a moment. But let's just walk through creation, you'll see how this develops.
So the first thing that happens is Day 1, is G-d says in this chaotic world; Yehi Or - let there be light. As I mentioned to you last time, the original light seems to have two elements in it. It seems to have a light energy and a dark energy. And the way you know that is because immediately after the creation of light, after G-d looks at the light and says, this is good, the first thing that happens is; Vayavdel Elokim bein ha'or u'bein ha'choshech - G-d separates between light and darkness. You and I would have said if there's light, if G-d created light, so then He turned on the light, so obviously there's no darkness anymore, so how come G-d has to separate the light from darkness, there's no more darkness? Answer is, according to many of the Mepharshim, that the light was created with the dark element in it. Or what it means is, is that there were two kinds of energies that were created that were mixed. When you looked at the whole thing the dominant energy was light, but that light was actually a compound of a dark energy and a light energy, and; Vayavdel Elokim bein ha'or u'bein ha'choshech, was the separating between them.
What I want to suggest that corresponds to is that - and then of course when G-d looks at this He says; Vayikra Elokim la'or yom - He calls the Or - day, and He calls the Choshech - night. Now that doesn't literally mean night and day as we know it. It can't literally mean night and day because remember this is before the sun, so there can't be night and day before the sun. So what does it mean? G-d says I'm going to give you a terrestrial metaphor to talk about what we're talking about. This mysterious light that I'm creating, let's just call it day. You know what day is? We'll call it day. The other stuff, you know what night is? Let's just call it night. That's what G-d is saying.
But, if we factor that out and we actually go to the essence of what was actually created I think modern science would say yeah, the very first stuff that gets created is - in the Big Bang, the very first thing you have is energy itself. So the first thing that happens is the creation of light energy and dark energy, modern science talks about dark energy, dark energy is a real thing. Dark energy and dark matter is this stuff that's out there, it's about 81 per cent of the universe as scientists tell us, we cannot touch it, we cannot feel it, we cannot see it, it's completely unresponsive to light, it doesn't reflect light, it doesn't absorb light, it's just there.
We know it's there gravitationally, we can detect it's there, the universe is expanding at the rate it's expanding because the expansion is being - what's the word for it? Is being tethered or being ameliorated, limited. The expansion is being - my English is going - it's a limiting force that is acting upon - a slowing, there you go! The expansion is slowing because of the gravitational force of all this dark energy. So it's an important element in the universe - the universe doesn't get to be the way it is without this dark energy - but human beings don't interact with it, we can't interact with it, we cannot see it, we cannot know what it is directly, we can only know it indirectly. So that's called darkness.
What I'm going to argue is that the very first infrastructure development in the world was - in the universe - was the breaking apart of light energy from dark energy. So what was originally one energy force now becomes two. Dark energy becomes dark energy. Light energy, which is energy as we know it, what we might call refined energy, separate from dark energy, from which all subatomic particles come, electrons, all that, that is - it's going to be its own thing. That's what we relate to, that's what G-d calls light, and that's the beginning of the universe.
So the reason why it's the beginning of the universe is that - well let me put it to you this way, that's the first great infrastructure development in the universe. Now you might say, why is that the first great infrastructure development in the universe - that's the first great superstructure development in the universe? You're going to tell me that all the matter and energy that ever came from the whole world is a product of that light, of that original energy that is out there, and the original Big Bang, that that's where everything comes from, so that's the stuff of the universe, so why are you calling it an infrastructure development, described as one of these Havdalot?
The answer is it really is an infrastructure development because - and here you get to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The basic idea is, is that all of the other infrastructure developments, all the other aspects of the environment, of the world, which is the dimensions that we know of; time and space, are themselves actually conceptually dependent upon light. Which means it's not possible to speak of time and space without first speaking of light. The speed of light it becomes the absolute standard of the universe to which everything else is relative; specifically time and space themselves are relative to light. So light is more foundational than time and space. Which means to say, you cannot talk about what time it is without reference to how fast you're going relative to the speed of light. You cannot talk about how big something is without how fast it's travelling relative to the speed of light. So for example, when something is travelling at the speed of light its space goes to zero. As the closer it gets to the speed of light the space that it takes actually contracts, when you actually get to the speed of light its space goes to zero.
I know that sounds crazy, don't - it's Einstein, it's not me. But it's the same thing with time; time contracts also. As you get closer to the speed of light, time slows down. So if you're on a spaceship and you're travelling really close to the speed of light time is going to slow down for you, you're going to start to age very, very slowly relative to the people who are on earth. If you're actually going at the speed of light time actually stops for you, so you don't age at all. So for example, any photon which is travelling from a distant galaxy actually doesn't age. From the perspective of the photon - from our perspective it took one hundred, billion years for the light to get from that galaxy over here, but from the photon's thing it's instantaneous, it didn't take any time at all.
