We had previously discussed the physics about black holes in other articles titled, “Ringing Black Hole Proves Einstein Right Again – A Spiritual Insight” where we discussed Einstein theory of relativity, and “Cosmic X-Rays Reveal a Distinctive Signature of Black Hole Event Horizons – A Spiritual Insight” where we discussed how scientists are able to distinguish black holes using an X-Ray CCD detector. In a recent report from the National Observatory of Japan,  Scientists used more than 15 years of Milky Way Galaxy observations using the Japanese Radio Astronomy Project called VERA to develop an astronomical map with velocity vectors showing the position and direction of movement of stars. They collected data for 224 stars to develop a model of the Milky Way Galaxy.
- National Observatory of Japan, “Earth Faster, Closer to Black Hole in New Map of Galaxy,” November 26, 2020, Science section, https://www.nao.ac.jp/en/news/science/2020/20201126-mizusawa.html
- VERA collaboration, Tomoya Hirota, Takumi Nagayama, et.al, “The First VERA Astrometry Catalog,” Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Volume 72, Issue 4, August 2020, 50, https://doi-org.pitt.idm.oclc.org/10.1093/pasj/psaa018
Based on this data, it is believed the solar system is moving faster than was previously predicted as it orbits the galactic center. In addition to this, the earth is closer, approximately 2000 light years closer to the center of the galaxy than had been previously thought. This is the reason for the title, “the Earth is closer to the Supermassive Black Hole at the Galaxy’s center than previously thought.” The black hole is called Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) and the measured distance is 25,800 light years (note that 1 light year is approximately 6 trillion miles or 9.5 trillion kilometers). The Scientists also believe Sgr A* is 4.2 million times the mass of the sun. In order to measure distance and mass, the researchers used VERA which consists of 4 Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) telescopes in Japan. The 4 telescopes are coupled together which allows for a virtual telescope that has a diameter of 1,400 miles. The resolution improvement by coupling these telescopes together would be like seeing a penny on the surface of the moon. The VERA telescope can distinguish the annual position shift of a star within 10 micro-arcseconds. This allowed for the direct measurement of a star’s position, size, and orbital velocities in the Milky Way Galaxy. This allows for the development of a position map of the stars along with the ability to provide velocity vectors for direction and speed. These star positions allowed for the mathematical triangulation of these stars to the center of the galaxy, including the position of our solar system to the center of the galaxy. It is by using this data that they now believe the earth to be 2,000 light years closer to Sgr A* and that our solar system is traveling at a velocity of 510,000 mph (227 km/s) which is faster than previously thought. Scientists are now hoping to map out more stars in the galaxy getting their position and velocity. The data from VERA was published as “The First VERA Astrometry Catalog” by VERA collaboration et al. appeared in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan in August of 2020. 
The Spiritual Insights that we receive from this type of research are related to the distance the Earth is to the Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of the galaxy. The black hole is measured to be 4.2 million times the mass of the sun and 25,800 light years away. The distance measurement reminds us of our distance from God, from His holiness, and His righteousness. We note that there tends to be a parallel here in the sense of God being far away as we read about the newly calculated distance to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It is important to note that the Scriptures would not command us to “draw near” if the Lord God was far away, distant, or inaccessible to us. Isaiah states according to Isaiah 6:3, ג וְקָרָא זֶה אֶל-זֶה וְאָמַר קָדוֹשׁ | קָדוֹשׁ קָדוֹשׁ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת מְלֹא כָל-הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ: “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (KJV) Here we are told that God’s presence and glory fills the earth. The way we draw near is through prayer, praise, and trusting in His Word and His promises.
