Let Your Light Shine

By Joshua Troderman

Posted on 21st December 2009

As the shortest day of the year comes to an end, an article that I had snipped out of The Boston Globe a year ago fell onto the floor as I pulled out one of my reference books.  'Dark energy' stunts galaxy growth, astrophysicists find, By Carolyn Y. Johnson (December 17, 2008).


Basically it touches on the astrophysical discovery that the universe is expanding even faster than anyone thought and most if it is this “mysterious dark matter,” which stunts the growth of galaxy clusters.

This antigravity force makes up roughly 70 percent of the universe.  This takes me back to a rabbi and JChoice friend’s concerns on a Jewish college campus, “What about the other 70 percent of Jewish kids that are not involved in Jewish life?”  

Is it a coincidence that the same percentage of our Jewish college age population (that run from anything that sounds “too Jewish”) fall into this same astrophysical conclusion’s “dark matter” percentage value?
What if it isn’t a coincidence at all?  Now I am not suggesting that it is “evil” to run from a college Jewish ice cream social event (especially if you are lactose intolerant), but there is something much larger going on than anyone quite understands.  
If 70 percent of the universe is a powerful force of anti-matter, how much “normal matter” is there?  The answer is apparently somewhere around 5% (This article never really explains what happened to the other 25%, but I will leave that for another day).
Some might say that those numbers are a grim revelation of an overwhelming dark power that is knocking out the galaxies of light.
But I would like to offer a different possibility.  What if it was never about quantity in the first place?  There is only one area to turn for value and that is quality.  I would like to suggest that this dark matter is indeed pure nothingness and it can expand all it wants to.  

All that matters is the little spark of light that we hold on to.  I will take this 5 percent of light any day over eternal nothingness.  To me, that is Judaism. We take it on faith and we cling to the light.   We carry on because well, we carry on.  The odds have always been stacking up against the Jewish people from the beginning. The universe can spin its space and nothingness and darkness for 13 billion years like a hamster on a wheel in a cage: it moves and moves but goes nowhere.  It is a waste of energy. (Hmm..but we could hook up the wheel to a generator some day…)

Should we put our faith in an honest 5% of matter that you know is real because everything else is illusion?  Wealth comes and goes as it circulates in its own course, but the light is so precious.  There is a goodness and a sweetness that only the light can provide, like a glimpse into eternity.

For me, there is no question in my mind that God is behind this cosmic operation and we are meant to be the light unto the nations.  Not that Jewish people are better than anyone else, far from it.  We just have been handed a torch and have to find new ways in every generation to keep it burning, that’s all.  Otherwise the light could go out. And with Chanukah still fresh on the brain, no way.  As the Darfur campaign would say, “not on my watch.”  (EXPLORE THIS CAUSE ON JCHOICE: Jewish World Watch - Solar Cooker Project) is a beacon of faith for all that love the light.   At JChoice, we aim to open the doors to an inclusive Judaism that recognizes all humanity. Jews are charged to keep the light going but anyone can have the calling to understand it.  And please, by all means, help us learn together.

 We have launched, and like a rocket, we are heading to the stars.  The thing is, we are actually on our way to lighting up the universe…
…And all with the click of a mouse.
It turns out that the stars are right here on earth, inside everyone's heart and soul, just waiting to shine.
And we are just getting started. Come let your light shine!


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