The task has been carried out or more over than twenty years. It means that the instruments and the technique that were used to launch the Rosetta shuttle is still valid and works while it should be considered as obsolete and outdated according to the patterns used on Earth. It traveled 5 million km and more over that period to study a tiny 4 km2 comet called “67P” or “Chury”.
It is indeed and to begin with a astrophysician exploit that make the point about our civilization. It only starts. On the other hand, it also interrogates our way of believing in all creeds and religions.
Judaism and subsequently Christianity envision faith in the One Living Creator of Heaven and Earth in a wide scope. All through history, humankind has considered the creation and the soil of the Earth then the sky and the visible planets as a constant enquiry. Where from, where to? Why, how? Is the Earth are the centre of the world, is it flat and plain? Is it limited and peculiar, exceptional, unique? Are there other ways to understand who the “universe is” and how does it expand?
It took 5 billion years for the “universe” or space or… we don’t even know how to name it as to be launched, be started up. Big Bang? Then history commenced but history and life are difficult to determine. It requires memory, not oral reminders but remains, traces that can be tracked back and analyzed. It requires a speech, a logic, rational and creative way of conversing, storing words, ideas, conceiving objects and opinions. It requires the capacity to develop technical and reasonable, understandable matters in a language that can be transmitted, first orally then in a written tradition.
This means that we are terribly “young, new”. Real accounts, true “books”, whether engraved in stones, papyrus or wood then legible by a vast number of people is definitely recent. Two, three, four or five thousand years a just a fraction of a second compared to the immensity of billion of years that are not void. They passed why recoding the memory of the Earth and creation that only some two hundred years ago came to be really analyzed and scanned just a few decades ago.
Man and woman, male and female as specific mankind came to consciousness, curious of the world as progressively unveiled or discovered. There are things that we only suspect for the moment without getting proofs, but they will show in the future.
We know that mankind migrated into and to different parts of the globe. We are still surveying how and where it took place. On the other hand, mankind grew as in a sort of local loneliness, small tribes then countries and nations, finally states. This also led to try to understand what space and Earth could mean. Flat or round, outsingled or one special point in a large universe. Without movement or on a constant expansion?
Divine revelation shows that everything is on the move as expressed in the first verse of the Bible:
בראשית ברא אלהים את השמיים ואת הארץ In the beginning (at head) God shaped (cut) the heaven // and the Earth. But HaAretzהארץ ought not to be restricted to the planet where humankind developed and grows till now. It is not the Holy Land, not only. It comes of a root that also expresses a “run, race = rutz = רוץ” i. e. to move or swindle, swing around.
Faith is often limitative. We love to restrain our scope to stiff dogmas and steadfastness, sort of mental and spiritual fixity.
This is not possible to put the Lord into a box – He put and places us as humans with conscience and discernment into His box that is an open space. An ope nspace of His Will that is on extension, both through the past and into the present for the sake of the future. This implies diachronic and synchronic experience and existence.
Again, we are a “billionth” part of a fraction of time that we cannot measure. This could us to some profound vertigo. But it is real and lowers our pretence. It scrolls up and down our historic, physical and meta-historic, meta-physical apprehension of realities that are to be multiplied in time and space.
This is why the Lord also calls us to envision all the galaxies that are called “aratzot/ארצות” and the universe has a lot of galaxies that cannot be defined as for now.
Now consider just a minute what this means with regards to understand who the Creator is, what it means that He gave His only-begotten Son to … whom? to the Jews, the Gentiles, both the Jews and the Gentiles? Or for the redemption of all the worlds? At this stage, it means that Jesus of Nazareth, born in the City of Bethlehem of Judea or at least in the Land of Israel, a Jew from Jews, cannot be limited to this region, to this nation or even to all the nations that live on Earth.
The Lord of the Universe reigns over the Moon, Mars and the neighboring planets… moreover He precisely reigns over all the galaxies that we can explore at the present. This widens the scope of what we constantly want to restrict. It is a part of the first commandment to grow/be fruitful, multiply, fulfill and conquer… the Earth, indeed, but this becomes a conquest of all capacities, tools, techniques and includes the galaxies.
What happens today on “Comet Chury” shows a widely long long-term prospects over thlousands and lmillions of years. This thus interrogates our certitudes in matter of faith, not to reject or deny any dogma of faith or tradition. On the other hand, it will prove and confirm the reality of “hope beyond hope, “life beyond life”.
We participate in a wide set of “history”, things veiled to be unveiled, generations after generations into a future that has an end but we ought not to make the end be determined.
For the Jews, the Divine Presence and Providence abides any cell unit of the universe, God is present on the Moon, Mars and to the farthest limits of the galaxies. We can imagine at the present, feel this and explore the reality of the existence of several parallel “universes”. The Lord is also present on Chury in a tiny way. From there, He lightens back and forth to and from us, obliging humankind to slowly step down from self-pride and self-centeredness.
For the Christians the reality of “Eucharistic Presence” is thus to be envisioned as an immense Gift that sums up all times and billions of spaces, times, breath and brains.
I am personally thankful to God that I could reach this time and these days and am sure that it will largely sprad into the times to come. The man who helped discover comet Chury, called after his own name is Prof. Klim Ivanovich Churiumov, born in Nikolaiev/Mykolayiv [Ukraine] in 1937 [together with Svetlana Ivanovna Gerassimova from Kazakhstan], i. e. in my family town, noticeably also the town where the last Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson was also born in 1902, z”l.
לא אמות כי אחיה ואספר מעדי ה’I will not die by live and account the works/deeds of the Lord (Psalm 118, 17 – ספר תהילים קי”ח, י”ז).