Bible Prophecy Research
Title: Space Shuttle Columbia
Submitted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: February 1, 2003
Updated: February 16, 2003
Space Shuttle Columbia
On the Sabbath day, February 1, 2003, following a week that saw Ariel Sharon overwhelmingly re-elected although ignoring his constituents views against a Palestinian state, President Bush's State of the Union Address and coincides with the reading of Parsha Mishpatim, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates in the sky over President Bush's home state, not far from his Crawford, TX ranch, with the first debris being sighted in Palestine, TX. Six Americans and the first Israeli astronaut were aboard. This is a dire warning that should not be ignored—the deaths of Americans and Israelis over Palestine...this is where the MidEast Road Map will lead.
Every Sabbath the Jews read certain portions of the scriptures. The reading for the week commencing on Sunday, January 26, 2003 (they study the portion during the week) culminating in its reading on the following Sabbath, February 1, 2003 was Mishpatim which included a reference to the borders of Israel and prohibition against making any treaties with non-Jewish inhabitants of the Land:
Mishpatim (Laws), Shemos (Exodus) 21:1 - 24:18
(Stone Chumash with my generalized comments in brackets)
January 28, 2003
Saturday, February 01, 2003 Shvat 29, 5763
Powell: Bush to be more involved in Israeli-Palestinian conflict
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday that President George Bush will become more deeply involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than he was in his first two years in the White House.
Powell said that the conflict was the most pressing problem in the Middle East.
Powell also told the Palestinians on that "they cannot get a state by using violence" and warned that they must install a new leadership.
Appearing before a national conference of Americans interested in U.S. foreign policy, Powell said the administration would resume its pursuit of a settlement now that Israel had concluded its elections.
He said he had talked by telephone to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who won a new term this week, and that the Bush administration would use the roadmap devised in partnership with the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
It aims to create a Palestinian state by the year 2005 carved out of land that Israel has held for more than 35 years.
Sharon, meanwhile, spoke by telephone to Bush whose support for Israel against terror by Palestinians was reflected in Powell's remarks.
"They cannot get a state by using violence to get a state," Powell said.
The State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said, meanwhile, the administration was "assessing how to proceed" with the roadmap. He said the administration would at least wait out Sharon's formation of a new government.
But, Boucher said, "we want to make clear we want to keep moving."
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Prime minister insists on a complete termination of terror and full PA reform
By Aluf Benn Ha'aretz 26 January 2003
A special team from the prime minister's bureau, headed by Dov Weisglass, is finalizing the Israeli version of the "road map" in consultation with the Defense and Foreign Ministries. The Israeli peace plan, which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hopes to bring before the next government, will be Jerusalem's interpretation of the speech made by U.S. President George Bush on June 24, 2002 and will constitute Israel's official response to the road map put forth by the Quartet - the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.
According to the Israeli plan, Jerusalem will not comment on aspects of the draft presented by the Quartet but will present its own detailed proposal. It will also initiate a rushed implementation of its plan in order to expedite reforms in the Palestinian Authority and strengthen ties with moderate Palestinian leaders.
One of the prime motivations behind Sharon's proposal is to create the right conditions for a political agreement within Israel, which will enable the post-elections Labor Party to join the Likud in a national unity government.
Sharon is also trying to counter any effort to impose on Israel an international plan that includes aspects he finds unacceptable.
"The Bush speech is acceptable to all sides, but there is a dispute over its correct interpretation," said a senior diplomatic source. "Our plan will accurately reflect the president's vision," the source added.
The Israeli plan follows Bush's vision for the creation of a Palestinian state but will emphasize several principles, in particular an absolute end to terrorism and a broad reform including a change in leadership to transform the Palestinian Authority into a "properly functioning entity." Only then will Israel accede to the establishment of a Palestinian state within temporary borders, with limited sovereignty. As a final stage, negotiations will be held over the final status agreement.
Israel will link progress with actual developments on the ground, and not to a fixed time table.
"The plan has two halves. In the first half, [all responsibility] is placed on the Palestinians and only when they prove themselves in a long list of difficult demands, it will be time for the second half," said the senior diplomatic source. If the Palestinians fulfill their part, there will be broad public support for the plan in Israel, the source said.
"The Bush plan was formulated in cooperation with us, and includes essential fundamentals that we had demanded."
