Good news about Israel is not news as far as the general media is concerned. That is why I bring you weekly updates on innovative and revolutionary developments which have the potential to make the world a better place. This is Tikkun Olam in action rather than meaningless slogans… writes Micheal Kuttner.

MITZPE RAMON AND MARS 

Six Israeli astronauts are set to learn what life is like on Mars, without having to embark on a 300-day space voyage to get there.

A specialized structure simulating the Red Planet’s unique environment is currently being built near Mitzpe Ramon in the heart of the Israeli desert in the southern part of the country. The space station housing analog astronauts, specifically trained for spaceflight and technical tests in simulated space environments, is the first one ever created in Israel.

The goal of the project is to put Israel at the forefront of space exploration around the world, according to the mission statement.

The astronauts will live in the habitat, set out on exploratory missions “on Mars” in spacesuits, and go about their daily routine as if in space. The “Ramonauts”, as they are dubbed by the project, will even conduct blackout periods, a planetary phenomenon on the Red Planet where Mars passes almost directly behind the sun from the perspective of the Earth, causing difficulties in radio communication.

The Mitzpe Ramon area was chosen for the simulation center due to its similarities to Mars in terms of geology, aridity, and isolation. Next time you visit Israel take a trip to Mars via Mitzpe Ramon.

ANOTHER FDA APPROVAL FOR A LIFE SAVING DEVICE 

An Israeli startup whose software helps doctors give more accurate assessments about strokes and intracranial bleeds, announced it has been granted a special designation by the US Food and Drug Administration that will expedite the approval process for its technology.

The software developed by the Tel Aviv-based startup, based on deep learning and artificial intelligence, can automatically analyze noncontrast head CT images, which are the standard scans used for the initial assessment of potential intracranial hemorrhages in hospitals and emergency rooms.

Using algorithms, the software can pinpoint and alert physicians to the presence of ICH in these scans. This enables physicians to quickly determine if there is a bleed or not; time is of essence because during every minute that passes, brain cells die.

There are currently no automated tools in emergency or radiology departments to help physicians detect intracranial hemorrhage.

FIRST TEMPLE ERA DISCOVERIES IN JERUSALEM HILLS 

Excavations and conservation and development work were conducted between 2012 and 2016 at the site, which is part of the Rephaim Valley National Park.

Many of the finds were dated to the time of the First Temple, about 2,400 to 2,800 years ago.

The main find from that period was a fragment of a proto-Ionic column capital, an artistic element typical of structures and estates of the kings in the First Temple period, an image of such a capital appears on the Israeli NIS 5 coin.

Similar capitals have been found in the City of David in Jerusalem and at Ramat Rachel, where one of the palaces of the kings of Judah was uncovered, the statement said, as well as in Samaria, Megiddo and Hazor, which were major cities in the ancient Kingdom of Israel.

Archaeologists estimated that the site at Ein Hanya may have been a royal estate during the First Temple period. After the destruction of the First Temple, settlement was renewed at the site in the form of an estate house that was inhabited by Jews.

These discoveries once again demolish the lies that Jews were never living in Judea or Samaria.

GATHERING OF THE EXILES

Members of the lost tribe of Menashe are returning home thanks to the tireless work of Shavei Israel which works to reunite Jews exiled from Israel over two thousand years ago. The latest group of Bnei Menashe arrived 2 months ago and recently took part in a pilgrimage to the tombs of Joseph, father of Menashe and Rachel, the mother of Joseph.

Their emotional visits culminated at a dawn service at the Kotel – a place which they had dreamt of visiting for their entire lives.

Read the explanation from Shavei Israel, watch the short video as they pray at Joseph’s Tomb and then the intensely moving video as they pray at the Kotel. Not only is this a tear jerker but it demonstrates the miracle which is Israel as its lost sons and daughters from the four corners of the earth return home at last.

https://shavei.org/long-night-bnei-menashe/

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel. 

[This article was originally published on J-Wire and is reproduced here with permission from Michael Kuttner.]