Based on observations, scientists say that the entire universe began with a “big bang.”

     All of the matter of the universe was originally compressed into an infinitely small “pellet”:

    “Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something – a ‘singularity’. [1] Where did it come from? We don’t know. Why did it appear? We don’t know.” [2]

     Yes – where did it come from?

     What did it explode into, if the space-time continuum didn’t exist until the explosion?

     How did the explosion create a universe of consistent, knowable physical laws?

     Should we even care?

     Jewish teaching says, “Yes.”

    Torah says, “In the beginning, G-d created…” suggesting that the “creation” is separate from the Creator. Rashi’s translation differs but suggests the same thing.

    Human creation is like that – a person collects materials from outside himself – wood, copper, brass, etc. – and puts them together to make a house. After he’s finished and walks away, the house is still there. The builder doesn’t have to be there for the house to continue being there; the creation and the creator are separate. This is true of anything a human being creates.

    But the Besht — the Ba’al Shem Tov — teaches us that Divine creation is different: the Hebrew letters of G-d’s words remain in everything created to continue giving it all  “life” and existence, even today! [*]

     In traditional prayers, too, we say of G-d, “Ha-m’chadesh b’tu’vo b’chol yom tamid ma’ah’seh b’rei’shith” – [G-d is the One] Who continually renews the creation daily, in His Goodness.” G-d is constantly creating the Universe (or universes) – even at this very moment!

    Kabbalah and Hasidut go even further: The “materials” out of which G-d is creating are themselves not separate from G-d (as the wood, copper, etc. are from the human house builder). G-d, creating “from” and “within” Himself, is always “in” the things created. In truth, “אלץ איז גאט: Altz eez G-t. All is G-d.” [3]

     Thus, the actual material of the “big bang,” whatever its form, wasn’t separate from G-d: “v’Hu ha-ya, v’Hu ho-veh, v’Hu y’h’yeh…” – Who was, Who is, Who (always) will be. [4]. It’s not separate after the “big bang,” even now.

     “Matter is not something apart from Divinity, but only the visible aspect of Divinity…” [5]

     The appearance of being separate from G-d is based on the impression that our senses give us. Even scientific observation is based on the senses.

     The knowledge of G-d’s intimate connection with all things, unknowable by the senses, must be perceived by the mind and heart alone.

    “Everything that exists is continually in the process of creation; and the Creator resides with and in that which He is creating…We must therefore realize that [G-d] is nearer to man than man may postulate Him to be.” [6]

     The rest is “realizing”: “knowing” by “direct personal experience.”

     Now, go and pray or meditate.

    “Who knows, but that the universe is not one vast sea of compassion actually, the veritable holy honey, beneath all this show of personality and cruelty?” [7]


[1] “Singularity” is a technical term. See:
[*] An essential Hasidic teaching, found in numerous sources; See “Sha’ar ha-Yichud…” (pt. 2 of “Tanya”)
[3] Jay Michaelson cites Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik Epstein. “Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik Epstein (1770-1857) …rabbi of…Homel in White Russia for 58 years, was a leading figure in the first 3 generations of Chabad Chassidism.”
[4] from “Adon Olam,” found in most siddurim/Jewish prayerbooks.
[5] Lichtenstein, Rabbi Morris; Jewish Science and Health; p. 17
[6]  Lichtenstein, Rabbi Morris; Jewish Science and Health; p. 13-14.
[7]  Kerouac, Jack; The Origins of the Beat Generation; Playboy; June 1959