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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Why numbers matter

By Dr. Andrew Goldfinger





A principal staff physicist at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University offers a lesson from Psalms about mathematics and technology

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A Baltimore rabbi once joked that he almost became a disbeliever from driving through Oregon. Torah tells us that everything that the Divine created has a purpose, even every single leaf on every tree. The rabbi said that for hundreds of miles along the Interstate he passed an uncountable number of trees --- how could each leaf have a purpose in the great scheme of the world?

The same thing could be said about many curiosities with which mathematicians amused themselves for ages.

Mathematicians have always been fascinated by numbers. Of course, numbers are important for we could not manage our lives without them. But mathematicians were generally not concerned with usefulness; they studied numbers purely for their own sake. One of the most fascinating, albeit seemingly useless, studies was that of "prime numbers."

The number 6 is equal to 2 multiplied by 3. Because it can be written as the product of two numbers, it is called a composite number. Similarly 12, which is the product of 2 x 2 x 3, is also a composite number. The numbers 5 or 11, however, cannot be divided into products of other numbers. They are called prime numbers.

How large can a number be and still be prime? Over two thousand years ago, mathematicians proved that there are an infinite number of primes. There is none that is the largest.

Although much is now known about primes, there are still mysteries. For example, both 11 and 13 are prime, and they differ by two, which is the closest that two prime numbers can be to each other. This is also true of 59 and 61. Such pairs of numbers are known as twin primes. How many twin prime pairs exist? Many mathematicians guess that there are an infinite number of them, but so far no one has been able to prove this "twin prime conjecture."



Another amazing pattern is found in all even numbers greater than 4. The number 10 can be written as the sum to two primes, 3 and 7. This is also true of the number 100, which is equal to 17 plus 83. In 1742 a mathematician named Christian Goldbach speculated that this is true for all even numbers no matter how large. To date, no one has been able to prove "Goldbach's conjecture" and it remains an area of active mathematical research.

No one has been able to develop a theory of why certain numbers are prime and why others are not. Indeed, given a large number, it is still a hard task involving high speed computers to determine if it is prime, and if not, it is quite a formidable task to determine what all its factors are.

Huge sums of money are being spent on prime number research today. But --- why is this? Isn't prime number research just a curiosity for nerdy mathematicians? Not any longer. In 1978 three men named Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adelman published a paper in which they described a radically new way of encrypting messages.


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The eponymous RSA algorithm became the leading example of the field of "public key cryptography." The amazing new property of this technique is that a person can publicly reveal a code based on an enormous composite number. Anyone can then take a message, encrypt it, and send it to the originator of the number. But no one but the originator can decipher it unless they can factor the publicly revealed number into its primes which, for huge numbers, is a task that is so difficult that it is still beyond the capability of even the most powerful computers.

Each time a person logs into their online bank account or pays for something with a credit card, they are sending messages that are encrypted using the RSA algorithm on the assumption that no unauthorized person will be able to factor the associated huge numbers to read them. Prime number theory has become vital to the functioning of the world today. As King David writes (Psalm 118:22 ): Even Ma'asu HaBonim Haysa leRosh Pinah --- "the stone discarded by the builders has become the corner stone."

Everything in His universe is indeed vitally important: every number, every leaf, and certainly every person.

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Dr. Andrew Goldfinger has a Ph. D. in theoretical physics, and a master's degree in counseling, and is a principal staff physicist at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Goldfinger has lectured internationally on the interface of science and Judaism. He's also a columnist for Mishpacha magazine, wheret his first appeared, and the author of Thinking About Creation: Eternal Torah and Modern Physics. Click HERE to purchase it. (Sales help fund JWR.).







© 2013, Mishpacha magazine

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