Tonight I looked out towards the black sky above — a sky filled with all the wonders and miracles of a universe that stretches far beyond our comprehension and our imagination.
A universe littered with the jewels of creation itself that come together in a kaleidoscope of colours that sparkle and glitter and shimmer.
And there, shining brighter than all other objects, is the moon — earth’s oldest companion, a witness to all of history itself, its surface bearing the scars of a hundred thousand asteroid and meteorite collisions.
But the moon is not alone tonight.
Because a little spaceship, about the size of a small car, set off on a journey almost 7 weeks ago from earth. A little spaceship called Beresheet, first conceived in the minds of a few people who dared to dream. A ship powered by the hopes and the dreams and the imagination of a small people from a small nation, who have always dreamed the impossible.
It is a Jewish dream – to not accept the world the way it is, but rather to change it for the betterment of all humankind.
Beresheet is not just about the voyage of a spaceship, but the journey of a people. From shepherds of the land to shepherds of the sky. From knowledge on earth to knowledge beyond it. From understanding the world in which we live, to understanding the world beyond our own.
From the land to the sky to the universe itself.
Beresheet is the story of miracles, because a people who conventional historical wisdom says shouldn’t even exist anymore, still do. A people targeted by the worst of human nature, a people forced into slavery, subject to continuous expulsions, victims of genocide and cruelty and pogroms, live on.
Instead of quietly existing on the peripherals of society, with our backs bent and our heads kept low, we are at the forefront, standing tall, our heads held high beaming with a pride and a belief in ourselves so powerful it can transport a small ship from the earth to the moon itself.
And watching from over 380000 kilometres away, I feel almost as if I’m also aboard this little ship along with the entire nation of Israel as we leave our earthly worries behind and just stare up at the sky in absolute awe and unbridled amazement.
Even though this little ship is so far from home, it represented the very best of us. Like the homeland it hails from, it shows us the tenacity and the drive and the determination and the sheer chutzpah of doing the very thing they say can’t be done, as it aimed to become only the 4th nation on earth to land on the moon.
Unfortunately, a last minute engine failure meant it was unable to touch down safely and its last image was a beautiful picture of the lunar surface just 22 kilometres below.
But that doesn’t take away from it the amazing incredible engineering feat it was able to accomplish – a privately built spaceship on a shoestring budget stood tall among the space giants of the world.
In a world of too many talking heads and an abundance of international experts, this little spaceship with no voice, became the best ambassador of all.
So maybe it didn’t land successfully, but its journey and its achievement released in me a joy and a pride so powerful that even the universe itself in all its infinite size cannot contain.
This small nation and its people who once had no power on earth, are now a superpower beyond earth.
Beresheet’s life was short, but in its journey of a little over six weeks, it shone brighter and stronger than any other object in the universe – not just in space but in our hearts too.
Beresheet — your journey may be over, but your legacy — that will last forever.