So light is the predicate upon which time and space depend on, so that's why it's described as the first great Havdalah, because it's the most foundational infrastructure development in the universe. Aside from creating the stuff out of which the universe exists, that's small potatoes compared to the most basic environmental predicate of the universe, is the creation of light. So that is the first great Havdalah.
Now parenthetically let me just say something else - it sounds a little strange but I'm just going to say it very quickly. Which is that if I'm right about this it's possible - just possible - that this may solve a conundrum - that the Torah may be pointing to how a conundrum in physics is actually solved. Let me just tell you the conundrum. There's a basic problem in modern astrophysics that is called the smoothness problem and the flatness problem. Basically the way the problem goes is, is that the universe is too fine-tuned- I talked about this in one of the videos. But basically there's a lot of fine-tuning that happened in the universe specifically at the first moments of the universe's expansion. So for example, in those first moments you have all this energy coming out and it's all expanding at these huge speeds, but you also have - it's also very dense, there's a tremendous amount of gravity which is a gravitational force which is contracting it.
Now if the gravitational force is too strong then there's never a Big Bang, there was just a big crunch, it just crunches everything together. But if the gravitational force is not strong enough then it doesn't act as a limiting force and everything just spews all over the place and nothing ever contracts into stars or clouds or - clouds of hydrogen which can become stars. And you just have a universe of subatomic particles that never becomes anything. So it has to be a Goldilocks universe, which is not too fast but not too slow, just the right amount of ratio between the expansion of the universe and the force of gravity.
Similarly, there's what's called the smoothness - that's the flatness problem. The smoothness problem is that the original explosion of the Big Bang had to be just clumpy enough - again Goldilocks. Which is to say if it's too smooth then - everything spread apart smoothly - then gravity can't act to bring these things together into hydrogen clouds which eventually are going to become stars. But if the original explosion is too clumpy then the gravitational force of this stuff is too great and you don't actually get clouds of hydrogen which become stars, you get black holes, because it's too dense. And a universe of black holes doesn't do anyone any good.
So in order to have a universe where you actually have stars as opposed to black holes or nothing, you have to get around the smoothness problem and the flatness problem, which is there has to be a Goldilocks universe, just clumpy enough and just fast enough.
Now the problem is - so you might say, well what do you mean? What are the ratios? How much of a margin of error do you get? So if you would say, well you have a decent margin of error, so you might say we got lucky. But the problem is, is that there's a very small margin of error. The margin of error is not like one part in hundred, and it's not one part in a thousand, but it's actually - for the smoothness and flatness problem, it's more like one part in ten to the fifty-first power. So ten to the fifty-first power is an unimaginably large number. Ten to the sixth is a million, ten to the ninth is a billion, ten to the twelfth is a trillion, so you're talking about, no - like ten trillion is ten to the thirteenth. So the amount of leaves on trees in all the forests in North America is about ten to the twenty-first. But we're talking about ten to the fifty-first! So like, ten to the twenty-second is ten times the amount of leaves on all the trees in all the - so it's like imagine picking one leaf, and saying, okay but that's your margin of error. It's like the ultimate needle in a haystack problem.
So your chances of not having a universe are so much greater than your chances of having a universe, what are we doing here? This is like the smoothness problem and the flatness problem.
Now, scientists don't really have an answer to that, but what they do say is that however it works, the only way that the smoothness and the flatness problem could possibly work is - the only way that the universe can be just smooth enough is if in - what they suggest is in the first moments of creation, the first milliseconds of creation, there was a tremendous expansion of the infinitesimal universe. When the universe was just expanding, was just a little nothing-ness, to the size of a grapefruit, that expansion happened very, very quickly, much, much faster than the speed of light. So it was like a balloon expanding - so when your balloon expands so there's little clumpy things in a balloon but when you blow it up it gets nice and smooth. So the idea is, is that there was this - it's called hyperinflation. In the very little universe what - like a balloon, things are expanding very, very quickly, but in order for the math to work out it has to be many, many times the speed of light in the very early moments of the universe.
It still doesn't explain why the ratios are exactly the way they are, because the hyper-expansion itself has to be just hyper-expanded fast enough and not - right, so you solve those problems but the math says that's what had to have happened.
The problem of course is that Einstein says that nothing in the universe goes faster than the speed of light, so how could the early universe expand at many times the speed of light? The math says it had to have but we know that that doesn't work. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light. This, might answer that problem. Why? Because think about the first great infrastructure development. The first thing G-d does in the universe is He does what? He creates light - Vayehi Or. But that light was not light as we know it. Because that light was before light energy and dark energy separate. The next thing G-d does, He looks at the light and says that's really good, but then He goes and takes that unitary light and separates it into this huge fragmenting of light energy and dark energy, creating light and energy as we know it.
