A Carousel of Time

“And the seasons they go round and round.”  Cantor Marty Goldstein created the mood for our Tu B’Shevat Seder last week by starting us off (warming us up) with this Joni Mitchell classic.

So, are we captured “on a carousel of time?”

Brian Greene , the physicist from Columbia University is back on the book tour trail trying yet again to help us mere mortals understand modern physics.  The name of his new book, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos could just as easily be a primer on Kabbalah as much as an attempt to conceive of a unified field theory (getting the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics to work together).

Dr. Greene has dedicated his research to string theory. Listen to the parallels to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life:

“String theory smooths out the mathematical inconsistencies that currently exist between quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. It posits that the entire universe can be explained in terms of really, really small strings that vibrate in 10 or 11 dimensions — meaning dimensions we can’t see. If it exists, it could explain literally everything in the universe — from subatomic particles to the laws of speed and gravity.  When a physicist mentions 10 or 11 dimensions my first association is the Tree of Life and its 10 (or 11) Sefirot.

What caught my attention though was Greene’s final comment in his interview on Fresh Air.  When Terry Gross asks him, “What is the one thing you would most want to know?”  Green answers: , “I’d love to understand how our universe started and associated with that is the most puzzling question of all,  what is time, what is the nature of time? We all live within time, but what is it?” It is very rewarding to hear that even something as fundamental as time is still a mystery.

As a child I loved carousels.  I would scope out the animal or figure I wanted to ride, but it was an experience which taught me about time.  I had to wait for my time (turn) and then enjoy every second even as the music ended and the ride slowed down.  There was always that moment, going up and down, that transported me into timelessness, a sensation that I could feel through my body.

We often wonder if we have enough time to get on all the carousels that are out there. Tomorrow evening come join us for an evening of meditative chanting with visiting Rabbi, Andrew Hahn.  Next Thursday evening, for our next installment of Kabbalah Live, come join us to meet Rabbi Joe Black.  These are carousel rides that will transport you beyond time.

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