While one headline serves as reason to ponder, over these past few weeks, a barrage of interesting headlines came to my attention. Though seemingly disparate, each added another piece to the formation of one big puzzle. What was the result? That the time has finally come to put a Chabad House on the moon!
I was skeptical at first, but as headline after headline poured in, I realized that the thought was not so out-of-this-world as it first seemed. Well, I mean it was out-of-this-world, but I started to reconcile with this fact.
There is a popular saying that wherever in the world there is Coca-Cola, there is Chabad. So when I saw the headlines about a Japanese sports drink company working to put a giant soda can on the moon, I began to think that maybe a Chabad House should go there as well.
It should be mentioned that while the original saying mentions Coca-Cola, when and if Coke decides to put a giant soda can on the moon, we would be happy to supply an additional Chabad House to position next to it. But since the Japanese makers of Pocari Sweat are already hard at work, then presumably they would be the first to contact with our proposal.
Do you want to launch a Chabad rabbi and his family to the moon?
Nope. The intent is to promote the ubiquitous nature of Chabad (in both place and teaching). That wherever you are in the world (or outside the world), you can find Chabad. If Elon Musk's "space taxi" takes off - which presumably would enable space tourism to become more available and affordable - then the giant soda can and Chabad House would also become a tourist attraction. A photo opportunity for tourists visiting the moon's surface.
The structure of the house would be modelled after the schematics developed by the designers of "The Moonhouse" project. The intent is not to make this a fully-functional house, but, as they say, an "art project" whose "aim is to inspire people to push through mental barriers and broaden their perception of what is possible."
If The Moonhouse planners are agreeable, they would be commissioned to design a moonhouse replica of 770 Eastern Parkway, headquarters of Chabad, a building that already has ten or so replicas around the world. Interestingly, the red color of The Moonhouse is remarkably similar to 770.
Preferably the replica should be launched together with the Japanese soda maker's can. They could be explained that the tandem of both together on the Moon's surface will help to make the site a tourist destination, and will allow for many PR opportunities, as there are over 4,000 Chabad centers throughout the world.
What's so exciting about the Moon?
In Hebrew the word "month" (חוֹדֶשׁ) is from the same root as "new" (חָדָשׁ), because the new moon, which marks the beginning of the month, is a symbol of renewal. The mitzvah to "sanctify the month" (קִידוּשׁ הַחוֹדֶשׁ) was the very first commandment given to the Jewish People as a nation, as the Exodus from Egypt approached. In fact, the sages ask why the Torah doesn't begin with the verse, "This month is for you" - as it is the first commandment the Jewish People were instructed to keep. "Everything follows the beginning" and if this is the first commandment then it is obvious that this is not an individual commandment - just one of the 613 commandments - but a general commandment, the key that opens up the entire world of Torah and mitzvot.
Relating back to our present topic, the newness that the moon-inspired public is searching for is the renewal and redemption of the Jewish people (and from there, the entire world). God approaches the Jewish people as the One who brought them out of Egypt (מִצְרָיִם), because it is He who brings out of all constraints (מְצָרִים) - even the physical constraints of the body - and renews souls.
Thus the inner reason to why placing items on the moon is so marketable - and why placing a Chabad House is even more so - because the public is searching for a genuine source of spiritual renewal and vitality.
Put simply, placing a 770 replica on the moon is a good idea because it's an opportunity to teach and promote the uniqueness of the Jewish people, the unfolding redemption, and a new brighter world back here on earth.
Also, it would be a good idea to dedicate this project to the memory of Ilan Ramon.