As it stands currently, the Quartet's plan includes the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of 2003 within temporary borders. Prior to this, a cease-fire must be achieved and the PA must undergo reforms, both of a political/administrative nature, and in terms of its various security systems. Simultaneously Israel will freeze all settlement activities and withdraw from all PA territory reoccupied during the Intifada. A final status agreement may be reached through negotiations by 2005 under the guidance and inspection of the Quartet.
The implementation of the plan is headed by a team under Minister Dan Meridor, who is working on steps to reinforce "elements bypassing [Palestinian Chairman Yasser] Arafat." Israel is interested creating a basis for "the day after" Arafat.
The two teams, one for formulating the peace plan and the other for its implementation, are working separately but share a number of members.
The international road map will be brought before the foreign ministers of the Quartet for approval in the coming weeks. The European Union has demanded that the final version of the plan - the third version, completed last month - be made public immediately following the elections here to avoid any new changes. The U.S. administration would like to postpone the authorization of the plan until the establishment of a new government in Israel, and to allow for changes to the final version, based on the comments of the two sides.
EU and UN diplomats are preparing detailed proposals for the implementation of the plan, including an international inspection apparatus on the ground, which would evaluate whether the conditions of each stage in the plan have been met and whether it is possible to proceed further.
A diplomatic source said that "the draft of the road map is a general plan, and it is logical that it be developed in detail. According to the road map, step-by-step progress will be dependent on the performance of the two sides and clear benchmarks for evaluating the performance must be established."
Jerusalem, December 26, 2002
Is a Palestinian State within Israel a Foregone Conclusion?
Ruth Matar, Women in Green Radio Program
Certainly not, even though our government and our media want us to believe that it is, and try hard to suppress any opposition to the creation of such a state.
However, most disturbing of recent events is the metamorphosis of Ariel Sharon. What has happened to Sharon? What brought about this change? To show you that Sharon has indeed changed dramatically, I am just going to read a paragraph from his autobiography "Warrior", published in 1989. I am quoting verbatim from this autobiography, page 402.
"When Begin brought the autonomy plan to the government, many in his Herut (Likud) Party found it insupportable, a betrayal by Begin of the Jewish claim to Eretz Israel. My own reaction was that the plan was loaded with danger. It could easily, I said, become a Balfour Declaration for the Palestinians and might well lead to a second Palestinian state (in addition to Jordan), something no Israeli with any regard for the country's safety could agree to."Now, for an article which appeared in the newspaper "Maariv" about a blowout which Sharon had with a very popular Likud Knesset Member, Zahi Hanegbi, at a Likud meeting. Zahi Hanegbi ranks third on the Likud list, preceded only by Sharon and Netanyahu. By the way, the first ten Likud members on the list are all against a Palestinian state, with one exception—Ariel Sharon. At that meeting Sharon demanded that his ministers in the Likud would show a united front and all endorse the idea of a Palestinian state. This is a quote from the Maariv article:
Sharon says: "We should all give the same message; i.e. that Israel would be willing to give the Palestinians a state, that not the Turks, not the British, not the Egyptians, and not the Jordanians agreed to give them."When the shocked Likud ministers tried to tell Sharon that favoring the creation of a Palestinian state was against the Likud platform, against the Likud law, and against the decision of the Likud Central Committee, Sharon told them to shut up, clearly saying that he will not allow people in his government who oppose his favoring a Palestinian state.
It is extraordinary that we allow Ariel Sharon to become a virtual dictator. I posed the following question on my program last week: "Is the democratic process working in Israel? Are the People allowed to decide their own future?"
Caroline B. Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post answered this question as follows:
"The same people who foisted upon us the Oslo process, the same people who brought us Arafat, and the murder of one thousand Israelis since 1994 still determine what we can and cannot say, and what we can or cannot discuss. Sharon himself said in an interview in September of this year, before Rosh HaShana, that the Oslo agreements are dead. And now in December, he says that Israel must abide by all the concessions that the Oslo government made from 1993 to 2000 to Yasser Arafat. To object to the establishment of Palestine in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is illegitimate, even though it has been proven beyond any shred of reasonable doubt that such a state will in fact be dangerous and suicidal to the State of Israel."My second guest last week, Dr. Aaron Lerner, also feels that the democratic process in Israel is not working. In May of this year, the Likud Central Committee voted overwhelmingly against a Palestinian state. Sharon walked out in a huff, and said that he will do what he wants.