Now that's the first great infrastructure development, which means when is the - the speed of light as a limiting force is created when? It's created then. In other words we relate to light as we know it and clock that and say that's 186,282 miles a second, nothing moves faster than that, but that's only once you have refined light as we know it. Who says that before the great tearing of light energy and dark energy that light behaved the way it behaves now? Light was a different entity, it was combined with dark matter. So what I'm suggesting is maybe the speed of light as a limiting factor is only - doesn't happen at the beginning of the universe, it happens at the first Havdalah. But the hyper-expansion in the first milliseconds which occurs faster than the speed of light is before there is such a thing as the speed of light, because light as we know it really hasn't been created yet.
Okay, so that's just my little theory, speculative, just saying it's speculative, but maybe, you never know.
Anyway, but the theory is that's the first great infrastructure development. Whatever you say about hyperinflation, the very first infrastructure development is the creation of light as we know it. Now what happens after that - that's Day 1. Day 2 - and that solves one of the great problems from the first verse of creation. There's three great problems; there's the dark problem, there's the water problem and there is the chaos problem. So the dark problem is solved by this light. So in other words the terrestrial metaphor is G-d says, see I turned on the lights for you, aren't you happy, now you have light. That's the terrestrial metaphor. What really happened? Much more than just turning on the lights, G-d is actually making the basic predicate for the universe itself, but how am I going to describe it to you, I don't want to lie to you, so I tell you something which is a little simpler, I'm oversimplifying it for you, but this is what is actually happening.
What's the next thing that happens, Day 2? So on Day 2 G-d says; Yehi rakiyah betoch ha'mayim - remember all that pre-existing water, so let there be sky in the midst of the water and let it divide between upper waters and lower waters. So now there's going to be upper waters which is going to be this water vapor, these clouds, there's going to be lower waters which are going to be seas. Now all of these are terrestrial metaphors, G-d is talking about something cosmic but He's talking about it in terms of our situation on earth where the upper waters is going to be these clouds and the lower waters is going to be these seas, and before that there was just water.
So now if I said to you why is it that you're so happy with the second great infrastructure development? So you'd say all right, well what was it before and what was it afterwards? So before there was a big water world, I certainly didn't like that, I'm not a fish, can't breathe, can't walk around, no good. Now I've got this sky, this place that I can actually - I can breathe, I can walk and I have water up there, I'm fine to have water up there and I can have water down there, that's fine, but at least where I live in this - so I've got a place to be. So I have what's called habitable human space.
So the metaphor that the Torah is talking about here is the creation of habitable human space, but that's a metaphor. To understand what's actually happening you have to factor out the human part, so instead of habitable human space what we're really talking about is the creation of space itself. This explains the water issue. What then was water a metaphor for? If the separation of waters was about the creation of space, three-dimensional space - not the creation of habitable human space, air, but actual space itself - in other words G-d's saying I'm not lying to you, but what I actually did was create something even more fundamental than habitable human space. That which habitable human space is based upon, actual dimensionality, so that there could be something called space. So if that's what the Havdalah created, then before the Havdalah what was there? There was no space. What is no space? So no space is utter void.
Now the problem is how do you talk to a human being about utter void? So G-d knows what utter void is, He lives in utter void. How do you talk to a human being who lives in a void? It's like how do you talk to the fish about - and here water is the wrong analogy because it's the opposite, but the fish lives in water how do you talk to him about a world without water? We live in a dimensionality, how do you talk to us about non-dimensionality? We totally cannot conceive of that.
So nowadays that we have spaceships, we can send something into outer space, we can say, oh maybe the utter void is space? So yeah the utter void is like sort of, kind of, like space, but it's not, because even in space there might not be air, but there's still dimensionality, there's still - like this is three feet and that's seven feet. But we're talking about no, somewhere where there is no dimensionality, that's the real utter void, you can't - there's no words for that, it's a non-human experience.
So what does G-d say? G-d says the best I can give you is, okay, let's go back to - and remember, again, if you talk about this verse; Veha'aretz haytah tohu vavohu v'choshech al pnei tehom v'ruach Elokim merachephet al pnei ha'mayim, which is really this discussion of G-d's world with these three basic problems that make it uninhabitable for human beings; darkness, chaos and water, if you talk about it, it actually sounds a lot like the flood. It's this flood sort of imagery. In other words, in the Bible we have that image, a water world which is dark and chaotic. So what is G-d doing? He's just borrowing from the collective human unconscious and saying, guys remember when it was really hard to live? Like what was the time when it was worst for you, that you really don't want to live in? The flood, right? You all died. Okay, so I'm going to use that as the great metaphor for complete uninhabitable world, which is My world, I like that world, I live in the flood world, it's just not for you. So I'm going to describe it for you by calling it the flood. The flood really has three elements; it has a water element, it has a dark element, it has a chaos element, you put it all together, it's the worst.