The best way to get the imagery of the power of God is when we read of the Lord God Almighty at Sinai, where the people heard the voice of God (קוֹל אֱלֹהִים). Moshe wrote in Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:33, לג הֲשָׁמַע עָם קוֹל אֱלֹהִים מְדַבֵּר מִתּוֹךְ-הָאֵשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר-שָׁמַעְתָּ אַתָּה וַיֶּחִי: “Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?” (KJV) This is a huge event that changed the lives of all of those who stood at the mountain of Sinai and in fact changed our lives too because of the Scriptures influence on our lives. This event changed the course of life for all of Israel, for those who truly believed, trusted, and obeyed God’s Word. Here the Lord God Almighty, the creator of all the Universe, came down to speak with Moshe and the children of Israel at the mountain of Sinai. What we find here is the infinite coming down and being involved with the finite, with His creation, you and I. The loftiness, holiness, and righteousness of God, his perfection, causes Him to seem distant, outside of our reach, far away and unknown. Note what happened when the presence of God descended onto Sinai according to Shemot / Exodus 19:18-20, יח וְהַר סִינַי עָשַׁן כֻּלּוֹ מִפְּנֵי אֲשֶׁר יָרַד עָלָיו יְהוָֹה בָּאֵשׁ וַיַּעַל עֲשָׁנוֹ כְּעֶשֶׁן הַכִּבְשָׁן וַיֶּחֱרַד כָּל-הָהָר מְאֹד: יט וַיְהִי קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר הוֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק מְאֹד מֹשֶׁה יְדַבֵּר וְהָאֱלֹהִים יַעֲנֶנּוּ בְקוֹל: [ששי] כ וַיֵּרֶד יְהוָֹה עַל-הַר סִינַי אֶל-רֹאשׁ הָהָר וַיִּקְרָא יְהוָֹה לְמֹשֶׁה אֶל-רֹאשׁ הָהָר וַיַּעַל מֹשֶׁה: 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 19:19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. 19:20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. (NASB) These things describe the awesome power of God and how he hid Himself from human sight in the midst of the cloud which illustrates the separation due to the sinfulness of man and the righteousness of God. The hiddenness of God is meant for the purpose of our seeking, searching, praying, and trusting so that we can grow spiritually in our lives. This nearness of God is ever more revealed to us in the Targum translations (Aramaic) by the way the text provides us with further explanations of the Torah for example from Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:33, לג הַשְׁמַע עַמָּא קַל מֵימְרָא דַייָ מְמַלֵּל מִגּוֹ אֶשָּׁתָא כְּמָא־דִי שְׁמַעַתְּ אַתְּ וְיִתְקַיֵם: we read here it says קַל מֵימְרָא דַייָ meaning “the voice of the word (memra) of Hashem.” Throughout the Aramaic translation the Word of God, the Memra of the Lord, is who goes forth, is who created all things, and here the word of God descended from heaven at Sinai to be with God’s people and note how the mountain was lit on fire due to the presence of the Word of God. This is the effect of the Word of God in our lives too. If the Word of God does not function in this way in your life then serious consideration on the reasons why need to be investigated! These things follow through by what we read according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:9-16.
Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:9-16
ט וְהוֹתִירְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל | מַעֲשֵֹה יָדֶךָ בִּפְרִי בִטְנְךָ וּבִפְרִי בְהֶמְתְּךָ וּבִפְרִי אַדְמָתְךָ לְטֹבָה כִּי | יָשׁוּב יְהֹוָה לָשֹוּשֹ עָלֶיךָ לְטוֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר-שָֹשֹ עַל-אֲבֹתֶיךָ: י כִּי תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר מִצְוֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה כִּי תָשׁוּב אֶל-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשֶׁךָ: ס [ששי] יא כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לֹא-נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ וְלֹא-רְחֹקָה הִוא: יב לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲלֶה-לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶֹנָּה: יג וְלֹא-מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲבָר-לָנוּ אֶל-עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶֹנָּה: יד כִּי-קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר מְאֹד בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ לַעֲשֹתוֹ: ס [שביעי ומפטיר] [רביעי כשהן מחוברין] טו רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת-הַחַיִּים וְאֶת-הַטּוֹב וְאֶת-הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת-הָרָע: טז אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו וְלִשְׁמֹר מִצְוֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחָיִיתָ וְרָבִיתָ וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ: יז וְאִם-יִפְנֶה לְבָבְךָ וְלֹא תִשְׁמָע וְנִדַּחְתָּ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַעֲבַדְתָּם: יח הִגַּדְתִּי לָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן לֹא-תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים עַל-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן לָבוֹא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ: יט הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה וּבָחַרְתָּ בַּחַיִּים לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ:
30:9 ‘Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 30:10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. 30:11 ‘For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 30:12 ‘It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 30:13 ‘Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 30:14 ‘But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. 30:15 ‘See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 30:16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. (NASB)