The rank and file of Likud people are opposed to a Palestinian state. Nonetheless, there is a massive campaign to convince the public that a Palestinian state is a foregone conclusion. But the opposite is shown the polls which ask any kind of detailed questions. For instance, the Steimetz Center of Tel Aviv University found in an opinion survey conducted two weeks ago that less than a third of Israeli Jews polled would agree to the Palestinians having sovereignty over even Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
No! A Palestinian state is not a foregone conclusion. But, Sharon is so hell-bent on creating a Palestinian state, that he even uses ridiculous arguments like "I want to arrive at an arrangement with the Palestinians, because that will be the only solution to Israel's ailing economy."
It is with great sadness that the Women in Green think back on the days when we considered Ariel Sharon our hero. We are no longer together in the struggle for, as Sharon wrote to us at that time, "the legitimate rights of Eretz Israel and a United Jerusalem".
Sharon may have abandoned these goals for what he thinks is pragmatic reasons, or because of facing unbearable pressures from the United States. Maybe his attitude now goes under the heading of "facing reality". Rather than falling in line with such defeatist thinking, I would like to quote to you what Hashem said to Joshua after Moses' death. (Joshua 1:6)
"Be strong and courageous for it is you who will cause this people to inherit the land that I have sworn to their fathers to give them."To all our friends, Jews and Christians, who believe in the Bible: this should be an encouragement for all of us. We may have many enemies, but with G-d's help we will fight together to ensure Israel's survival. We need to be passionate! In these crucial times we cannot afford to be complacent. The struggle for Israel's survival should occupy our thoughts, morning, noon and night.
Continually write, fax, email and telephone your senators, your representatives and President George W. Bush, that the creation of a Palestinian terror state is a danger, not only for Israel, but for all of western Judeo-Christian civilization.
Excerpts from Council on Foreign Relations magazine "Foreign Affairs" (whose logo is a man on a white horse):
The Last Negotiation
Hussein Agha is Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He has been involved in Israeli-Palestinian affairs for more than 30 years. Robert Malley is Middle East Program Director at the International Crisis Group. Between 1998 and 2001, he was President Clinton's Special Assistant for Arab-Israeli Affairs.
CUT TO THE CHASE
Since the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the outbreak of the second intifada, two propositions have gained wide acceptance. The first is that trying to find a comprehensive solution to end the conflict has already been attempted -- and at this point, if tried again, can only fail. The second is that an interim solution is therefore the only way out of the current crisis and might succeed if properly implemented. The mounting death tolls on both sides seem to confirm the notion that conflict management rather than conflict resolution should be the order of the day, and that now is the time for taking incremental steps in order to rebuild the torn fabric of trust. In fact, now is precisely the time for a U.S.-led international coalition to put forward an end-of-conflict deal.
The idea that only incremental steps can resolve the current crisis flies in the face of the experience of the past decade. Everything Israelis and Palestinians have tried since 1993 has been of the interim sort -- whether the Oslo accords themselves, the 1995 Interim accords, the 1997 Hebron agreement, or the 1998 Wye memorandum. However sensible it may have seemed at the start, in practice the incremental approach has demonstrated serious shortcomings.
Lacking a clear and distinct vision of where they were heading, both sides treated the interim period not as a time to prepare for an ultimate agreement but as a mere warm-up to the final negotiations; not as a chance to build trust, but as an opportunity to optimize their bargaining positions. As a result, each side was determined to hold on to its assets until the endgame. Palestinians were loath to confiscate weapons or clamp down on radical groups; Israelis were reluctant to return territory or halt settlement construction. Grudging behavior by one side fueled grudging behavior by the other, leading to a vicious cycle of skirted obligations, clear-cut violations, and mutual recriminations.
By multiplying the number of obligations each side agreed to, the successive interim accords increased the potential for missteps and missed deadlines. Each interim commitment became the focal point for the next dispute and a microcosm for the overall conflict, leading to endless renegotiations and diminished respect for the text of the signed agreements themselves. Steps that might have been easy to win support for domestically if packaged as part of a final agreement were condemned as unwarranted concessions when carried out in isolation. Increasingly beleaguered political leaderships on both sides thus were tempted to take compensatory actions: incendiary speeches by Palestinians, building more settlements by Israelis, and from the two parties, a general reluctance to prepare their people for the ultimate compromises. Designed to placate angry constituents, these moves had the unintended consequence of alienating the other side, making a final deal all the more difficult to achieve. Finally, the succession of piecemeal, incremental agreements made it more difficult to mobilize the support of other countries.
