Unhappy Landing

Forget politics today. Forget the politicians forever ! Today is a great day in Israel’s history. Our spacecraft “Beresheet” made a  landing on the moon at 10:30 p.m. Regrettably it was not the landing we anticipated. Sadly, “Beresheet” had to make a crash landing and was destroyed in the attempt.

After 47 days in space and a journey of 6 ½ million kilometers, small Israel stands number 4 among the earlier giants of the world: Russia, America and China.

Despite the accidental crash on the moon, at least it can be said that Israel did land on the moon but not in the way it had wanted. Nevertheless’ it was a great achievement for Israeli space engineers and we are still number 4 to have reached the moon’s surface..

Israel’s motto for the spacecraft is “Small Country, Big Dreams”. And our dreams have come true.

Now we must await an Israeli space-walker to plant the blue and white flag of Israel on the moon.

Beresheet means “in the beginning”. It is the title of the first book in the Bible (Genesis) and today’s history will be recorded in the last book of the Bible, Divrai HaYomim, The Books of Chronicles.

We may be number 4 in the world but for us in Israel today we are number 1. None of us had dreamed it would be possible to reach the moon but we did, although not in the  correct way we wanted.

Fabulous stories to tell our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A lesson that with good will and strong efforts everything can be possible to achieve. If we did not completely succeed on our first attempt we will try again. And again after that. We will not give up.

There was no miracle in our recent bitter elections. There was no genuine good-will. Today’s spectacular achievement drives out the horrible memories of a vicious election.

The entire world is looking at us in amazement. A small country with great achievements.  A country that tries over and over again to reach perfection.

I am disheartened by the numbers given to the haredi ultra-orthodox parties in the Knesset. They are a cancer in the body of democracy. They have turned Israel into a theocracy, a rule by religious pirates and we have now unwillingly earned a change of title. We can no longer be the State of Israel. The zealots have turned us into the Ghetto of Israel.

There are rumors flying that more than one million American Jews will withhold contributions and support to Israel if President Rivlin appoints Netanyahu to serve as prime minister. A leader accused of fraud, bribery and corruption is not welcomed by American Jewry. If the rumors have even a grain of truth, even Trump’s friendship with Netanyahu will be to little avail. President Rivlin is advised by Jewish communities in America and Canada to think twice and then twice more before he makes his choice.

Non-Orthodox Jews in the diaspora will unanimously denounce the orthodox rabbis who refuse to recognize the diversity in Jewish religious worship. They put all non-Orthodox Jews into exile or herem (ex-comunication), regarding them as non-Jews.

It is intolerable and the Netanyahu “kingdom” must be obligated to keep the promise of providing separate areas at the Kotel for non-Orthodox worshippers.

One  solution could be to round the anti-Zionist haredim up, put them on a spacecraft and fly them to the moon. There they can establish their Jewish community as B’nai Ha-Yorayach !  They are no less anti-Zionist than our Arab population, both of whom hold seats in our Knesset.

Today should be a day of wonderment mingled with disappointment.

. It should be called Yom L’Derech La-Yorayach, the Day of the  Way to the Moon

Today is a new Chanukah, a day of re-dedication. We have reached outer space, we have landed on the moon, Sadly, not the way of our intentions or dreams.

What lessons our politicians and leaders can learn from this historic day, I cannot know. There are some things I would like to suggest but they would be impolite and it is not nice to spoil a day of joy.

47 days.  6 ½ million kilometers and some success for the small country with big dreams.

Let us keep our dreams alive. Never stop dreaming. Our founder, Theodor Herzl, reminded us in 1897 at the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland:

“im tirtzu ain zo aggadah”…. If you will it,  it is no legend.

Good wishes, much hope and heartfelt prayers to ALL Israel. Nailaich mi chayil el chayil.  Let us go from victory to victory. The future looks bright.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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