Is Chabad planning a mission to Mars?
That's what the satirical website Chabad of Mars would have you believe.
The Chabad-Lubavitch movement, which maintains a network of more than 3,300 institutions and a workforce numbering tens of thousands of people all dedicated to the welfare of the Jewish people, has set its sights on a new goal: establishing the first Chabad house on Mars.
Or at least that's what the website Chabad of Mars would have you believe.
The website, a parody, includes a disclaimer that says it is "purely hypothetical and is in no way affiliated with Chabad."
Yet visitors might not grasp that right away. The site's landing page features photographs of "Chabad Pods" and of the movement's leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson), in an astronaut suit.
The site explains that "for thousands of years, Jews have been at the forefront of new discoveries, new ideas and new worlds. Our mission from the Rebbe is to be where Jews are, wherever they are - in the universe."
It also promises answers to questions such as when to light Shabbat candles and says visitors can ask the "Shliachonaut" (aka, space emissary) about when to keep the holidays, will there be alcohol and more. When you click on these, the site promises answers by 2025.
As for the "Chabad Pod," the site assures "Fear not. Everything required for Jewish life is included in the plans for the Chabad Pod, including a Torah scroll (micro-size), copies of Tanya (full size), multiple pairs of Teffilin, a mohel/kitchen knife and of course, Rebbe pictures."
"The Chabad events you love on Planet Earth will exist very similarly on Planet Mars," it promises.