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December 26, 1975 - Image 45

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-12-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


lieieinbei 26;4971 45 .

Israel's Kfir Fighter-Bomber: Home Made Defense

The accompanying photographs show the
Israeli Kfir jet fighter plane, the first jet
fighter made in Israel. The photographs and
an article about the plane were reproduced
recently in the Technion Quarterly magazine
of the Technion — Israel Institute of Tech-
The plane was unveiled last spring at Inde-
pendence Day ceremonies and is designed as
a fighter-bomber. It is a single-seat combat
aircraft equipped with delta wing and sim-
plified controls and a General Electric en-
The Kfir is designed to fly at a maximum
speed of more than 1,600 miles per hour and
a maximum altitude of more than 50,000
ip cording to the Technion Quarterly,
push to develop Israel's own high-per-
formance combat aircraft came at the
close of the 1967 Six-Day War. The French
government's surprise embargo of the de-
livery of 50 paid-for Mirage IIIC jets jolted
Israelis into the realization that they
would have to become their own supplier
of sophisticated military hardware.
Defense experts in Tel Aviv began wonder-
ing whether Israel was capable of building a
combat jet that could compete with the
American-made F-4 Phantom and the
French-produced Mirage IIIC.
Development and production of the new
plane is under the direction of -Israel Air-
craft Industries (IAI).
IAI has an international reputation for
servicing and refurbishing virtually every
type of aircraft and engine. The company
built the "Fouga" jet trainer under license,
but only recently has it become a true air-
craft manufacturer.
The first completely indigenous aircraft
designed and built by IAI and its Tech-
nion-trained engineers was the Arava, a
short take-off and landing passenger and
cargo transport that has extremely econ-
omical operating characteristics and can
fly in and out of the most rudimentary
landing strips. The second was the Wes-
twind business jet.
Attention, however, never deviated from
the real challenge — building a tough, versa-
tile combat jet that could compete in the
skies with the products of the aviation indus-
tries of the most powerful nations in the
Israeli engineers concluded that their air-
craft would incorporate the best features
from what the competitors had to offer.
They would begin by using the sleek,
trim lines of the French Mirage IIIC body,
mate it to the General Electric J79-17 en-
gine that powers the Phantom, and install
flight control systems of their own design.
The Technion's Department of Aeronauti-
cal Engineering has traditionally had a close
working relationship with IAI. The Depart-
ment's basic contribution to the development
of the Kfir and other projects were the
scores of graduates who make up a large
part of the company's engineering staff and
account for a substantial percentLge of its
project leaders.
Many of the department's professors neering team.
Whole new
The net result of the decision to build an
serve as consultants to IAI, and several have Like any of today's sophisticated aircraft, electronics, precision tool —
and die making,
come to the faculty with years of experience it took years to get the Kfir off the drawing exotic metals — had to be created to support advanced Israeli combat plane is a quantum
leap in the country's industrial strength and
as senior members of the company's engi- boards and into the air.
the development and production of the Kfir. maturity.



elation Is Found Between Signs of Zodiac and Judaism

ccording to the Encyclo-
paedia Judaica, the twelve-
fold division of the zodiac
was first developed by the
Chaldean astronomers and
was almost certainly sug-
gested by the occurrence of
the 12 full moons in succes-
sive parts of the heaven in
the course of one year. It
spread to the West about
the beginning of the Chris-
tian Era.

There is no mention of the
zodiac in the Talmud, prob-
ably as a result of Rabbi
Johanan's statement, based

on the verse, "Thus saith the Cancer, Sartan; Leo; Aryeh;
Lord, learn not the way of Virgo, Betulah; Libra, Moz-
the nations and be not dis- nayim; Scorpio, Akrav; Sag-
mayed at the signs of ittarius, Keshet; Capricorn,
heaven, for the (gentile) na- Gedi; Aquarius, Deli ("a
tions are dismayed at them" bucket"), and Pisces, Dagin.
(Jer. 10:2), to the effect that -
According to the Yalkut
"Israel is immune from
planetary influence" (Shab. Shimoni, however, stand-
ards of the 12 tribes corre-
spond to the signs of the
It is first mentioned in zodiac. Thus in the east
the Sefer Yezirah; and the were stationed Judah, Is-
names given to the 12 signs sachar, and Zebulun, cor-
are direct translations of responding to Aries, Tau
the Latin names. Thus Ar- rus, and Gemini; Reuben,
ies is called Taleh; Tarus, Simeon, and Gad in the
Shor; Gemini, Te'omim; south correspond to Can-

cer, Lea, and Virgo;
Ephraim, Manasseh, and
Benjamin in the west with
Libra, Scorpio, and Sagit-
tarius; and Dan, Asher,
and Naphtali in the North
with Capricorn, Aquarius,
and Pisces.
A long piyyut based on
the 12 signs of the zodiac,
Yittah Erez le-Yesha, is in-
cluded in old mahzorim ac-
companying the prayer for
rain on Shemini Azeret, and
the signs of the zodiac
usually accompany the
printed text. This piyyut
has, however, been excluded

from all modern mahzorim,
and the only place where the
signs appear today are in
some calendars.
In the Pesikta Rabbati a
passage occurs which ex-
plains the names of the
signs homiletically in ac-
cordance with Jewish his-
tory. The Temple could not
be destroyed in Niasan,
since the ram which it rep-
resents in the zodiac is a
reminder of the Akedah; the
"Binding of Issac".
Taurus is connected with
the calf which Abraham

slaughtered for his angelic
guests (Gen. 18:7); the Gem-
ini represent Jacob and
Esau; while the Temple was
destroyed in the month of
AV, since its zodiacal sign
Aryeh, the lion, corresponds
to Ariel, a name given to the
Temple (Isa. 29.1).
The signs of the zodiac
figured prominently in
early Jewish art, for exam-
ple on the mosaic floors of
ancient Palestinian syn-
agogues (e.g., Bet Alfa.
Hammath) as well as in
prayer books and on mar-
riage contracts.

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