Yet another interim agreement could not cure ills that are inherent in the culture of interim agreements. It would not rebuild trust, it would not lead to a durable political agreement, and it would use up considerable local and international energy in the process. The same defects plague plans that call for the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state with negotiations to follow over its size, prerogatives, and other final-status issues. As for the notion of unilateral Israeli withdrawal from parts of the West Bank and Gaza, such a gesture would only add to these problems the real risk of emboldening those Palestinians who believe that Israel can be forced by violence to pull out. As all of these factors suggest, the current confrontation is not an argument in favor of acting small, but rather a call to start thinking big.
The time for negotiations has therefore ended. Instead, the parties must be presented with a full-fledged, non-negotiable final agreement...A deal should not be made dependent on preexisting mutual trust; the deal itself will create it...If they [Israelis] were presented with a U.S.-backed, realistic, end-of-conflict agreement, in all likelihood most of them would embrace it.
HOW TO GET THERE
The paradox is that, although the outlines of a solution have basically been understood for some time now, the way to get there has eluded all sides from the start. The lesson of the interim period, and the type of final-status negotiations that concluded it, is that relying on the intentions of Israeli or Palestinian leaders is a strategy with scant chance of success. The nature of the conflict, the imbalance of power, domestic politics on both sides, the character of the negotiators, the psychological makeup of the leadership -- all these factors have prevented the parties from moving toward a solution.
What is needed to overcome this deadlock is a novel process, a means of waging diplomacy that is independent of the will and whims of the parties' leaderships, one that does not cater to their immediate preferences and that bypasses their immediate constraints. Achieving such a deal will require the forceful intervention of outside actors who can present a package that resonates with both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples, addressing their fears and concerns and showing that some way out of the impasse is actually possible.
Led by the United States, the effort should involve a broad coalition of European, Arab, and other countries and institutions capable of providing security, as well as economic and political support, to Israelis and Palestinians. The proposal should be sanctioned by a UN Security Council resolution and complemented by a number of third-party arrangements such as a U.S.-Israeli defense treaty, possible Israeli membership in NATO, a pledge by Arab nations to recognize Israel and move toward the normalization of their relations (a process that, to be completed, would also require a peace deal with Syria), American and European security guarantees to the Palestinian state, and a sizable aid package to help build the new state's economy.
The forceful presentation by a U.S.-led international coalition of a deal like the one outlined above would oblige the leaderships of both sides to either sign on or defy the world -- along with large segments of their own publics. Indeed, even an immediate negative reply from one or both sides would neither erase the initiative nor rob it of its importance, for the very proposal would marginalize those reluctant to espouse it and set in motion a new political dynamic that, in due course, would force a change of heart among the leaders -- or else a change of leaders.
Some will argue that anything coming from the outside will be viewed as a foreign imposition and therefore be rejected. However, if the deal is based on past and present Israeli-Palestinian discussions it will not be viewed as imposed from outside; and if it is fair, it is unlikely to be rejected. This would not be a case of outsiders seeking to force a secretly concocted agreement on unwilling parties, since the core of the agreement will have derived from the parties' own previous interactions. Moreover, the mechanism of ratification should be predicated on popular referenda in Israel and among the Palestinian people and should be built into the proposal itself.
The danger is to believe that what looks practical and down-to-earth -- step-by-step rebuilding of the process, resumption of security cooperation, gradual improvements on the ground -- is the preferable approach. The incrementalism of the previous decade has proved bankrupt time and again because it was based on a misunderstanding of the nature and dynamics of the conflict. The approach did not fail as a result of the parties' ill will or a lack of faithful implementation; rather, it was the approach that contributed to both.
Seldom has more ink been spilled than over the issue of whether Israeli or Palestinian leaders genuinely want or can make a final deal. These are assumed to be the key questions, the answers to which can unlock the door to a peaceful settlement. But they are not and cannot. The point now should not be to accommodate the Israeli and Palestinian leaders' limitations and shape the effort to fit their proclivities; it should instead be to make the limitations of both sets of leaders irrelevant. As violence continues to threaten and the outlines of a fair agreement lie idly by for all to see, the notion of simply waiting for these leaders to finally negotiate a deal or for the two sides to gradually regain their trust in each other is ringing increasingly hollow. The time has come for an effort that is neither top-down nor bottom-up, but outside-in: the forceful presentation by external actors of a comprehensive, fair, and lasting deal.
