Science + Torah = Good 4 All

The above video, from one of my favorite science channels — IN A NUTSHELL — explains that science has determined that everything in the universe can be reduced to 17 basic particles and 4 fundamental forces. (See video for particulars.) When I heard these numbers my mind went straight to the significance in Jewish thought of these numbers. The number 17 in gimatriya (Hebrew numerology) is the equivalent value of the word טוב (Tov), meaning “good.” This word appears repeatedly in the Creation account in Genesis 1, as though the text is hinting to the 17 particles makeup of Creation. The number 4 throughout Jewish thought is always related to the Tetragrammaton, or Four-Letter Name of God, the primary name of God used throughout Hebrew Scripture. To me, this scientific discovery is like the universe screaming  of its relationship to the Creator, and shouting out loud, “God is good!” Torah-observant Jews recite Psalm 145 three times daily, in which verse 9 states: “God is good to all!” The Hebrew – טוב ה’ לכל – contains three consecutive terms — (1) “Tov” – the Hebrew word meaning “good” with the numerical value 17; (2) God’s 4-letter name (abbreviated here for reasons of sanctity); and (3) “LaKol” – meaning “to all.” I feel this verse hints at the scientific concept described above, that 17 particals + 4 forces = all; I.e. everything in the universe is comprised of 17 particles and 4 forces.

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