Friday, January 04, 2019

Reality, What a Concept

The purpose of this blog is to add some gravity to the Friday Night dinner table. Please share.

tunnelcrash.jpgThis week: A Rorschach Test and the Chinese moon-landing for your Shabbat table.

First, the Rorschach Test:

What's your reaction to the images on the left?

Some people find it amusing that someone could be so unaware as to think they could drive through a painted tunnel.

Some people think it's a cruel trick, and feel sorry for the driver.

Some spoil-sports claim it never happened.

But . . . on two levels, the image gives us two great questions for the table:

1. Did you ever experience reality not being what it first seemed to be?
2. What are the two levels of this allegedly illusionary image?

Regarding the moon-landing. Ask: Do you think it happened, or could it be a grand Chinese hoax?

Ask: By the way, how come the moon keeps going around us, and doesn't fly off into space?

Somebody is going to say, "Gravity."

Hmm.... Try this: Ask everyone at the table to pick up a glass or other semi-heavy object and hold it on the palm of the hand. You feel something pulling it down on your hand. What is this force?

Again, someone will say, Gravity.

But gravity is just a name. It means "heaviness". It doesn't explain what the force is, where it comes from, and how it somehow goes through your hand and pulls the object downward. And apparently nobody can explain this.

All we know is that Planet Earth is trying very hard to accelerate the glass (and everything else) downward at a rate of 9.6 meters per second per second. Fortunately, our muscles are stronger than this mystery force, so we can walk around and hold glasses and so on.

But maybe it's a good thing we don't understand gravity yet. China has some pretty clever engineers who are already mastering quantum engineering. I'm not sure we're ready for them to start experimenting with our gravity.

Or would that become the new normal?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Did you solve last week's riddle-title?

Enjoyed this Table Talk? Vote with your fingers!  , , forward it....

As always, this message can be read online at

Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld PhD
Jewish Spiritual Literacy, Inc.
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Baltimore, MD 21215-3620
(410) 400-9820
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