NASA engineers have determined that Columbia was most likely torn apart when the shuttle's vulnerable aluminum skin on the left wing was pierced. A tear would have allowed scorching gas that surrounded the spaceship during its fiery reentry to penetrate like a blowtorch, melting the structure from inside and destroying the ship.
(Finding on Breach Rules Out Computer or Navigation Glitch, Washington Post, 2/16/03)
Hashem has determined that Israel will be torn apart if the nation's vulnerable areas of Judea and Samaria are pierced. A tear will allow the Arabs surrounding her since her rebirth to penetrate like a blowtorch, melting her from inside and destroying her.
Labour crushed as Israel lurches to right
Jerusalem - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud party has ridden to victory in Israel's general election on a wave of support for his tough line with Palestinians, humiliating left-wing parties that had pursued Middle East peace deals.
Greeted by flag-waving supporters who burst into song, Sharon claimed victory early on Wednesday and urged parties to join him in a broad government to meet the twin challenges of what he called terrorism and a possible Gulf war.
Labour Party leader Amram Mitzna conceded defeat in a telephone call to Sharon soon after voting ended on Tuesday. Results showed Likud storming back into power, replacing Labour as the biggest party in parliament.
'We do not intend to join'
Labour endured its worst defeat, falling to 19 seats from 25 in the 120-member parliament, reflecting Israelis' fury at the party's having put its faith in Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to make peace.
Hundreds of Israelis have been killed in scores of suicide bombings carried out by militants at the forefront of a 28-month-old Palestinian uprising.
January 29, 2003, 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Israelis went to the polls. The big story of the elections is the devastating defeat of the left-wing Israeli Labor party. This is a continuation of a steady decline in Labor's fortunes that began during the elections of 1992. Labor lost between eight to ten additional Knesset mandates in each of the subsequent elections. In Tuesday's elections the decline was so severe that, for the first time in history, the party is threatened with losing its status as one of the two largest parties in Israel.
Likud's scandals did not translate into a Labor victory because the leading party on the Israeli Left was still viewed as responsible for the failure of the Oslo accords and the subsequent decline in personal security. Over the past two-and one-half years, Israelis faced the worst terror attacks in the history of the state. For average citizens this meant changing daily routines, avoiding public places, and living in constant state of worry over their loved ones. But this dismal situation did not bring about a vigorous process of soul-searching or ideological reexamination on the Israeli Left. The Left was unable to admit that the collapse of Oslo meant that its ideas and values failed. Rather, its leadership split between those who believed that Israel had to go back to the negotiating table despite Palestinian violence and those who believed that violence had to cease first. The majority of Israelis, who had to live with daily Palestinian terror, viewed this internal Labor debate about how quickly Israel should return to the negotiating table with a mixture of anger and disbelief. Labor and its leaders seemed more and more out of touch with the daily life of most Israelis. This was despite the fact that since the 1999 elections Labor served as a member of Sharon's national unity government. Although the majority of Israelis approved of the unity government, debates within the Labor's rank and file only emphasized the party's inability to adjust to the failure of its worldview. Even as scores of Israelis were being killed or injured by terror, many in Labor argued that Sharon successfully turned the party into an automatic seal of approval for his brutal policies toward the Palestinians.
... Israeli voters reacted to what celebrated author Amos Oz, himself a supporter of the peace camp, described recently as the hatred of Israeli left-wing intellectuals "not for the government, but for the entire self-existence. Among some of the radical intelligentsia in Israel today I see hatred not only for the religious, but also for the settlers, the Right, and the nationalists. I see sweeping hatred for the architecture, for the music, the folk songs, the memories for everything. For the streets on which people walk. For the buses on which people travel."
Israeli voters, particularly those who support the Right, are painfully aware of the Left intelligentsia's sweeping disgust with everything that is not a part of their lifestyle or cultural preferences. Religious people in Israel, Sephrdi Jews, settlers, and new immigrants all feel insulted by the arrogance of what has become known in Israel as the "northies" the left-wing intelligentsia who mainly resides in the fashionable neighborhoods of north Tel-Aviv. For the intellectuals of the Left, the essence of Israeli society is (or should be) a combination of the Kibbutzim and the Weidman Institute for science. But anyone who is not a WASP intellectual, a wealthy but politically correct businessman, a member of the press corps, the Supreme Court or the universities simply does not have the right to exist. Anyone who does not abide by the cultural strictures defined by a narrow "righteous" Left is considered an ignorant boor.
