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Monday, April 26, 2004

From Bergen-Belsen to the Space Shuttle

The good professor points to an upcoming documentary which describes the journey of a Tiny Torah from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp to outer space in the hands of Col Illan Ramon on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Columbia:

Also gone, an artifact that embodied the glory of the Shuttle's mission and the despair of its demise: a tiny Torah scroll - smuggled into a concentration camp during the Holocaust; safeguarded by Joachim Joseph, a Holocaust survivor; and carried into space by Col. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut. It is a unique story that interweaves the heights of scientific achievement, the depths of a nation's cruelty, the private grief of a boy who came of age during the Holocaust, and the public mourning of many nations in the aftermath of the Columbia Shuttle disaster.
THE JOURNEY OF THE TINY TORAH will explore topics such as:
- The responsibility of remembrance - Why must we remember the past? Does our remembrance create change?
- The Holocaust - What happened in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp? Why would a small group of oppressed, starving inmates risk their lives to carry out a centuries-old religious tradition? Is the Holocaust the Jews' history or everyone's history?
- The Columbia Space Shuttle disaster - Should a scientific endeavor of such tremendous costs and risks continue to be undertaken?
- Col. Ramon's mission and his message - in what ways did Col. Ramon create an international platform for examining the ethical issues of the Holocaust?
- The Columbia Shuttle crew - How did this multi-national crew form a strong, cohesive team? What was their reaction to Col. Ramon's personal mission with the Torah?
- Heroism - Who is the hero of this story: Col. Ramon, Joachim Joseph, or the Rabbi who perished in the concentration camp? How do we define heroism?

Quite an amazing story.