So water is being used as a terrestrial metaphor to describe something which is much, much larger than that, which is the void. Water is for human beings - it's taking up my space, I can't breathe anymore, that's the metaphor for the void. Obviously the void doesn't need to be created, which is why the water doesn't need to be created, the void is just the way things were before dimensionality came into the world, just as darkness was the way things were before there was ever any light. Or Tohu Vavohu was the way things were before there was any time.
Okay, so that's why water doesn't need to get created. So second great infrastructure development is the creation of space in the division of upper waters and lower waters.
Now what happens after that? What happens after that is before you even get to the next great infrastructure development, stuff happens. So G-d says; Yikavu ha'mayim mitachat ha'shamayim el makom echad - let the water be over here, let the dry land be here. And then before you know it G-d says - you've got vegetation all over the place. Why?
Here's the deal. What is happening here - in real life if we think about the creation of light or the creation of energy, and the creation of dimensionality and the creation of space, when did all this happen? In reality, from science perspective when did all this happen? From science's perspective they happened simultaneously. They happened at the moment of the Big Bang. At the moment of the Big Bang you have this huge release of energy, which is going to be light and plus you have the beginning of dimensionality, you have the creation of space. Plus, you have the creation of time, which is actually going to be the next great infrastructure development.
The next great infrastructure development is going to be when G-d says; Yehi me'orot bi'rekiyat ha'shamayim lehavdil bein ha'yom u'bein ha'lailah - let there be luminaries to divide between night and day; Vehayu l'otot ul'mo'adim ul'yamim v'shanim - it's going to be for calendars, you're going to be able - you human beings, you can mark calendars. You're going to have days, you're going to have weeks, you're going to have years, it's going to be great, you're going to have this whole calendar thing, you're going to love it, with the sun and the moon and the stars, it's going to be the best for you. So why is it that G-d is describing these things in terms of calendar? In terms of - rather than heat and light? The answer is because G-d doesn't care about heat and light, that's not what they're about. What it's about is, it's a metaphor for - we're talking about the stuff that human beings use to mark time, but what we're really talking about, if you factor out human beings is the creation of time itself. That's the third great infrastructure development.
Now here's the next metaphor. The next metaphor is that this stuff happens in days really. Because in reality G-d is describing to you a process of stuff that all happened together at one instant. Because in fact light, time and space happens together at the moment of the Big Bang. Why is the Torah then describing it to you this way? The answer is, the Torah is not describing to you - and this is my theory - is not giving you a chronological version of creation, it's giving you a conceptual version of creation. In other words what G-d says is let me outline to you what I did for you guys. I basically did three things for you. I created three dimensions, I created three basic infrastructure developments that allowed for everything else. And G-d is laying it out for you conceptually.
Because in fact even science would agree that there is a conceptual order to these things. Now they could happen simultaneously but the fact is, is that conceptually one builds upon the other and there's certain things that are inconceivable without other things. So for example, space is inconceivable without light. You can't talk about space without talking about the creation of light first - according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity light is more fundamental than space. So it's true that in fact they were created together but conceptually one is more fundamental than the other.
Similarly, if I talk about time and I talk about space, from our perspective one is more fundamental than the other, which is to say space is more fundamental than time. We even - and the proof of that is that when we talk about dimensions what are the first three dimensions? The first three dimensions are spatial dimensions. What's the fourth dimension? The fourth dimension we call time. Why do we call time the fourth dimension - time and space they are all simultaneous? The answer is because it rides on top of the three dimensions. What does that mean? It means the way we relate to time is that once you have time you can plot movement through space. The idea of movement becomes possible once you have time. But movement through what? Well space. Space has to be there before I can talk about movement through it. So first I have to have dimensionality, I have to have space. Once I have space I can at least isolate something. I can say there it is. Ah, once you know there it is, you want to say how does it get from there to here? Oh so you need time. But time rides on top - conceptually - on space.
So in other words basic thing is light, once you have light you can have space, once you have space you can have time. Similarly, conceptually, the superstructure gets filled in after I have the infrastructure. So what G-d says - and again, this is not chronological, but what G-d says is okay, let's imagine a world that you had light. So once you have a world of light what could you build on top of that? So G-d says I know what you can build on top of that, you can build space on top of that - and in fact you can. And that's what happened on Day 2.
So once you have a world of light and a world of space, what could you build on top of space? So you say space, what is space good for? So space is good for putting things in. I mean if you have space, look what you can fill things - you can put stuff in space. You can populate space with stuff. So G-d says that's exactly what happened. So on Day number - what is it - Day number 3, right after you have 2, G-d starts filling space with stuff. So that's what all the vegetative life is. Here's this vegetation and it's life and it goes and it fills the world and creates the setting for what comes after. It creates the setting for history.