There were seven astronauts on board. On of the things (among many interesting parallels with this article) that Bullinger says about the number 7 is:
In the Hebrew, seven is (ba#$e (shevah). It is from the root (ba#$&af (savah), to be full or satisfied, have enough of. Hence the meaning of the word "seven" is dominated by this root, for on the seventh day God rested from the work of Creation. It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it. Hence the word tba#$af (Shavath), to cease, desist, rest, and tb@af#$a Shabbath, Sabbath, or day of rest...Some things to consider:
Information gathered from CNN, MSNBC and Fox on the day of the disaster. Interpretation of the following, of course, is debatable but I'm just trying to put all the facts together in one place:
Ramon was born Ilan Wolferman, in June 1954, in a suburb of Tel Aviv, the younger of two boys. He changed his last name after finishing flight school (crafting it from some of the letters in Wolferman). He was following the example of Israel's founding prime minister, who had decreed that all Israeli fighters should have Hebrew names and changed his own from David Green to David Ben-Gurion.
wolf—a fierce, rapacious, or destructive person (Webster's)rapacious—excessively grasping or covetous; ravenous (Webster's)wolfer—a hunter of wolves (Webster's)
0363 Nly) 'iylan (Aramaic) ee-lawn'
0356 Nwly) 'Eylown ay-lone'or (shortened) Nwl) 'Elown ay-lone'or
Nly) Eylon ay-lone'
0352 ly) 'ayil ah'-yil
0193 lw) 'uwl ool
STS-107 Shuttle Mission Imagery
STS107-S-001 (May 2001) --- This is the insignia for STS-107, which is a multi-discipline microgravity and Earth science research mission with a multitude of international scientific investigations conducted continuously during the planned 16 days on orbit. The central element of the patch is the microgravity symbol, µg, flowing into the rays of the astronaut symbol. The mission inclination is portrayed by the 39 degree angle of the astronaut symbol to the Earth's horizon. The sunrise is representative of the numerous experiments that are the dawn of a new era for continued microgravity research on the International Space Station and beyond. The breadth of science conducted on this mission will have widespread benefits to life on Earth and our continued exploration of space illustrated by the Earth and stars. The constellation Columba (the dove) was chosen to symbolize peace on Earth and the Space Shuttle Columbia. The seven stars also represent the mission crew members and honor the original astronauts who paved the way to make research in space possible. The Israeli flag is adjacent to the name of the payload specialist who is the first person from that country to fly on the Space Shuttle. The NASA insignia design for Shuttle flights is reserved for use by the astronauts and for other official use as the NASA Administrator may authorize. Public availability has been approved only in the form of illustrations by the various news media. When and if there is any change in this policy, which is not anticipated, it will be publicly announced.
Description: A constellation that can be seen in southern winter skies, it represents a dove with an olive branch in its mouth.
A constellation of the southern hemisphere and a member of the "Heavenly Waters" constellation family. Columba is thought to be the dove following along after Noah's Ark.
Shadow of the Dove
As we glance into the night sky we are captivated by many of the bright constellations like Orion and Canis Major for example, but nestled close to these lies one of our heavenly-feathered friends Columba the Dove. In Japan Columba is known as Hato, in Germany as Taube, in France as Colombe, in Russia as Gawloob and in Spain as Paloma all meaning dove or pigeon. The constellation is in a rich area of sky but is often overlooked because of some of the brighter constellations nearby. There are many stories relating to the dove, but usually the story told today relates to Jason and his Argonauts however the original story relates Columba to the dove that was said to have followed Noahs Ark of the Biblicists. Columba was believed to be the dove that Noah had sent out to investigate whether the waters had receded. The dove as associated with the deluge appears in the mythology of the Babylonians, Hebrews, Greeks and Chaldeans. Columba was also said to be the dove that Jason and his intrepid band of Argonauts had sent forth to help guide them through the clashing rocks.
