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Light, Action
by Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover

For more than half a century, scientists have dreamed of creating tiny stars, which would provide an endless source of cheap energy as well as a ready-made laboratory for investigating the inner workings of stars. The materialization of this dream depends on being able to pull off nuclear fusion here on earth, a process that normally takes place inside of stars. Under conditions of high temperature and pressure, hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium, thereby releasing immense waves of energy.

We may now be at the cusp of the materialization of this dream. The site is NIF, the National Ignition Facility in California, which uses lasers to generate the energy needed for nuclear fusion.

An initially small burst of energy is emitted by a tiny hand-held laser. However, after passing through NIF’s series of 3,200 mirrors, lenses and amplifiers, the tiny beam grows in intensity, millions of times over. Multiply that by 192, the total number of NIF lasers, all working in unison, and scientists hope that they can generate enough energy for nuclear fusion.

Many doubts have been cast on the validity and feasibility of this project. So far, the energies generated in NIF have fallen well short of the energy required for nuclear fusion. Some scientists wonder whether the potential returns are worth the enormous investment of time and money—nearly 7,000 employees over 12 years, at a cost of $140 million per year. However, the project’s director, Dr. Ed Moses, argues that it is all worthwhile. Any great endeavor involves risks, and the investment is worth it because of the potential reward.

“If fusion energy works,” he said, “you’ll have, for all intents and purposes, a limitless supply of carbon-free energy that’s not geopolitically sensitive. What more would you want?”

For over 2,000 years, a cosmic process has been underway, to bring the most potent Divine light and energy down here to earth. These Divine lights are generated by a relatively modest initial output of energy. Each mitzvah that we perform is like igniting a small laser. However, each mitzvah that we do becomes magnified in the supernal realms, and will eventually return to earth in the form of the most intense G-dly revelation ever experienced, with the complete and final Redemption.

Some people wonder if the hope, anticipation and efforts toward bringing Moshiach are nothing but a pipe dream. Is it even feasible to think that we can finally bring G-d’s presence down here to earth? Yet the potential good—the possibility for world peace and the perfection of the universe as G-d originally intended—is so great that it is worth any outlay of energy. This is particularly true since the actions we are asked to do to bring Moshiach—to increase in acts of goodness and kindness—are relatively simple. Yet don’t be fooled. Each mitzvah, each act of kindness that we do has an exponential effect. With even one act, one kind deed, we can bring the final Redemption to this world, forever.

Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover is chairman of the Center of Magnetohydrodynamic Studies and Training at Ben-Gurion University.


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