When does history begin? History is a story, it begins with motion. Vegetative things don't move, they just are, then the beginning of life that moves, or life that requires time, happens after the creation of time. Immediately after the fourth day, the very next thing you have is a different kind of life; not vegetative life but; Yishretzu ha'mayim - let the water swarm with life; fish life. But it's described as moving life in the waters. Let the animals crawl upon the earth. Let the birds Ye'ohfef - let them move through the sky. So on both - whether we're talking about sea, land or air, we're talking about movement life. Movement life is possible once I have time. Once I have time how do I populate movement? I populate movement with moving life.
So what creation is about - what the description G-d is giving you is a conceptual outline of creation. In fact, science is going to say all the Havdalot they happen simultaneously, in a single instance, and then over 14 billion years everything gets filled in. But G-d has only got - He doesn't have 14 billion years to tell you this story, He's got 30 sentences to tell you this story. So G-d says look, let Me cut to the chase, let Me just outline to you conceptually what happens. Like look the most basic thing I created was light, after that I created - the next most basic thing I created was space, the next most basic infrastructure development was time. And along the way I got to fill - you can fill in things. Okay that's what it is.
So you can't say how could time have been created on Day 4, what happened before then? It's not a chronological version of events, it's a conceptual version of events. And conceptually it all makes sense. Okay? You guys with me?
Now for the Mishkan. So much for creation. So now the Mishkan is the undoing of all of this. So how does that work? So let me just take you through that really quick. What we're going to do is a virtual reality tour of the Mishkan. So imagine that here's the Mishkan, and you're standing outside it and you're going to start going in through it. And the idea is, is that there's a one-to-one correspondence between the infrastructure developments in the Mishkan and the infrastructure developments in creation - the Havdalot in creation and the Havdalot in the Mishkan. The Havdalot in the Mishkan are the three great places where the Keruvim are. The Keruvim are barrier angels, they show up at the division places within the Mishkan.
So here you are, you're outside the Mishkan and there's going to be a one-to-one correspondence, so that means that the last great division in the Mishkan is going to correspond to the last great division in creation. The second great division in the Mishkan corresponds to the second great division in creation and the first great division in the creation corresponds to the first great division in the Mishkan.
Here you are, you're outside and imagine you go inside the Mishkan. So now you're in. You have now traversed the third and outermost Havdalah of the Mishkan, which is the Yeri'ot - the curtains that separate the Mishkan from the rest of the world. Now the world of course is going to be our world, but what we're doing really is we're trying to re-create G-d's world. So we're deconstructing our world by taking apart - the way we're going to do it is we're going to set the charges, the depth charges, the demolition charges at the three infrastructure points, which are basically going to be - going backwards - time, space and light. So the first thing is as I traverse that first one, so here I am, I'm inside the Mishkan, I'm looking up. I look up at the ceiling, what do I see? I see the Yeri'ot, I see the Keruvim - I see these angels, I see these curtains. But what I don't see is the luminaries in the sky because I'm in indoors. So I've lost the luminaries. In essence I've lost time, I've lost those things that G-d allows me by which to keep time.
Now, how is time actually extinguished in the Mishkan? It's extinguished in another way too - and this gets to the idea in Emor. If you look at Emor you find a fascinating thing. That right after the Parshat Ha'mo'adim in Emor - and I spoke to you about this briefly in week 3 - but right after the Parshat Ha'mo'adim in Emor we go through all of the holidays. Okay, so here's what happens. We're here in Parshat Emor and we've just finished the Parshat Ha'mo'adim, we've gone through all of these holidays. The holidays are done and willy-nilly out of nowhere I hear about two implements of the Mishkan. I hear about the Menorah and I hear about the Table. And that's it. I don't hear about anything else, I don't hear about the Altars, I don't hear about nothing else, not the Aron. Why am I hearing about these things? Why am I hearing about them specifically where they are in Vayikra? They should have been somewhere else.
So here's the theory. As you listen to the Menorah, the Menorah gets told to you, we hear here's what you do with the Menorah. You take olive oil; La'ma'or - for light, and you make a Ner Tamid and you have this Ner Tamid, which is this light which lasts forever, which is constant, which means all night long. It has to burn all night long. Then it mentions it again; you have to; Ya'aroch oto Aharon mei'erev ad boker - it should be from night until morning; Lifnei Hashem tamid - you do it - again - Tamid. Chukat olam l'deroteichem - you do this forever. Al ha'Menorah ha'tehorah ya'aroch et ha'neirot lifnei Hashem tamid - you make it Tamid. So we hear about that three times. It just said the same thing three times. Three times you hear these things are Tamid.
