Rabbi Shraga Nathan Dahan
Rabbi Shraga Nathan Dahan served as the Technology Consultant for the Genesis Project, which sent an Israeli spacecraft to the moon earlier this year. He participated in a recent delegation to Switzerland where he spoke to the Jewish communities of Geneva, Annemasse and Lucerne about technology, Jewish law, and innovation in Israel.
Rabbi Shraga Natan Dahan, a resident of Beit Shemesh, is affiliated with the Rabbinate and holds Masters degrees from a number of academic institutions in Israel and the world in management and technology (Lev Institute, Technion and Polytechnic New York). He is a certified mediator and serves as teaching instructor and halachic consultant in fertility, medicine security and technology.
What did you bring to the communities that you visited as part of the OTS Amiel BaKehila delegation?
My role was to share with them halachic and technological challenges of the Genesis (Bereshit) project – the first Israeli spacecraft to reach the moon, on which I served as the technology consultant. I helped the project find solutions to the dilemmas and challenges which arose between the scientific and technological world and the need to maintain Jewish life without compromise in any field of practice.
How did you take from your trip?
During an intense week, we got to meet the various communities, youth, children, seniors and community leaders. We began our visit at a meeting with the educational administrators, where we learned about the many challenges that they confront. Later in Geneva, we met with Mrs. Nurit Brown, the energetic head of the Geneva Shalva organization who arranged everything for our delegation led by Mr. Bernard Zanzori and Ms. Elisheva Lisha. I found our encounters with the various communities fascinating and empowering.
Please write about an interesting experience or story from the delegation
Sabbath in the French Jewish community of Annemasse was an uplifting experience. We met with the rabbi and his family and had Shabbat dinner with them and other academics. We had meaningful conversations about Torah, science and what was in between – it inspired us for the rest of the week.
One highlight was our participation in the ‘Geneva Action” week, as part of a ‘Women’s Day’ organized by Shalva to strengthen Jewish women. It was a prestigious and distinguished seminar for women which hosted many diverse lecturers from Switzerland and around the world, including members of the OTS Amiel BaKehila delegation. Mr. Bernard Zanzori, who specializes in parental education, opened round tables on education, and Ms. Elisheva Lisha – an expert in education and therapy, joined with innovative methods and conducted “laughter yoga” workshops for women and children. In addition to activities with children, I spoke about the connection between aesthetics, Judaism and what is in between. The lecture sparked a fascinating discussion and was another layer in connecting with community members.
What did you learn from the experience?
OTS Amiel BaKehila is a fascinating and empowering project that brings people together and is a vital and refreshing breath of fresh air for communities that are often preoccupied with everyday life. We are thankful for the community’s appreciation for volunteers and dedication, wherever we come from.
Do you have a message that you would like to convey to the community?
Blessed is Israel who deals with grace and builds a better and more correct world.