Eggs Over Easy

It was a bad year for the Jewish people in Israel—suicide bombings, more deaths in Lebanon, murders of innocent civilians, and the peace talks at a standstill. To make matters worse, at year’s end the United States was pressing Prime Minister Netanyahu to take a whiff of Shimon Peres’s potion for peace that induced visions of granting virtually every whim and wish of the Palestinians.

On the other side of the desert a huge Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was being attended by more than 50 Arab nations, including our “moderate” Islamic friends from Saudi Arabia. In his inaugural address to the conference, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for Arab unity to accomplish their supreme common goal—victory over Israel.

“It is time,” he said, “that the Islamic world should give more support to the front-line states who are waging a heroic struggle against Israel, the usurper of Arab lands…”

With all of this going on, were Israelis hunkered down in bunkers while being ministered to by a cadre of grief counselors? Not all, to be sure. Jews in the Middle East know that they live in a very tough neighborhood and that life must go on.

And so, in an exemplary demonstration of “life must go on,” a group of students from the TECHNION—Israel’s version of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology—scaled tall buildings in Tel Aviv, each laden with odd-looking contraptions and cradling fresh eggs in carefully lined baskets. Among them was Yair Solomon, who, upon reaching the roof of a nine-story building, packed a raw egg in a jar of apricot jelly, placed it in a plastic tube, sealed it with a water balloon, and used a homemade launcher to blast the egg-bearing rocket skyward. Three seconds later, it smashed on the concrete, exploding the plastic container and apricot jelly jar. From the carnage rolled the jelly-smeared egg—without a crack or the slightest blemish. Young Solomon’s feat won him the prestigious TECHNION “Egg Drop Award.” His was not the only egg to come through unscathed, but Solomon’s was the fastest, so he was declared the winner.

Students were asked what they had learned from the egg-drop exercise. “Engineering,” they replied, “is a profession that is very, very creative and it requires imagination.”

Dropping eggs from buildings when the sky seems to be falling may seem a trivial pursuit to some. But there is a great lesson in it. For Israel, staying alive “is a profession that is very, very creative and it requires imagination.”

Let’s hope that someday we can stand on the street in Tel Aviv and look up at a skyscraper designed by Yair Solomon. Let’s also hope that by then he will be over dropping raw eggs from tall buildings.

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