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Who? What? Where? When?
Among those who work in the field of elementary particle physics, there is a growing realization that our concepts of time and space arise from physical principles that operate outside the realm of time and space.
Scientists hope that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive particle accelerator in Switzerland, will smash particles together with enough force to release the ties binding them to our familiar three dimensions. The experiments performed by the LHC will allow us a rare glimpse into a wondrous universe where anything is possible – where you can pass through walls and be everywhere and nowhere at once.
Being able to float freely through space is only an intermediate station for the truly wild imaginings of scientists, who theorize about the possibility of traveling through time. Of course, time travel must overcome too many technical challenges and paradoxes to ever become an actuality. However, this does not stop physicists and mathematicians from gleefully dabbling in it as if it were already the reality.
Many scientific and mathematical advances are driven by the “as if” principle. Scientists are encouraged to suspend disbelief for the moment, ignore the technical barriers and obstacles, and simply try to imagine what time travel, or weightlessness, or perpetual motion, might be like. Based on their idealized versions of reality, they can then take the small steps needed to build a prototype machine that might work, that might bring that reality just a little bit closer. Time travel may never be possible, but that doesn’t stop scientists from trying to envision it and proposing ideas for how to achieve it.
The same is true in the spiritual dimension. We deal every day with concepts that seem too remote to ever be real – world peace, a palpable experience of G-dliness, eternal life. An existence in which we will have no desire for evil, and will want only to study Torah and help one another. This reality seems too outlandish to be true, too far from human nature as we know it.
But the Lubavitcher Rebbe has encouraged us to suspend disbelief and act “as if.” Act as if the Redemption is already here. As if G-dliness is already tangible. As if the entire world is already living in a state of complete unity and harmony. And the more we try to imagine this reality and live with it, the closer we bring it to fruition. The best way to begin to live with the Redemption, says the Rebbe, is through studying Torah sources on the subject of Moshiach and Redemption. Study of these topics has the power in itself to hasten the Redemption, when spirituality will cease to be theoretical but will become our living reality.
 

 


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