Unified Field Theory

By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried

Dear Rabbi Fried,

I have been studying Unified Field Theory and am intrigued by the fact that it has been an intense search for many years and still no clear answer. I know that science and religion are two separate subjects, but I still wondered if Judaism has anything to say about this question and perhaps why the answer is so elusive?

Martin K.

Dear Martin,

As you mentioned, science and religion are separate fields, but there are points where the two converge.

There is no direct treatment of this subject in Torah writings, but I will share with you my own theory on this subject, based upon the deeper teachings of Torah.

Unified Field Theory is an attempt to bridge two seemingly contradictory theories of how the universe works, Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Relativity explains the motion of large objects and their relationship to each other and energy. Quantum theory explains the activity of subatomic particles. Relativity is logical and predictable, whereas quantum theory shows how the universe is highly unpredictable.

Einstein spent the last 30 years of his life attempting to bridge this gap with one comprehensive theory. His motivation — if there is only one G-d there can’t be two contradictory ways that He runs the universe. Although he was ridiculed by physicists at the time, decades later this pursuit became one of the key searches of physicists, to unite these two theories into one “Unified Field Theory.” A number of attempts have been made, most notably superstring theory or string theory, one which is both profound and elusive, quite difficult to understand and still lacking many key aspects to reconcile this conundrum.

My theory is that the final reconciliation of this problem will be part of the great revelation of the Oneness of G-d which will come in Messianic times. What I mean is the following.

Similar to the apparent contradiction in physics mentioned above is a seeming contradiction in the spiritual world, in the way that G-d runs the world. The deeper sources of Torah teach that, at times, G-d exercises the principle of reward and punishment, a logical, understandable system of Providence. This is called the Rule of Justice. At other times, when He sees fit, the world is run irrespective of man’s actions and merits. He rather showers the world with bounty, or the opposite, brings upon the world difficult times, just because He understands that is what is needed by the world at that time. This is called the Rule of Mazal and defies human comprehension completely. It would seem that these systems are totally contradictory.

The Kabbalistic sages explain that these two systems are, in fact, two sides of one coin. Although we cannot comprehend how they work together in this world, in the next world, when we are shown the absolute and total Oneness of G-d, we will also be shown how these systems are not only contradictory, but form one seamless Providential system of G-d. (See Daas Tevuonos of Ramchal, end section.)

The Kabbalists teach us that every physical creation has a deeper spiritual dimension. I conjecture that the spiritual dimension of relativity is the Rule of Justice, one which makes sense to us and is comprehensible. The spiritual side of quantum mechanics is the Rule of Mazal, which is incomprehensible to us.

When the great day comes that we will be shown the understanding of both systems and how they form one Providential system, together with that will come the full understanding of how relativity and quantum theory work together; we will then be shown the Unified Field Theory, which will no longer be a theory but a fact.

This thesis is my own theory; please contemplate it and feel free to offer your comments.

Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried is dean of DATA-Dallas Area Torah Association.Unified Field Theory

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