It's Shabbat eve for the Beresheet ("In
the Beginning...") lunar lander, Israels first spacecraft,
which is on track to land on the moon on April 11. How will the first
Jewish spacecraft be operated on Shabbat without violating Jewish law?
Arutz Sheva interviewed staff members of Beresheet who are involved
in the research, consultation and technology needed to minimize the violation
of Shabbat while simultaneously ensuring the continued safety of the spacecraft
to Beresheet system engineer, Ariel Gomez, the staff consulted their advisor
on Jewish law, Rabbi Shraga Dahan, on how to operate the Beresheet on
Shabbat. Furthermore, all their Shabbat procedures to maintain Beresheet
have been approved by the chief rabbi of Israel.
"The head of staff of Beresheet is a Chabad chassid and avoiding
the violation of Shabbat is very important to him," Gomez said. "The
launch of Beresheet itself was pushed back to Thursday so it wouldn't
take place on Shabbat. In fact, in our contract with the American company,
there's a clause that the launch won't take place on Shabbat."
"The chief of staff wants to connect all sectors of the Jewish people.
We see Beresheet's mission as a mission of the entire Jewish people and
therefore it's very important to us that there won't be any procedures
on Shabbat there were not approved by the chief rabbi. We used technological
innovations designed for us by Machon Lev (Jerusalem College of Technology)
and approved by the chief rabbi. Machon Lev provided us with keyboards
and mice which can be operated through a Grama (an indirect action
which involves a rabbinical rather than a biblical violation of Shabbat).
Additionally, we instructed the staff to do only what is strictly necessary
to ensure the safety of Beresheet on Shabbat and no more."
and Rabbi Shraga Dahan, Kosher supervisors of Beresheet.
Rabbi Shraga Dahan said that "working with the staff of Beresheet
has been a wonderful experience. I feel as I'm dealing with heavenly matters
in the double meaning of the word. When I see the Jewish people involved
with the Beresheet, it fills me with meaning. We were able to successfully
adjust the environment to suit the lifestyle of each staff member involved
with Beresheet. We can truly be proud of the Jewish nation."