Now here's the interesting things. This was right after the Parshat Ha'mo'adim. What does Mo'adim mean? So the word Mo'ed we translate as holiday but what it literally means is a meeting point, a meeting time. So if you think about it what a Mo'ed really means is a punctuated point in time, a point in time at which we meet. What would you say the opposite of a punctuated point in time is? The opposite of a point in time would be all time, which would be no points in time, just all time. That's Tamid. So Tamid is actually the opposite of Mo'ed. So right after we hear about Mo'ed we hear about Tamid.
Now what do we hear about? So now here's the thing. Here you have the Mishkan, the Mishkan is the un-construction of creation. So in creation the very first - so right in the beginning G-d says - actually the last infrastructure development, the creation of time, G-d says, you know why I'm giving you the sun and the moon and these stars, these things which are so good at keeping time? Vehayu l'otot ul'mo'adim - they're going to be for you for Mo'adim, which is G-d is saying, look you human beings I know what you want, you like Festivals, you like holidays, but you like holidays at particular points in time. I'm going to let you have your particular points in time, I'm going to give you the sun and the moon and the stars, you'll be able to have a calendar, it's going to be so good for you, you're going to have holidays, you're going to love it.
So then what happens? Human history develops to a point where G-d says; Eileh hem mo'adai - here are My holidays, I'm giving you these holidays. At that point those things have come to fruition; the sun and the moon and the stars have done their thing. G-d says yeah, but you know what you're going to do? After you have your holidays that you make, you're going to make Me a Mishkan and you're going to undo everything, because you're going to make a world for Me. I made a world for you where you can have these holidays, but you're going to make a world for Me. So what are you going to do? You're going to have to Tamid-ify everything. So what are you going to have to do? You're going to have to undo time, undo these punctuated points in time. So here's how you're going to do it.
In the Mishkan when you lose time, when you pass through the final Havdalah which takes away time, you're going to find there's going to be two implements there. There's going to be the Menorah and there's going to be the Table. Now the Menorah is going to be a thing that's going to help you take away time, because you humans, how do you experience time? You experience them as a function of the luminaries; the sun and the moon and the stars. Now what kinds of time does the sun and the moon and the stars allow you to count? In other words, now that you have a sun and moon and stars so what sorts of cycles can you start to count? Days. Well that's a very important thing. Months - by the lunar cycles of light and dark, and years - by when the days start getting longer and when the days start getting shorter. Those are all functions of light and dark cycles. There are three kinds of time, three kinds of cycles that you can count as a function of these luminaries; days, months and years.
But now you have to extinguish that symbolically in the Mishkan. How are you going to extinguish it? What you're going to do is you're going to go indoors where you don't have access to those things anymore and you're going to light light - when? In the evening when it's dark. What does that do? It evens out night and day so that there's a Tamid experience of light during the day - it's light because it's day, and then at night it's light because of the candles. So you're taking away the effect of the light and dark cycles created by the luminaries which allow you to get days, months and years. So you're going to have three kinds of Tamid now instead of three kinds of cycles. That's why there's three Tamids repeated over and over again in the thing.
What you're going to do, you humans, is that you're going to create a light - in other words, what did G-d do? G-d created these godly lights but you're going to cover over the effects of the godly lights by taking the night time and you're going to make human light and the human light is going to cover over god-darkness to even everything out, to take away the effect of the luminaries. And that's how you symbolically get rid of time.
But that only works for three out of four time cycles that human beings are used to. It works for days; you can get rid of days by artificial light, you can get rid of months by artificial light, and you can get rid of years by artificial light, because all of those things are a function of the luminaries of the light and dark cycles of the luminaries. And all you need to do is have artificial light and I can get rid of that. But there's one other type of cycle which we count that has nothing to do with light and dark cycles - and it's weeks. Human beings have an allegiance to weeks. Weeks are not a function of the sun and the moon and the stars. So what are weeks a function of and how do you get rid of those?
Enter the Table. So the Table is what? The Table - there's this bread and you leave the bread out how long? All week long. And at the end of the week the Kohanim come and they eat the bread. Now this was before there were stabilizers, before there were preservatives, and it's really fresh. Why was that bread so fresh after seven days? Answer is, no time. So what happens is the Table is going to extinguish the week part - the weeks - and get rid of that. How? The same way the Menorah did.
