The Temple Institute: In Memoriam: Ilan Ramon



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In Memoriam:

The people of Israel mourn the tragic loss of Col. Ilan Ramon and his Columbia Shuttle crewmates.

June 27, 2002
2002 The Temple Institute, Yitzchak Reuven - All Rights Reserved

Ilan Ramon saw his space shot not merely as a mission to explore the frontiers of space, but no less importantly, to show to the world and to Israel, the very best of the Jewish people. He showed us that one can be an individualist without severing his ties to his people. Honoring the memory of the holocaust, embodying the achievements of the nation of Israel, and dignifying the faith and traditions of the Jewish people, he accomplished way up there what so few of us seem capable of even attempting way down here. Thousands of Jewish children around the globe, who never heard of the IAF, saw a kiddush cup, heard the sh'ma or understood the holocaust in terms capable of grasping, have now been enlightened. That he did it out of love for his people was so clear, and he made it look so easy. Ironically, he met his fate not in his ascension to the heavens, but upon his return to the cruel, unforgiving bonds of our small planet. While exploring outer space for all mankind, he humbly reminded us of the precious inner space of the Jewish people that also needs to be explored and preserved. Lest one suppose that love of the Jewish people is something that can be attained only from so far a distance, Torah comes to teach us, "It is not in heaven... but near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, for you to do."

E-mail Condolences to the Ramon family

The Israel Defense Forces has opened a web site mailbox, allowing people the world over to send email condolences to the family of Israeli astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon. Over 10,000 people have already sent messages. The IDF plans to leave the address open for a month, and then it will present the Ramon family with a bound volume of the letters along with a CD.The IDF's site is, and the mailbox for condolence letters is .

The Temple Institute wishes to share the following inspirational essays:

More articles and tributes to Col. Ilan Ramon can be seen at



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