Recently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised that not only will Israel successfully land on the moon in the future, but a Bible will be present when they do.
Last week, at the International Bible Quiz for Youth, the Prime Minister explained that the country would be able to make it to the moon because of their “daring spirit” which comes from their foundation in the Bible.
“We [will land on the moon] through initiative, determination, and daring—given to us by our spirit,” Netanyahu said according to the Times of Israel. “And our spirit comes from the Bible. That’s not just words. That spirit comes from the Bible, because there’s no meaning to the enormous journey we have made to return to our land, to our birthplace, if we had not carried with us our faith, our tradition and our yearning for the homeland.”
Just last month, Israel sent a spacecraft called “Beresheet,” which means Genesis, to the moon. Unfortunately, the spacecraft faced mechanical complications causing it to crash onto the lunar surface on April 11.
“Last month we felt tremendous excitement: the spacecraft Beresheet was a hand’s breadth from the moon,” Netanyahu expressed at the Bible Quiz event in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu explained that the spacecraft had contained a digital copy of the Bible, but that for the next attempt they would have a printed Bible on hand.
“That’s not enough…. We’re going to send the spacecraft again, and it’s very likely it will be carrying a small [printed] Bible. I want the Bible to land on the moon, because it is written [in Psalms 8:4], ‘When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have established.’ The State of Israel will reach the moon.”
In his speech at the Bible Quiz event, Netanyahu also pointed out that Israel is one of the smallest nations in size to attempt to reach the moon, and if the landing was to be successful it would be an impressive feat.
“Very few nations have orbited the moon and reached the moon, and up to now only three superpowers landed there, and we want to be the fourth nation to do so. After all, the other nations were a bit bigger than us — the United States, China, Russia — and there is a very good chance that within two-three years we will be that fourth power.”
The first attempt, on Thursday, April 11, which ultimately was unsuccessful, was a privately funded mission that cost $100 million. If they had been successful, Israel would not only have been the smallest nation to land on the moon but the only mission that was privately funded as well.
Morris Kahn, the chairman of SpaceIL and a South African-Israeli billionaire philanthropist, led the efforts to raise the $100 million for the first attempt. Kahn donated the first $30 million, and a variety of private donors followed suit.
“I think that the achievement of getting to where we got is really tremendous; I think we can be proud,” Kahn said.
Only days after the successful mission, Kahn announced that they would be launching a Beresheet 2.
“We started something and we need to finish it. We’ll put our flag on the moon,” Kahn said.
Israel will attempt for a second time, to get to the moon, but this time they will have a hard copy of the Bible on board.