Here Moshe writes about the blessing of hearing, listening, and obeying the Word of God. The Word of God also functions to help us to know how to walk in God’s Ways of righteousness, holiness, justice, and truth! The concept of God being far due to His holiness, and His Word drawing near (coming down to His people) follows through as foreshadowing the coming of the King Messiah, the Lawgiver Himself, the Eternal Word of God becoming flesh to dwell with us. (John 1:1-14, and Philipians 2:6-7). What we find here is the nearness of God occurs specifically by the giving of His Word to us. This is why in Parashat Ekev (Devarim / Deuteronomy 11) we are commanded to place God’s Word on our hearts. It is through His Word that is living in our hearts that we are able to draw near. God is all powerful and all knowing and because of our sin we are separated. These things parallel the Scientific research in our understanding of the black hole, note the parallels. Here we see the Word of the Lord, sharing in the mortal condition so that He would know pain, abandonment, loneliness, what it is like to live as a man, woman, and child. The Lord Himself constrained himself to a human body for the sake of love and truth. We note how these things are paralleled in what we read according to the Torah. The climax of the Sinai experience was in God revealing His desire to dwell in our midst in the Tabernacle, His Holy Sanctuary, the Lord God dwelling in our midst is the Gospel Message! After the Lord God Almighty had delivered His people from Bondage and brought them to the Mountain of Sinai, he gave them His Word. Note how the ten commandments were placed in the Ark of the Covenant (אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית), and the Ark was placed in the Holy of Holies (קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים) in the Tabernacle. The Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant speak to the holiness and hidden nature of God. The cover of the ark functioned as the place upon which atonement was made, where blood was sprinkled. It was here the voice of God would be heard, in the hidden chamber where the Word is kept (in the Ark). Note the parallel to our lives and the command to hide God’s Word in our hearts. During the Yom Kippur service, the sacrificial blood was sprinkled upon the cover of the Ark to symbolize our atonement that was secured through the Messiah, the anointed one of God. The Scientific research reveals to us the distance of what is great and powerful that certainly surpasses our comprehension. These things remind us of the greatness and power of God and the significance of these things is how the Lord God Almighty sent His Word in His Messiah to save us from wrath due to sin. The greatest expression of God’s love is found in His Word, in His Messiah Yeshua. This is the Word of God that tabernacles with us (John 1:14). The author of Hebrews tells us that in these last days God has spoken to us by his Son saying, הָאֵלֶּה בְּיַד הַבֵּן אֲשֶׁר שָׂם לְיוֹרֵשׁ כֺּל וּבְיָדוֹ גַּם עָשָׂה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ “whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1:2) This follows through from what we read in the Torah as the Word of God which created all things (i.e. check the creation account via the Aramaic Targum Onkelos). These things coupled together reveal to us how the Lord God Almighty spoke to us from the midst of the fire in the language of the love of His Son.
We note again the Scientific research which is related to the distance the Earth is to the Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of the galaxy. The black hole is measured to be 4.2 million times the mass of the sun and 25,800 light years away and this research reminds us of our distance from God due to our sins. Note in the life of Joseph, the story of Joseph is full of prophetic meaning regarding Yeshua. The Torah portion Vayigash (וַיִּגַּ֨שׁ) means “and he drew near” referring to Judah making intercession on behalf of his brother Benjamin. Then we read in Bereshit / Genesis 45:4 וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יוֹסֵ֧ף אֶל־אֶחָ֛יו גְּשׁוּ־נָ֥א אֵלַ֖י וַיִּגָּ֑שׁוּ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֲנִי֙ יוֹסֵ֣ף אֲחִיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־מְכַרְתֶּ֥ם אֹתִ֖י מִצְרָֽיְמָה where Joseph says גְּשׁוּ־נָ֥א אֵלַ֖י “now draw near unto me.” Here Joseph initiated reconciliation by telling his brothers “now” draw near to me. Here we see a picture of how Yeshua represents both the intercession of Judah and the reconciliation, forgiveness, and salvation role of Joseph. Joseph asked whether his father was alive and he wanted to see his father commanding his brothers to bring everyone including his father to Egypt. This is the function of the Word of God, as the Lord God Almighty sending His Word down from heaven and into each and everyone of us, redeeming us from the penalty of our sins. This is just one of the ways in which the Torah reveals to us Yeshua as the Messiah of God! Yeshua declared the Father in heaven to us showing us the way we are to live our lives, and helping us to understand that God our Father in heaven is alive today! The scientific research this week tends to draw these things out. The Torah speaks to the importance of our believing in Yeshua for our salvation, trusting in the Word of the Lord God Almighty which he declared from Sinai, which is now revealed to us in His Son Yeshua the Messiah! The Almighty hand of God is in His Son Yeshua, and this is why we read in the NT text that Yeshua did all of the things that he did (i.e. living a righteous and holy life, laying his life down on the cross, and raising from the grave to live forever), to save us from our sins, that by believing in Him we will have everlasting life!