Jerusaldm Vistas / IsraelVision

We Would Love to Hear From You ~ Please Email Us With Your Comments.....
Please Visit Us Often..... ~ ~

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ilan Ramon Remembered 11 Years After His Death

This is a re-post as the original "vanished"~sorry...
On 01 February 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry to earth~killing all seven astronauts on board. On board the shuttle was one of Israel's brightest stars, Colonel Ilan Ramon.

Israel Air Force (IAF) Colonel Ilan Ramon (20 June 1954~01 February 2003) was an engineer (electronics and computers), a pilot, a husband and father of four children. His Polish mother and grandmother were survivors of Auschwitz. 

As a combat pilot in the Israel Defense Forces, Ilan Ramon was awarded for his service in the Yom Kippur War, the 1982 Lebanon War, and was the youngest participant (flying in the last, and most dangerous position) in the 1981 raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. He was also the only foreign recipient of the United States Congressional Space Medal of Honor, which was awarded posthumously.

When he was selected as payload specialist on the shuttle, Ilan Ramon said he considered himself to be "the representative of all Jews and Israelis". He recognized the importance of maintaining Jewish identity, cultivating unity, and remembering the history of the Jewish people, and the impact of the fact that he~the child of a Holocaust survivor~was the first Israeli astronaut.

Ramon was the first astronaut to ask for "Kosher" food for the trip and consulted a rabbi on "Observing Shabbat in Space" (the period between sunrises in orbit is only 90 minutes). The personal items he took into space were also a thoughtful reflection of his heritage, and the effect his choices might have on future generations.
Among the personal items that Ramon brought with him, was a miniature Torah scroll saved from the Holocaust and in a way it became his "mission within his mission".  As the shuttle passed over Israel, Ilan spoke to the Prime Minister of Israel, and displaying the tiny parchment he repeated the story of how the tiny scroll had risen “From the Depths of Hell~Rose to the Heights of Space.”

Other items included a pencil sketch from Yad Vashem, "Moon Landscape", drawn in the Terezín concentration camp by 14-year-old Petr Ginz (who later died in Auschwitz), a barbed wire Mezuzah by artist Aimee Golant commissioned by the 1939 Club~a group of Holocaust survivors and their families, a microfiche copy of the Torah given to him by the president of Israel, and a dollar of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

This movie, "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" follows the lives of the crew of the shuttle as they prepare for their mission, and gives a personal insight into the man who was Ilan Ramon. I strongly recommend it to everyone.

 * If you can not view the video below, do click on this link

Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope

No comments: