My earliest childhood memory is from 50 years ago.
I remember watching the first Moon Landing on our family's small black and white TV while we were gathered together in a beach house in Massachusetts.
I didn't really understand the power of the moment; the fulfilling of the dream that President Kennedy had set for our nation.
However, I do recall my Bubbye Z'L pronouncing that she never thought she would see such a thing in her lifetime.
I don't recall the "small steps" Neil Armstrong took on behalf of us all.
But, not so many years later, I really came to appreciate what had in fact been truly "giant steps".
I remain a fan of Space Exploration.
I look at the universe God gifted to us and I am awed by the expansiveness that surrounds us.
Each new discovery in Space just makes me more greatly appreciate the Life Force that surrounds us at all times.
And, in considering the universe, I become humbled by my own mortal limits. I feel the reality of being nothing more than the dust that I walk upon.
When I look at pictures taken from Hubble and New Horizons, my own prayers become intertwined.
I believe in miracles, those events that can occur and yet we never imagine really would do so.
Science teaches us the "how"; my own Judaism offers the possibilities as to the "why".
This is why science and religion can co-exist with each other so peacefully.
Albert Einstein wrote in 1941:
"But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon were an incredible feat.
Perhaps, maybe even in my lifetime, we will walk on another planet.
But no matter the actual human accomplishment, we all can explore the meaning that is beyond the physicality of our lives.
We can each journey to the unknown while trying to discover where God might be engaged in his Divine challenge of "Hide and Seek".
The Psalmist stated that "the heavens declare the glory of God."
I would add that looking through the telescope into the vastness of the universe is how we perceive what the Psalmist understood.
Our planet is a tiny sphere; our mortal existence is from the dust, and we return to the dust.
But, God gifted all that exists to us and for us.
The whole universe was created for us to appreciate; to explore and to navigate in the directions that make us worthy to being in God's image.
This Shabbat, we can step outside our linear existence. A small step into a Shabbat experience becomes a giant step into exploring the possibilities that comes with life outside of our small corner of the world.
The same is true with each and every ethical mitzvah that we perform. Acts of love and kindness "endure forever".
I believe in the dream that comes with our humanity. I celebrate the reality that our humanity comes with our faithful dreams lived out in the finite time we live on this small sphere.