Sunday, February 10, 2013

The diversity of humanity

"[Gd created Adam as an individual] in order to publicize Divine greatness. A person mints many coins from one stamp and all of them reseble each other. The King of kings of kings, Gd, minted each person from the stamp of Adam the First, and one does not resemble the other."

(Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5)

Have a great day,


  1. I noticed that when people design something, we use simple geometric shapes, and when we want permanence, we make it out of something more robust. When Hashem designs something, He relies on chaotic systems which converge on fractal designs and heel when broken.

    This is why His "stamp" creates many faces. Hashem doesn't program a person with a face, He created a process that (almost always) converges on functional faces.

    And because of this, wounds heal, the ecology heals after a fire, and we get far more stability than had He merely tried to minimize the chance of initial breakage.

  2. R' Micha-
    Are you saying that human creations tend toward the static, and Divine creations tend toward the dynamic?

  3. As someone who writes software for a living, that's not a thought that would generally come to me. Although the human soul is dynamic in a way that software is not.

    What I wrote started out as an observation about why people find it so hard to find design in Creation. I think it's at least partly because human-designed things are made of simple geometric shapes, easier things for us to comprehend. But, it leaves us with machines that when they break, need human involvement and replacement parts to repair.

    Hashem designs things that heal, and certainly isn't limited by His Intellect to work in the simplest shapes necessary for the job. Therefore, He not so much stamps out coins as makes a process where "coins" make themselves. This way, objects that have smaller breaks can actually heal, remake themselves to be whole enough to function.

    When a computer loses access to some vital segment of memory, the computer ceases to work. When a person with MS or a stroke loses use of part of their brain, in many cases the brain "rewires" itself to use a different area to get the job done.

    The computer comes in a rectangular box that screams man-made artifact, and when you open it up you find rectangular cards with rectangular chips, with linear traces of metal connecting them and circles where those wires connect to other things.

    And before that, man-made objects would be rectangular bricks and circular mills and oil presses.

    So, we have a habit of associating simple shapes with design. And then the complex fractals of nature no longer look "designed" -- even when they reflect far more complex machinery. Or at least we can fool ourselves into thinking so.

    Hashem hides his "coin stamping" behind nature. Hashem made a process by which a lump of biochemicals coalesce into a face -- and that's how each one ends up differently. The process takes you to this general area of possibilities, not just one. It's also why we can fool ourselves with notions like evolution being an alternative to Divine Design (rather than a possible avenue of implementation). And why Hashem's world is still going, and our machines don't last nearly as long -- we try to make the unbreakable, He makes things that heal.