By Cantor Michelle Rubel
This Shabbat we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. On July 20th, 1969, the world watched as Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar in perhaps the most crucial moment in the 20th century for science and humankind. To the viewers, the entire mission went precisely to plan in a perfect showcase of scientific ingenuity and human endeavor. However, what we know now is that there were many times where unexpected events could have fatally ended this historic mission.
One example is when the astronauts prepared for their walk on the moon. As they put on their backpacks, containing their life-support machinery, they accidentally broke the tip of a circuit breaker – one that controlled the engine they would need to blast off from the moon. The astronauts asked for help from mission control who didn’t immediately have an answer. However, by the time they returned from their walk, Armstrong had a solution. He took out a marker with a soft tip; he was able to close the circuit and ensure they would have the power to get back home.
Here at Sci-Tech, this is also the Shabbat of Tech-Talks, where we get to see the results of each workshop’s hard work throughout the session. It’s one of my favorite parts of camp, and I love to watch, try, or learn about our campers’ finished products. In that moment, it’s easy to forget all of those little moments of unexpected challenges: the code that didn’t work as expected, the surprising lab results, the disagreements between partners. It’s easy to think this was all so easy and forget about the hard parts. It’s easy to remember the first moment that a human being set foot upon the moon. However, those challenging moments and those creative solutions teach us so much about how to face challenges not only on the journey to Tech-Talks but in all aspects of our life.