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NASA Astronaut to Celebrate Hanukkah in Space With Felt Menorah and Dreidel

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen depart for the launch pad before their mission to the International Space Station as Crew-7 on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft at Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, Aug. 26, 2023. Photo: REUTERS

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli plans to celebrate in space the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins Thursday night, with a menorah made out of felt and a dreidel that she took aboard the spacecraft.

NASA and the International Space Station (ISS) do not allow the use of fire on its spacecrafts, preventing Moghbeli from participating in the traditional lighting of a menorah on Hanukkah, but she found a way to still celebrate the holiday.

“My husband and little girls helped make a felt menorah, with lights for each night, that I can pin on to celebrate with them. So I’m excited to do that,” the New York native said during a press conference in July, adding that she will also have a dreidel with her during her space mission.

Moghbeli is the second Iranian-American in space after Anousheh Ansari. Her family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. She is part of SpaceX’s Crew-7 mission, which includes Danish European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Konstantin Borisov from Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. The crew launched on Aug. 26 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This is Moghbeli’s first trip into space after being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2017. The helicopter and Marine Corps test pilot is mission commander for SpaceX’s Crew-7 — making her responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry — and she will serve as a flight engineer aboard the space station.

The post NASA Astronaut to Celebrate Hanukkah in Space With Felt Menorah and Dreidel first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters

Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition.   “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]

The post ‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed

FILE PHOTO: Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi speaks during his transition ceremony with the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and the outgoing chief, in Jerusalem, January 16, 2023. Maya Alleruzzo/Pool via REUTERS

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.

“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.

He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”

The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.

A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”

Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.

The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas

A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]

The post Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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