Recently, a group of scientists from around the world announced they have discovered a property of light they call “self torque.”  What is fascinating about this research is reseachers suggest that it might be possible to use this self-torque property to modulate the orbital angular momentum of light in ways that are similar to modulating radio frequencies in communications equipment. This would lead to the development of novel devices that make use of manipulating materials on a very small scale. This technique may also be used to enhance optical communications and imaging.
- Laura Rego et al. Generation of extreme-ultraviolet beams with time-varying orbital angular momentum, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw9486
This new discovery led to scientists being able to creation dynamic vortex pulses by interfering two incident time delayed vortex beams having different orbital angular momenta through the process of high harmonic generation. Orbital angular momentum of light (OAM) is the component of angular momentum of a light beam that is dependent on the field spatial distribution, and not on the polarization. It can be further split into an internal and an external OAM. The internal OAM is an origin-independent angular momentum of a light beam that can be associated with a helical or twisted wavefront. The external OAM is the origin-dependent angular momentum that can be obtained as cross product of the light beam position (center of the beam) and its total linear momentum. Scientists have known of the property of light known as “wavelength” for a long time, this is part of what we know as the electromagnetic spectrum. Different colors of visible light correspond to different frequencies. The more recent research (2019) has revealed this property of angular momentum, where beams of light that have highly structured angular momentum are said to have OAM and are called vortex beams. These beams of light appear as a helix shape and when striking a flat surface form the shape of a donut. As researchers were experimenting with this type of light beam, they discovered the light behaving in a way that had never been seen before. The research paper from the journal of Science  reported the experiments they used involved firing two lasers at a cloud of argon gas which led to the beams of light overlapping to become a single beam as the light exits the argon gas. What they observed as a vortex that looked like a corkscrew with a gradually changing twist. When the beam struck a flat surface, it formed a crescent moon image. The explanation for this phenomenon was that a single proton at the front of the beam was rotating slower than the proton at the back of the beam. This led to the naming of the property as “self torque.” This discovery is so fantastic because it is newly discovered, but most importantly, it is a property that nobody has ever predicted before. Consider this for a moment, from a purely theoretical perspective, scientists from the preceding centuries have never theorized this was possible! This is truly a new and novel discovery where researchers experimentally validate a new property of light beams, manifested as a time-varying OAM along the light pulse!
The spiritual insight that we receive from this type of research comes from the Zohar. According to the Zohar Volume 1, Bereshit A.6, “the first of the details of the creation of the world was ‘let there be light.’” In addition to this, in Bereshit A.6.31, the rabbis say “everything that comes forth and emanates in the world proceeds according to the secret of the words ‘let there be light.’” In Bereshit A.6.34, the Zohar states that the light went forth and illuminated the seven letters of the aleph-bet, then darkness came forth and seven more letters come forth. A dispute arose between the left and the right and the intermediary made peace, and eight more letters came forth which consist of the 22 letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet. As the firmament congealed, the letters assumed their intended shapes, and the Torah was then inscribed referring to Zeir Anpin which is called the Torah, to shine outward to the lower beings. In Bereshit A.6.35, the Zohar states “the phrase ‘let there be light’ alludes to the Name great El (God) … Hence it is written ‘let there be’ (Yehi) implies the Sefirah of Chesed and Zeir Anpin called ‘Great El’ (the great God).” In Bereshit A.6.37 the Zohar draws in the concept of light to the central pillar of the Sefirot (Tiferet) stating this light is the foundation of the world. This central pillar is also known as the intermediary, Moshiach, and follows what Paul wrote as the Messiah being the first born of creation, and that through Him all things were created, hold together, and have their being.
1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. 1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 1:19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, (NASB)
It is interesting to observe the rabbinic mystical interpretation of light and its properties drawing out the Messianic expectation of creation, existence, form, and being! The Zohar continues going on to describe the light in the following way according to Bereshit A.12.142 speaking of the light as it is connected to the three pillars of the Sefirot in a slightly different way.
Zohar Volume 1, Bereshit A.12.142
The third light is the light that combines these two lights, which represent the left and the right columns of the Sefirot. It is the light that shines for healing. The secret of that which is written about Jacob: “And the sun rose upon him” (Bereshit / Genesis 32) is related to this third light and the verse is talking assuredly after Jacob became included within that eventide, namely the darkness of the left column, and was in need of healing. Therefore, it is written, “And the sun rose upon him” to heal him from the darkness of the left. From here onward, that is, after Jacob drew down the light of the central column, the verse continues, “And he limped upon his thigh.” “His thigh” is an allusion to the Sfirah of Netzach or Zeir Anpin, which is called Yisrael, because the two Sefirot Netzach and Hod are called the two thighs.
