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Email CANDLE LIGHTING
6:39 PM in New Brunswick, NJ
Shabbat Ends 7:37 PM
Friday, 20 Sep 2019
Parashat 
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Peak Oil

Oil is running out. Many commentators are forecasting an imminent peak and subsequent terminal decline in the production of conventional oil. A great many oil fields around the world are expected to run dry within the next few years or decades, and the oil sources that remain are not as accessible or as rich in fuel, making it costly to extract their oil. There are fears of what will happen to the global energy supply once oil peaks and then declines.

There is a saying, “The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.” Stones were superseded by other materials for tools and construction that were better and more convenient to use. Similarly, experts project that the “oil age” will end with plenty of oil remaining in the ground, because we will have found far more effective replacements. Clean, renewable energy from the sun and wind will replace the resources buried deep in the ground. We will learn how to build more energy-efficient machines that can run on a fraction of the fuel they use today.

It will take time until we transition to these more energy efficient, clean energy sources. In the interim there may well be fuel shortages as demand outstrips supply. People will have to rethink their use of energy, perhaps deciding to set their air conditioning thermostat at a higher setting or to walk instead of drive. Indeed, if all of us simply adjusts our energy usage the supply will most likely be adequate for many years to come.

Every physical phenomenon has its counterpart in the spiritual worlds. We are likewise in the midst of a grand transition in the source of our spiritual energy. Spiritual “oil” corresponds to the study of Chassidut, which tends to permeate whatever it touches. During the time of exile, we must dig deep below the surface of the earth to reveal its hidden spiritual treasures. Advancement comes through great toil and effort; we must go through a refining process to extract the hidden oil.

When Moshiach comes, though, we will merit the revelation of a “new Torah,” a Torah from above, which will be available to us without a long, costly extraction and refining process. Like the energy sources of the sun and wind, the spiritual energy of the “new Torah” will come directly from above without any intermediary. The prophet says that when Moshiach comes, “No man will teach his friend to know G-d, because they will all know Me, from their oldest to the youngest.”

However, we must prepare ourselves now for the revelation of the new Torah. Our efforts now, in refining ourselves and revealing the spirituality hidden deep within creation, will directly lead to the revelations in the time to come.

 

 


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