Apr 18 2019 Dvar Torah

Rabbi Batsheva Appel

When I was a child I wanted to be a an astronaut or a rabbi. I think you can see how that turned out. I was thinking again of my dream to be an astronaut as we prepare for Passover this week.

Last week we saw something that we had never seen before, a photograph of a black hole in the M87 galaxy. A group of 200 researchers, including astronomers from University of Arizona, working together were able to show us something that seemed that it would be impossible to see. For the Israelites, leaving Mitzrayim, Egypt, probably seemed impossible. With God’s might, with Moses as their leader, and with all of them working together, something that seemed impossible, happened, and it is now our central sacred story.

Israel became the seventh country to put an object in orbit around the moon last week, but the attempted landing of the Beresheet lunar lander failed. The lander took a picture of itself 22 km above the moon’s surface with a sign that read “small country, big dreams” before the presumed crash landing. Beresheet was the first private launch and attempted landing on the moon, and SpaceIL has already announced that there will be a Beresheet Shtayim, a second attempt. After the Exodus, the Israelites made lots of mistakes along the way to the Promised Land, but mistakes and failures did not prevent the Israelites from entually finishing the journey with God’s help.

As we prepare for Passover this week, we are told that we are required to see ourselves as if we were the ones redeemed from Mitzrayim, from Egypt. I hope that these two examples remind us that working together we can see impossible things and that making mistakes along the way does not prevent us from achieving our goals.

I wish all of you a good and sweet Passover holiday. A zissen Pesach v’Kasher! Chag Sameach!