The two lights spoken of here according to Bereshit A.12 are referring to Abraham and Isaac in this section of the Zohar. The rabbis interpret this to correspond to the three columns of the Sefirot, the left and the right (Abraham and Isaac), and the central pillar (Jacob), corresponding to the light from the left and right combining and forming the central pillar. The secret of the third light is related to Bereshit / Genesis 32 which brings healing. This is a very interesting concept as we remember from the Zohar Bereshit A.6 (see study here) we are told there are three forces identified as the pillars of the Serfirot, the Right, the Left, and the Central Columns. The right side signifies the positive pole [+] which corresponds to the desire to share, and the left side represents the negative pole [-] corresponding to the desire to receive. The central pillar is said to correspond to our “free will” whereby we can choose to resist the desire to receive and nurture the desire to share. The concepts presented here in the Zohar Bereshit A.6 describe these two sides requiring the need of an intermediary to guide them. The Zohar then states in the second day of creation, a dispute broke out between the two sides of the firmament. The left side wanted to cancel the right, and the right side wanted to cancel the left and as a result of this dispute, Hell (Gehenom) was created and cleaved to the left. The interpretation follows that an intermediary came along on the third day (Tiphareth, Beauty) and brought peace between the two sides ending the dispute between the left and the right and so Hell let go of the left and descended below. Taking these concepts from the Zohar Bereshit A.6 coupled with the Zohar Bereshit A.12.142, the secret mentioned about Jacob in relation to the verse “And the sun rose upon him” (Bereshit / Genesis 32) representing this third light, the central pillar, is a messianic expectation that shines upon Jacob and comes from him (from his seed).
Something I want to stress in regards to this study is that I am not espousing that Christians or Messianics should follow Rabbinical (Talmudic) Judaism by referring to the Rabbinic literature and/or by the study of the Zohar. I believe the dangers of this were one of major concepts brought out and argued against according to the Jerusalem counsel ruling in Acts 15. What we are trying to do here is to understand how the rabbis interpret these Scriptures, where from a Christian perspective, this is a way of thinking outside of the box. The box referring to the unbiblical modern theologies that are being taught today. It is interesting to observe from the Rabbinic literature, and specifically from the mystical teachings of the Zohar, how each letter, word, and verse is divinely inspired in which the rabbis draw out a central theme that permeates all of Scripture, which is the teaching of the One whom God sends as His Anointed one, the Messiah who redeems His people, leads the nations to truth, righteousness, holiness, and justice, and sets all men free from the bondage of sin, to those who seek Him and ask to be set free!
The mystical teaching from Volume 1 of the Zohar isn’t without Scriptural backing. Consider the following verses from the Scriptures that tend to parallel this teaching: Isaiah 24:6, 49:6, 52:10, 60:3, John 8:12, Acts 13:47, and Acts 26:22-24. Note, this is not an exhaustive list, and I encourage for further study to dig into the Scriptures and find other parallels to the Zohar use of the light of God during creation and its connection to God’s Salvation, Redemption, and Messiah.
I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations (NASB)
He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (NASB)
The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God. (NASB)
Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. (NASB)
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (NASB)
For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'” (NASB)
But I have had God’s help to this day, and I stand here to testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen: that Christ would suffer, and as the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to our people and to the Gentiles.” At this stage of Paul’s defense, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, “You are insane, Paul! Your great learning is driving you to madness!” (BSB)
In Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, and 60:3 the prophet Isaiah speaks of the light, of Israel being the light to the nations, of God’s salvation being a component of the light which represents righteousness and truth. Yeshua used this analogy to describe Himself, as that central pillar that brings with it peace, redemption, an intermediary as a light to reveal to us God’s truth. In John 8:12 Yeshua says “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (NASB) speaking of who he is, the One who teaches us how to live according to the Torah leading both the Jew and the Gentile (Acts 13:14, Acts 26:22-24) in God’s ways, and provides a way for the Gentiles to enter into a relationship with God, to receive His Spirit into their hearts and to be transformed for the glory of God! As we can see from the Scientific research, there is more to light than we had once previously known. As Scientists continue to study light there may be more things man will discover about one of the first things God created according to Bereshit / Genesis 1. From the Zohar, the rabbis describe the light as the power of God to create, for the revelation of the Torah and its creation, for the central pillar that represents His Messiah who brings peace, truth, and life to all who seek Him and want Him in their lives. The prophets wrote about this truth according to Isaiah, and the Apostolic Writings speak of this connection to creation, the Torah, and God’s Messiah as being the One who draws all men to the One True God giving them everlasting life, rest, and peace forever! The things that we are learning here are so exciting, to realize from the beginning, God created a way for man to be saved, to draw near to Him, and to receive life everlasting. The power of God as described in the light, is what Yeshua does (Acts 13:47), entering into our lives, destroying the darkness in our hearts, and producing a good thing, transforming us for the glory of God by the power of God’s Spirit who dwells within. I hope that these things excite you too, as we all have the opportunity to seek the God of Israel, and to draw near to Him in His Messiah Yeshua!