Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teshuva with the help of G-d

(curvature of space and time, according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity — source)

In one of the previous posts, I wrote:
So, some people say that [...] an electron is actually a four-dimensional wave. Its interaction with quantum labeler changes its energy such that it becomes collapsed. Its interaction with quantum eraser restores the same energy level and restores the electron's wave — but, it restores it back in four dimensions (including the time), such that the electron is now a wave "again", not just in the space, but also in the time, including the point in the past where it passed through the slit. 
(I think this would be a good moshol for teshuva that [one] could use. When a person does teshuva, he goes back and erases his sin — in fact, turns his sin into a mitzva. This is because, although to our perception, we exist as a point on the time line, always moving forward, in reality, we exists in all possible dimensions at the same time. And, by making teshuva, we interact, with G-d's help, with ourselves in the past.)
I wrote "with G-d's help" deliberately, and not just because it is customary to do so when you're saying that you will accomplish something (i.e., as a more frum way of saying "hopefully"). There was some thought at the back of my mind when I was writing the above, but I didn't attend to it fully at the time. This morning, I thought more about it.

In reality, perhaps the moshol is not the most accurate. Because even though according to the above model, the electron is a four-dimensional wave (and there are other models that don't require that), there is no indication that we exist as a four-dimensional being, and that our past is as much an aspect of our reality as the present. I.e., there is no indication that we, "ourselves", can interact with our past, just like we can interact with our space by picking up a cup¹.

On the other hand, for G-d Almighty, past, present and future exist as one reality on the same level. The space, time, and whatever other physical or spiritual dimensions — all exist as one point, one singularity, for G-d.

(As an aside, I wanted to mention that my professor of German would sometimes show us German movies — for 15 minutes at the end of every class. After he was done with a particular DVD, he would "rewind" it, like one would a tape. And by that I mean he would press << on his DVD remote and wait until the movie reached the beginning. Eventually, someone explained to him that you don't have to rewind DVDs, just like you don't have to "rewind" books. Although, of course, a movie or a novel do no exist on a DVD or in a book as one single nekuda...)

That is why, if we reach to the Essence of G-d, to the point above all structure, space and time, we are able to change the past, so to speak, since past and present there are one. We do this by reaching to our yechida sh'b'nefesh, the essence of our soul, by performing teshuva, repentance. This is really the point of Yom Kippur — why it is so holy. Not that it is the day on which the sins are forgiven, but that it is the day on which we are one with Hashem, and on that level, a) no separations (sins) can exist between us and Him, and b) we are able to nullify our sins or even change them into mitzvos.

That is why the concept of teshuva is so important in Chassidus. If you will, teshuva is the reason why the world was created. The world exists as a seemingly separate entity from G-d. Our job is to reveal G-d's Essence in the world, to reveal oneness of G-d with the world. So, this is the ultimate teshuva — teshuva for the whole world. Space and time, perhaps. Because by revealing that the world is one with G-d today, we go back in the time and transform the "sin" (so to speak) — the existence of the world for all millenia in a state of concealment of G-d — into a "mitzva", revelation of G-d. We show that all the existence of the world, even in a form of concealment, was only for the purpose of (eventual) revelation of G-d in the world.

This way, we achieve perfect oneness of G-d with the world — not just with the space of the world, but also with the time of the world. May it happen speedily in our days.

¹ Of course, nothing we do even in our everyday reality is "by ourselves". Everything we do is with the help of G-d, since G-d is creating the Universe every second. So, if I want to move a cup, I have to will it, and then G-d responds to that with the Universe re-created with cup moved (plus everything that needs to happen in my brain, muscles, etc., for me to move my hand).

Which means that on the one hand, when we punch someone's nose, we are asking Hashem to do something not nice. On the other hand, when someone punched us in the nose, it was really Eibeshter that did so — the other guy's decision to do so is between him and Eibeshter. Our nose would not get punched had we not deserved it.

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