By Chanita Teitz

Ma rabu ma’asechah, Hashem — How great is your universe, Hashem, that You created for mankind; day and night, light and dark, mountains and valleys, rivers and oceans, trees, flowers, birds, fish and animals, the sun, the moon, stars, and planets. Of all of Hashem’s creations, the greatest was man. He blessed people with a brain to rule over the other creatures, to learn, to accomplish, and to recognize Hashem.

Man is captivated with outer space, and for thousands of years astrologers and scientists have tried to understand the world beyond ours. The U.S., Russia, and China have all landed on the moon, and on April 11 Israel joined their ranks, although the landing failed at the final moments and the spacecraft crashed.

Nevertheless, Israel did get to the moon and the spacecraft is there along with the things that were on board the Beresheet spacecraft: a digital Torah, an Israeli flag, a time capsule, pictures drawn by children about space, and an Am Yisrael Chai sign.

On April 11, my husband and I went to the Cradle of Aviation museum in Garden City to watch the landing live streamed on the large planetarium screen. We saw the spacecraft hovering over the moon as well as mission control in Israel watching the technicians and the people behind this momentous project. This was privately funded with the purpose of winning a science prize for Israel, strengthening student education in STEM subjects, and, of course, the thrill of reaching the moon.

All the speakers in Israel remembered Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who was killed when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in space in 2003. They spoke with pride about Israel’s accomplishments in only 70 years, and even when the landing failed, they were unanimously stating that Israel will continue to develop a space program and will try again to make a successful landing.

My husband and I discussed the SpaceIL crash and concluded that perhaps it was for the best. Had the ship landed, everyone would have cheered and hailed the Israeli scientists for this accomplishment. Meanwhile, our Arab neighbors and other antisemites would have condemned the accomplishment. Someone posted a picture online showing how Israel is slowly grabbing Palestinian territory on the moon, claiming that they were on the moon first. I assume this is a satire, but a successful landing would have just stoked the flames.

Perhaps Hashem is showing us that we are not in charge of everything. He has given Israel so much and they have achieved so much with the knowledge Hashem blessed them with, but this reminds us that He is still in charge. In a flash of a few moments, all can change. Exploration will continue and Israel will try again.

Wishing all my readers a chag kasher v’sameiach! May this be the year of our final redemption and the end to antisemitism.

Passover Food Distribution With Speaker Corey Johnson

Passover food distribution with Speaker Corey Johnson at Masbia in Queens

Speaker Corey Johnson with Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz and Chaim Deutsch kick off the 2019 kosher-for-Passover food distribution, known as the Charoset Drive, together with cookbook author Naomi Nachman and Masbia chef Ruben Diaz and many volunteers at Masbia of Queens

Upcoming Events

Chazaq Presents Exciting Chol Ha’moed Shows:

David Levitian: With Magic Mentalism, Monday, April 22 at noon at Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, 83-10 188th Street, Jamaica.

TorahTots, Tuesday, April 23 at noon at Beth Gavriel Center, 66-35 108th Street, Forest Hills.

Magic Show with Alex Mehl, Wednesday, April 24 at noon at Yeshiva of Central Queens 147-37 70th Road, Flushing.

For each show, adults are free; $10 per child. For more information, call 718-285-9132, email Events@Chazaq.org, or visit Chazaq.org.

Young Israel of Jamaica Estates and Young Israel of Holliswood Community-Wide Commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Tuesday, April 30 at 8 p.m. at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, 83-10 188th Street. Showing the groundbreaking film Who Will Write Our History.

Post-Pesach Key Challah Bake, Thursday, May 2 at 8 p.m. at Derech Etz Hachaim, 215-05 86th Road, Queens Village. Presented by Chazaq and Bat Melech. All ingredients supplied; special berachot party. There is a minhag to bake a challah for the first Shabbat after Pesach with your house key as a blessing for parnassah and protection. Women only; admission free. RSVP required. Call 347-279-2066. For more information, call 718-285-9132, email Events@Chazaq.org, or visit Chazaq.org.

Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or email chanita@astorbrokerage.com.

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