The Menorah used a human invention to cover over a G-d invention. G-d's invention were the luminaries, the human invention was artificial light, human-made light. So now we're going to do the same thing when it comes to weeks. Weeks are not a function of luminaries - how did weeks get there in the first place? Weeks actually got there because G-d made the world in six days, in six of these different epochs so to speak, whatever they were. And on the seventh day He rested. And that's how the whole concept of week got started. So weeks are a function of G-d's Melacha. G-d made stuff and made stuff and made stuff and at the very end He stopped, and the period that G-d made stuff and made stuff and made stuff and then stopped He called a week. And whenever we have weeks we commemorate that idea of G-d making stuff and making stuff and making stuff and stopping.
What did G-d make? So G-d made all this stuff. What do we relate to? We relate to all the stuff that G-d made. So G-d says great. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to cover over all the stuff I made. How are you going to cover over all the stuff I made? Well instead of eating the stuff I made which is like raw wheat and all of that, I want you to process everything, process the heck out of everything. And try to make My world as unrecognizable as possible and then eat it. So you say okay great, so here's what we're going to do, we're going to take Your stuff, Your wheat and Your wheat is nice, and green, and lush in the fields. We're going to kill it and then we're going to put it in the fields and make it all brown, and then we're going to get rid of most of it, we're going to take the seeds and we're going to chop those things into flour, so it's completely unrecognizable. Mix it with water, throw it into an oven for a while and bake it into this thing we call bread, and no one will ever know where the heck it came from. It's this big, refined thing that humans make.
G-d says exactly. You're going to make your Melacha on top of My Melacha and no one will see My Melacha anymore. That's how you get rid of My Melacha that created the week and what will happen? You're going to put it on this Table, and you're going to see, seven days are going to go by and it will be as fresh as before, because you've just gotten rid of My week.
So these are the devices - and by the way, how many times does the word Tamid appear with reference to the Table? Once. Why? Because there's only one cycle left to get rid of, the week cycle. Three cycles are gotten rid of by the Menorah, three Tamids; days, months and years, one cycle is gotten rid of by the Table; weeks. So two kinds of Tamid and before you know it, you're done with time. So that's how we get rid of time. You with me?
Okay, so here you are, your virtual reality tour of the Mishkan and I'm standing in the place with no time, and I'm facing the Parochet. The Parochet has the woven images of the Keruvim and I traverse the Parochet and I go from the Holy into the Holy of Holies. And I pass through another infrastructure development, I get rid of another infrastructure development. So I got rid of time before, which one am I getting rid of now? I'm getting rid of the second one; the second one was the creation of space. Which means now I'm in the realm without any space.
Okay, so now here's what happens. I'm in this realm and I'm looking at this Ark, and I'll be darned if the Ark doesn't take up any space! The Ark is 'spaceless', it doesn't take up any space. Why? Because I'm in - where am I? I am in the only thing left - there's no time anymore, there's no space anymore, the only thing that's still left that I haven't got rid of yet is light - I mean actually the domain of light. But according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity if you're in the domain of light which is from light's perspective, what happens to time and space? From light's perspective time and space actually go to zero, that's basic Theory of Relativity. So in a realm of light actually it's true that time and space actually go to zero, from light's perspective. So I'm in light's realm, there's nothing else, and in this realm this Ark, from light's perspective doesn't take up any space.
So that's why you have this paradox where it fits perfectly even though it seems to take up space, it just doesn't take up any space.
Similarly, you're in this realm and if you aren't the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur you die. Now is that because G-d is mean and vengeful and kills anybody who tries to approach Him? Why would G-d do that? The answer is no, you're getting closer and closer to G-d's realm, you've just destroyed habitable human space, and you expect to live? So if you're in a place where there's no habitable human space obviously everyone is going to die. The only one who is going to live is one person, the Kohen Gadol, on Yom Kippur, if he wears a spacesuit. What does his spacesuit look like? All white. Why all white? Well where is he? He's in the domain of light. So if you're in the domain of light what do you have to wear to survive? You've got to wear light. If you wear light you can survive. So if you wear your white clothes you can survive in this realm.
Okay, so here you are, now in this realm there's only one thing that exists, the only thing that exists is the Aron, this little box. Strange, when you think about this little box, when you look at how the Aron is described it says that it's overlaid with gold and it says that it's overlaid on the inside with gold and on the outside with gold. The language is; Mi'bayit u'mi'chutz tetzapenu - you should overlay it on the inside and on the outside. Now here's a little question for you. The words Mi'bayit u'mi'chutz - on the inside and on the outside overlay it, those appear twice in all of Tanach. One time with reference to the Aron and one time with reference to one other box. What's the only other box that was supposed to be slathered with something on the inside and on the outside with the language of Mi'bayit u'mi'chutz? The answer is Noah's ark. Mi'bayit u'mi'chutz ba'kopher - with pitch.
