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Mattot

Parshat Matot, NUmbers 30:2-32:42. מַּטּוֹת a.k.a. Mattoth or Mattos

A Girl in a State of Superposition

In my recent post Secrets of the Talking Ass I discussed the phenomenon of Bein HaShmashot (twilight or dusk), which is neither day, nor night, nor both, nor neither, but rather a unique state having its own unique status and laws associated with it. What is interesting about Bein HaShmashot from our point of view is that it is uncannily similar to a quantum-mechanical state of superposition. As we discussed in that blog, an electron can be in a state of superposition of having its spin be up and down (with angular momentum directed clockwise and counterclockwise) or a photon in a state of superposition of horizontal and vertical polarization, or the Schrödinger cat in a state of superposition of being alive and being dead. Just as Bein HaShmashot the cat is neither [...]

Matos-Massei – Annulment of Vows

עַל כֵּן יַעֲזָב אִישׁ אֶת אָבִיו וְאֶת אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְאִשְׁתּו וְהָיוּ לְבָשָר אֶחָ דֹ …A man shall detach himself from his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Bereshit 2:24) A story is told about a bachur (unmarried young man) who came in the 60s to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for the yechidus (private audience) telling the Rebbe that he wanted to go college. Those days, American colleges, by and large, where not exactly institutions of higher learning but, more often, venues for drugs, sex and rock and roll. The Rebbe strongly advised the visitor against going to college, but the young man was hell-bound on going through with his plan. The Rebbe said to him, “Even if you don’t care about the spiritual dangers and [...]