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Naso

Parshat Naso, Numbers 4:21-7:89. נָשֹׂא

God Collapses the Sotah’s Wavefunction

The story of Sotah, a suspected adulteress, is very troubling on the first blush. Why would a woman be subjected to such humiliation?  The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, points out that, to the contrary, the story of Sotah is the story of boundless love of the Creator for his people.  Notwithstanding the strict Biblical prohibition of erasing God’s name, to vindicate the wrongly accused woman, God allows and, indeed, decrees to erase His holy Name by dissolving the scriptural verses written on a parchment in the water that the woman would drink to clear her name.  For as long as a woman is being suspected of infidelity, she cannot be intimate with her husband.  It takes a Divine intervention, whereby God sacrifices His honor in allowing erasing His holy Name, to restore [...]

Sotah – Suspected Adulteress as a Schrödinger Cat

In quantum mechanics, the state of a physical system is described by the so-called wave function (or the "wavefunction").  What is the wavefunction?  The attempts by Schrödinger, who first introduced the wavefunction, and others to interpret it as a scalar potential of some physical field or as de Broglie wave (as in particle-wave dualism) were not successful.  In 1926, Max Born noticed that the square of the amplitude of the wavefunction of a particle in a given region gives the probability of finding the particle in this region of configuration space.  He suggested that the wavefunction represented not a physical reality but rather our knowledge of the quantum state of an object. The wavefunction represents our knowledge of all possible quantum-mechanical states of an object.  In other words, the quantum-mechanical state of a physical [...]