Now what's interesting is that pitch is the exact opposite if you think about what the Ark was covered with. Pitch is like the [yichy 70:13] black stuff, it's all sticky. What is gold? Smooth, reflective, gorgeous stuff. So they're inverses of each other, the ark and the - what do you call it - [Aron]? What was the ark? Noah's ark was this little place for man in a sea of the world which he couldn't survive in, and the ark was going to be the protective thing that sealed off and made this Noah's world as opposed to this other world. What was that other world? The other world was the flood; the flood is also the metaphor from the beginning of creation for what? For G-d's world. So it's like you can't exist in that world, but you can exist in this. So what you have to do is make very careful that none of that outside world comes inside, so you have to have something that reflects the world that you don't want in here. What would that be? Pitch. Pitch is very good at keeping water out.
What is happening in this world, in the Mishkan? In the Mishkan the exact inverse is taking place. Except what's inside is not man but it's a place for G-d. So you can view the Holy Ark, as it were - the Aron Kodesh, as actually the inverse of Noah's ark. It's not a place for man in G-d's world, it's a place for G-d in man's world. G-d can't really survive - G-d doesn't want to be in man's world, G-d is trying to get rid of all this stuff; space and time and light and all of these things. So we got rid of time with the Yeri'ot, we got rid of space with the Parochet, but here's there one other thing which doesn't work for G-d, which is there's light everywhere. Light doesn't exist in G-d's world, G-d's world was all dark. So light is the last remnant of man's world which you have gold here because what is gold? Gold is the reflector which is going to reflect off the light - Mi'bayit u'mi'chutz - to make sure that none of the light can get inside where it doesn't belong.
Fascinatingly, what is the top of the Ark called? The top of the Ark, the cover, is called the Kaporet. What was the stuff that the outside of Noah's ark was slathered with? Mi'bayit u'mi'chutz… V'chaparta ota - you should cover it, it's actually the same letters as Kaporet. It's its own kind of Kaporet. So there's this reverse imagery between these two - really kind of spooky.
Anyway, so here you are, you have one last partition to go through, your final partition to go through is the Keruvim themselves. The Keruvim themselves are now three-dimensional, they're in front of you, and what they are is man's version of G-d's Keruvim. So in other words, the original version of the Keruvim was God-created Keruvim. God-created Keruvim guarded God-created world, which is the Garden of Eden. But now there's a man-created world for G-d within this Aron. So what is man going to create? Man must create man-created Keruvim to guard this last refuge which is going to get rid of the final thing.
The final thing was the Havdalah which created light as we know it, which is that once you traverse that final thing what do you do? You get rid of the separation between the light and the dark and you get back to light not as we know it - which is the swirl of light energy and dark energy together, which is why the Torah says that inside the Aron, on the Luchot themselves, the Luchot were written with dark fire - black fire on white fire. It's these two energies, the black energy and white energy, together, and we say that's the closest we can get to G-d's world. We say to Aunt Sadie we've cleaned up our room, there's none of Jimmy's stuff; we've got rid of time, we've got rid of space, we've got rid of light, we've got rid of everything, all we have is the perfect void. We're taking You back to the world before You made it for us. The world of Tohu Vavohu - of chaos without time, the world of Choshech - without light as we know it or any kind of light, and the world of Mayim - which is the utter void, which is all we can do. We don't know what Your world is like but at least we've gotten rid of the stuff that You made specifically for us, so that way it can be Your pristine version of Your world, and that's how we re-create the world.
So basically what you have here is through creation and the Mishkan, the Torah talking to you in a way for generations. It's talking to you - right, this is a sort of forensic analysis of creation. It's not like G-d is trying to teach you this stuff. So if you say well, this is all very hidden - it is very hidden. It's not the purpose of the Torah to teach you this stuff. We're doing it by doing the Renoir experiment. We're taking what the Torah is actually saying, which is the Torah is not a scientific document, has very little interest in teaching you science, it just doesn't want to lie. So it's going to tell you the truth, it's going to talk to you in terms that are more or less what a fish would describe - the way you would describe to a fish in a fishbowl, and if you ever get to unpack it one day, so then you'll unpack it.
But it's not really designed for human beings to understand, it's designed for another purpose, it's designed to talk to man about his place in the cosmos - which it does in Pshat. World number 1, world number 2; we've talked to man about his place in the cosmos. Along the way, G-d doesn't want to lie, so He's going to talk about cosmic creation in terms that anybody can understand. And these are the terms that anybody can understand. But the Mishkan helps us unpack it when we have to get down to the business of actually creating G-d's world, we can begin to see what G-d had to do with creating ours.
So that's the end of this talk. I'm going to come back to the Keruvim in another series - this is really only half the story, there's a whole ethical side to the Keruvim. One way of looking at the Keruvim is how the Keruvim help us look at the past which is creation, but I think Keruvim also help us go forward and look at human destiny as well. So we'll get back to that in our next series, until then, have a good night and thanks for coming.
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