Israael's Moon Launch:

A Spotlight on one of the Engineers



Beresheet ("In the Beginning...") is the name of the spacecraft which successfully launched toward the moon early Friday morning, Feb. 22, 2019. If successful, Beresheet’s actual landing on the lunar surface which is projected to take place on April 11, will make Israel the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to land on the moon. (For some interesting trechnical details, seethe Feb. 24th article on

This privately funded project is a fascinating story, no less fascinating are the people behind it. (For more information about the funding, see the Jerusalem Post's pre-launch article of Feb. 21.)

One of the engineers monitoring it from the ground is Alex Friedman. Alex was born in Russia. His father, a Chabad chassid, was jailed for Jewish activities, and he only met him at 7 years old, when he was freed. The family would pray in secret so the neighbors shouldn't hear. He received a doctor's note so he shouldn't have to attend school on Shabbat.

Because of the antisemitism, he was not accepted in the physics department, and instead majored in math.

In the 70s the family finally received permission to emigrate to Israel, there Alex joined the air force and the Israeli space program. He sees this event as closing a circle, as he says

'The boy who was not accepted to study physics because he was Jewish, is sending an Israeli spacecraft to the moon, with a disk with the Tenach ('Bible' of 24 books separated into three divisions: Five Books of Moses, Prophets, Writings) on it.'

Did he also put tefilin aboard for some curious Aliens? Who knows.


Part 2

Redesign and implementation - By WEB-ACTION