Rosh Hashanah Day One: Nuclear New Year and How Jewish Holocaust Survivors Built the First Nuclear Reactor



One of the biggest stories of the past year has been the abrogation of the Iran Deal and the in-roads made with North Korea. Both have nuclear concerns in common, and their nuclear capabilities impact the Land of Israel and the Jewish people specifically, as well as world safety at large. We may look back at 5778 as a significant year in how – and how not – advances in nuclear energy were made.

Nuclear refers to the nuclei, the nucleus at the core of things. Rosh Hashana is the nucleus of existence, quite literally the nuclear energy source of our year. Rosh Hashana (not techilas hashana) – literally the “head” of the year – is the central nervous system of the year. On this day the world was created. It is the beginning of the world, the origins of earth. Often times the best way to understand a current situation is to dissect its origins. Where does it come from? How did it get here?

What are the origins of nuclear reactors that allow for nuclear energy? How did they come to be? And why are they such threats today?

Believe it or not, a predominantly Jewish team of physicists, many of them refugees from European communities devastated by the Nazis, had ushered in the origins of the atomic and nuclear age. A major motivation of theirs was combating Hitler and the threat he posed to Jewry and the world. Understanding their motivations and scientific breakthroughs sheds much light and teaches many lessons in our daily personal and global lives.

Perhaps by studying their story we can to better live ours, harnessing the nuclear potential within every one of us to create and recreate a G-dly world.



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