Earlier Jason had met with Phineus the old and blind king who had forewarned Jason about the rocks. Jason and his crew had set Phineus free after being plagued by Harpies, winged creatures with hag-like features. In gratitude Phineus had advised Jason to send a dove forth between the rocks and if it survived Jason would also endure. As Jason and his Argonauts passed from the Aegean Sea into the Black Sea he sent out the dove to see how it would fare between the clashing rocks of the Symplegades. The dove was to survive death and Jason ordered his crew of Argonauts to row at top speed between the rocks. Minerva (Athene) the goddess of wisdom later elevated Columba into the sky for its good deed.
Columba is the 54th largest constellation in the sky and contains 24 stars above magnitude 5.5. The constellation shares its borders with Caelum (the Chisel,) Canis Major (the Greater Dog,) Lepus (the Hare,) Pictor (the Painters Easel) and Puppis (the Stern.) Columbas brightest star is Phact (alpha Columbae) a blue white star located approximately 268 light years away. The star has an apparent magnitude of 2.7 making the 102nd brightest star in the night sky. The name Phact appears to translate as ring dove. The early Chinese called this star Chang Jin which translated meant the old folks.
Wazn (beta Columbae) is an orange giant star located some 86 L.Y. distant. Wazn has an apparent magnitude of 3.1 making it the 190th brightest star in the night sky. The name Wazn is taken from the Arabic Al Wazn meaning, weight." The Dutch theologian Petrus Plancius first introduced the celestial dove to us in the year 1592. It later made an appearance on the stellar map of German lawyer and amateur astronomer Johann Bayer in 1603. However, Columba wasnt formally recognised until it was published on the chart of French astronomer Augustine Royer in 1679. The constellation also contains a number of objects for the deep sky enthusiast. Located some 35,000 L.Y. away from us is the globular star cluster NGC 1851. It appears to us as a 7th magnitude object with a strong central condensation of stars. The constellation in addition contains the large barred spiral galaxy NGC 1808 which can be seen dimly with a small telescope under dark skies. The spiral galaxy NGC 1792 can also be seen in Columba under good skies with the use of a small telescope.
Our sun is currently heading away from Columba at great speed. Columba contains the "solar antapex" which is the opposite of the solar apex, which is the direction our sun is headed. At present, we appear to be journeying in the direction of the constellation Hercules. Like Jason and his Argonauts we are all on a type of voyage, but in our case a cosmic voyage slowly leaving the dove behind. However, for millennia to come we will still be able to enjoy the wonders of our celestial dove.
Chilmead's treatise has this brief description of the stars in Columba; "of which there are two in the back of it of the second magnitude, which they call 'the Good messengers' or 'bringers of good news'; and those in the right wing are consecrated to the Appeased Deity; and those in the left, to 'the retiring of the waters in the time of the Deluge'. Heis locates alpha-Phact and Beta, Wazn, in the back; in the right wing, and nu and epsilon in the left. In China they were Sum, the Child; lamda being Tttze, a Son; and the nearby small stars, She, the Secretions [SLM p.166].
SLM = "Starnames, Their Lore and Meaning" Richard Hinchley Allen, 1889, a reference book on the history of the stars and constellations for astronomers, Dover Publications 1963 (more recent publications available).
The Israel Air Force flag that Ramon took along with him to space was...found in its entirety. U.S. President George Bush, who took part in the memorial ceremony for the seven astronauts yesterday, approached the Ramon family afterwards and told them [paraphrased], "Ilan blew up the Iraqi nuclear reactor [in 1981], and I will finish the job."
Arutz Sheva News Service
Ramon: A Jewish, Zionist Astronaut
Arutz-7's U.S. correspondent Eli Sechbach reported that the mood in the U.S. today is reminiscent of the day of the World Trade Center attack: "Sadness all around." Sechbach said that after he interviewed Ilan Ramon a few years ago, "I remember being so favorably impressed. He was a man without an ego, to whom it was very important that he could connect world Jewry and U.S. citizens via his work in space." Ramon said at the time that though he was not a religious Jew, he planned to represent all streams of Jewry during his trip. "He was a source of pride for all the Jewish communities here," Sechbach said, "and he visited many of them a few years ago. I remember him laughing and saying, 'I'm only 1.70 meters (5 ft. 8 in.), but soon I will be the 'tallest' Israeli in the world.'"
