November 5, 2012
Red Bull's Wings to Babel
Rabbi Shlomo Brody, Jewish Ideas Daily
Not long ago, much of the world watched as Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner—working for a project called Red Bull Stratos, sponsored by the eponymous energy drink company—jumped to earth from a 24-mile-high helium balloon in a record-setting free fall that broke the sound barrier. The feat set YouTube records and scored an advertising coup for Red Bull. Yet there remains a critical question about this performance by what one magazine called the "God of the Skies": did it violate Jewish theological or halakhic norms?
When space travel first began, Jewish scholars debated its propriety. The detractors quoted Scripture: "The heavens belong to God, and earth He gave to man." God gave humankind permission to use Earth's resources, they argued, but had granted no...
TAGGED: Space Travel, Judaism, Felix Baumgartner