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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Girls! Girls!! Girls!!!


I thought that would get your attention. Tonight we had the distinct pleasure of going star gazing with six young IDF soldier ladies just before their next deployment. Well, being teen agers it was more like six young girl soldiers. IDF soldiers always carry their weapons, whether on duty or off. This being the end of Yom HaShoah, the day for remembering the murder of six million European Jews, including over 1 million children, it put me in mind of what a disgrace to the conscience of the world it is that Jews must still be protected by a constantly armed citizenry from the certain death that would descend on them by their muslim neighbors but for the arms of children like these. And not only this, but the world wants these soldiers to put down their arms so that we can jump into the fires of our death. Not very much has changed to the conscience of the world in 66 years. Except this time we've got the guns, and we won't be putting them down. So, the world, its leaders, and our un-neighborly neighbors can go pound sand (among other things I won't mention here). I leave the conscience of the world for G-d to deal with.

These soldiers were about to embark on leading basic training for new IDF recruits who had made Aliyah to Israel and wanted to convert to Judaism. Almost all in the program have one parent who is Jewish. I was surprised to learn that at any given time there are about 700 IDF recruits in this program. Godspeed their work.

We had a dark but hazy night. The constellations and stars at the zenith were well seen, though. Saturn was the best telescopic sight of the night. I've also started handing out photos of the Hubble Deep Field and showing the girls where it was taken in the constellation Ursa Major (Great Bear, near the handle of the Big Dipper). Everyone should see this photo and its location in the sky at least once in their lives. With over 3000 galaxies in a field the size of a grain of sand held at arm's length, it depicts some of the oldest objects we have ever seen in the universe, some 10 billion years old, in a field of the most beautiful galaxies of all kinds.

"And G-d said, Let there be light. And there was light."

IDF soldier girls with my friend Inon from the CafeNeto (left) who set up the star tour.

The Hubble Deep Field

Location of the Hubble Deep Field in the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear

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