Arutz-7's Kobi Finkler reported other Jewish aspects of Ramon's flight into space: "When he circled over Jerusalem, he emailed President Katzav that he recited the Shma Yisrael prayer. His friends say that he was always inspired by the Zionist dream. Eight months ago, he and the other astronauts were asked to make a list of personal items they would like to take into space. Ramon chose the following: "Because his mother was a Holocaust survivor, he took along a drawing of Earth as it might look from the moon, drawn by a boy who died in Auschwitz shortly before the end of the war. As a representative of the State of Israel, he took along a Presidential pennant, as well as flags of the Israel Air Force, the two cities in which he lived - Be'er Sheva and Ramat Gan - and the high school in which he studied. He hung a mezuzah on one of the doors in the spacecraft; he took a silver 'hand' used for reading from the Torah; the world saw him proudly wave his Kiddush cup used on the Sabbath; and in his bag was a Book of Psalms. At every press conference he would proudly say, 'I am an emissary of Zionism and the Jewish People.'"
During a televised video conference with Prime Minister Sharon and other Israelis midway through the trip, Col. Ramon showed Israeli viewers the miniature Torah Scroll he took along with him. During the Holocaust, Holland's Chief Rabbi Dasberg brought the scroll with him to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. There he met a boy, Yosef Yehoyachin, to whom he gave Bar Mitzvah lessons using that very Torah scroll - and then charged him with the mission of surviving and telling the story. Yehoyachin lived, arrived in Israel - and became the Israeli scientist who initiated the main experiment Col. Ramon carried out in space. He also gave Ramon that same miniature Torah Scroll to take with him into space - so that the story Rabbi Dasberg had left with him could be told around the world.
Israel's first astronaut - Ilan Ramon
By Ha'aretz Service
Ilan Ramon, a former fighter pilot and weapons specialist, fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and in the 1982 war in Lebanon. In 1981, he was a member of the mission to bomb the Iraqi nuclear reactor before it became online.
In 1997, he was selected to be Israel's first astronaut, and began training at NASA a year later. He was promised a launch as early as 1999, but for several reasons, his flight - and the flight of an atmospheric dust-measuring experiment sponsored by Israel - was delayed.
The son of an Auschwitz death camp survivor, Ramon planned a tribute to those who endured the Holocaust - he carried up a small pencil drawing titled "Moon Landscape" by Peter Ginz, a 14-year-old Jewish boy who was killed at Auschwitz.
He also packed a credit-card sized microfiche of the Bible given to him by President Moshe Katsav and some mezuzahs - cases containing excerpts from the Bible that are affixed to the door in Jewish houses.
Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon will carry Holocaust art into space
CAPE CANAVERAL - When Israel's first astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramon, lifts off for space aboard the U.S. space shuttle Columbia on Thursday, he will carry a pencil sketch of Earth, as seen from the moon, drawn by a 14-year old boy who died in the Holocaust.
Ramon, whose mother survived Auschwitz, the same Nazi concentration camp where the young artist, Petr Ginz of Prague, was killed in 1944, sees his flight as the fulfillment of many people's dreams.
"I know my flight is very symbolic for the people of Israel, especially the survivors, the Holocaust survivors," said Ramon. "Because I was born in Israel, many people will see this as a dream that is come true."
Ramon and six U.S. astronauts will be under heavy guard until liftoff. The launch time will not be announced until Wednesday as an additional security measure.
Ramon began training for this 16-day science flight almost three years ago, when prospects of Middle East peace seemed much brighter. Despite the collapse of peace talks and the escalation of violence, 48-year-old Ramon, an Air Force colonel, is still optimistic about the meaning of his flight.
"There is no better place to emphasize the unity of people in the world than flying in space. We are all the same people, we are all human beings, and I believe that most of us, almost all of us, are good people," he said.
Ramon is the first Israeli astronaut but will not be the first Jew in space. That was Judith Resnick, who later died aboard the Challenger, but made her first flight in 1984. Other American Jews have flown since them, some making small commemorations of their heritage while in orbit.
Ramon is garnering far more attention as an Israeli and the son of a Holocaust survivor.
Although he is not religious, he asked to take the first Kosher food into space - NASA found an Illinois company that vacuum packs Kosher products for hikers and campers - and he will also observe the Jewish Sabbath with ritual prayer, if time permits.
A debate has arisen among some rabbis over just how to mark the Sabbath in space, since astronauts, speeding around the planet at five miles (8.047 km) per second, see the sun set every 90 minutes, marking the start of another day, according to Jewish traditions.
By that reckoning there would be at least two Sabbaths in every 24-hour period.
Ramon is expected to rely on Mission Control's clock.