One of my favourite stories of last week was about the space probe that Nasa sent crashing into the Moon to create a big cloud of dust which will tell us if there is water there.
Scientists had recently found evidence to suggest that there is water on the moon and made a big deal out of it, although I could have told them that years ago — after all, if there was no water on the Moon, what did The Clangers make their soup out of?
Anyway, apparently the discovery of water there is crucial. Until now, any astronauts who happened to be in the area had to bring their own bottled supply which, apart from being heavy and cumbersome, was also ecologically unsound.
This discovery could have (literally) far-reaching effects — it could make the moon into a staging post for travel into outer space. The thinking is that we could set up some kind of factory there, producing water from the ice crystals lurking below the Moon’s surface. This would make the Moon into a low-gravity version of a Little Chef on the great inter-galactic M1. As everyone knows, the Moon provides the last chance to fill up before Jupiter — so let’s hope the egg and chips are half-decent.
I found myself getting a little excited about the thought that we could all soon be on a real version of the USS Enterprise, boldly going where no man has gone before — and even, as some experts have predicted, colonising new planets.
In fact, harking back to Star Trek, I suspect that it is no coincidence that both the captain and the first officer, Kirk and Spock, were played by Jews, (even if Leonard Nimoy was half Vulcan).
Jews are always looking for the next interesting place to set up home, and this could be our chance. We have been a little stuck since the Northern Line terminated at Edgware. True, we have crept up to Borehamwood, but this is nothing compared to the dynamic migration from Eastern Europe and to the New World which characterised the last century. It’s about time we looked beyond Thameslink to new civilisations.
Once we get in the spaceship and head out beyond the confines of the Milky Way (to the Meaty Way?) and beyond, we are almost certain to find a nice new planet where there’s plenty of space, little in the way of Klingon activity and property prices which are significantly lower than in Radlett.
There will be things to sort out of course — like what we will all be able to eat. Who knows whether Zglob fish are kosher or whether Zglibclops chew the cud or not?
And then there is the near certainty that a small group of little green men will have already set up a rival shul under Rabbi Zlobstein.
Perhaps the biggest problem might be the fact that other planets take much longer to orbit their suns than we do.
On the plus side, Yom Kippur will only come around every 3,650 years, but when it does it will last longer than a decade. Ah well, you could always have a crafty sip of moon water when the rabbi isn’t looking.