י״א באייר ה׳תשע״ה (April 30, 2015)
Entrepreneur hopes to ‘inspire a new generation to ask questions about Torah’s contributions to mankind’
A French-Israeli entrepreneur has announced the initiation of ‘Torah on the Moon’ (TOTM), a company aimed at landing a Hebrew Bible scroll on the Moon.
Haim Aouizerate’s company aims to “inspire a new generation to ask questions about, and recognize, the Torah’s contributions to mankind,” according to the official website.
TOTM’s mission is to encourage people to buy letters of the Torah that relate to their name, family, interests and dreams in order to fund the launch. The hope is that at the end of the mission there will be enough money to donate to non-profit organizations dealing with education in Israel and around the world.
“We are a values-driven space initiative aimed at landing a Sefer Torah (a Hebrew Bible scroll) on the moon,” the TOTM website says. “The Torah will be taken to the moon (and secured there in an airtight case) to celebrate the ancient book’s innumerable contributions to morality, justice, education, culture, art and sciences.”
In order to achieve the kosher approval, a Torah scroll must be handwritten on parchment made from a kosher animal. In addition, no metal can be used to create a Torah scroll and the scribe who writes it must use a quill and black ink.
The company is currently in discussions with several participants of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a competition that seeks to take space exploration out of the hands of government and space agencies, and into the private sector. This will be done by encouraging teams from around the world to land a robot safely on the Moon by 2017.
To protect the scroll from the moon’s harsh weather conditions, TOTM has commissioned the European Space Agency to create a custom-made capsule to safeguard the Torah’s survival.
The Torah that TOTM is hoping to send to the moon will be one of the smallest Torahs ever commissioned. “For space missions, weight and mass are extremely important factors. Every ounce and every square centimeter counts,” according to the website. “The Torah, therefore, will be as small as possible, to ensure the success of the mission.”
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