22 June 2014

A Hanukkah miracle in Aleppo - with a bit of physics

The story is widely spread in the Russian internet sites, but I haven't seen yet its English rendering. So here it comes, in the midst of the summer, but there is always the next Hanukkah (Chanukah or Chanukkah). Whether the story is true - I don't know, but it is all good, I promise. So enjoy and prepare your dreidels.

Everything happens for the first time once. Once upon a time the Israeli Air Force decided on a kind of a flying warning: a supersonic bypass at low altitude. Over a Syrian town of Aleppo, and the flight should have passed the main street of the city. Since then, much Cast Lead was spilled, and every time that Assad mentions in his speech the recapture of the Golan Heights, Israeli jets are visible from his window again.

But then, that first time, it was an experimental trick with a powerful propaganda effect in the form of a strong sonic boom along the flight path, which creates a pressure differential in the front known as the Mach Cone. Since it was the first time and quite a long time ago, when computers were large and cumbersome, the calculation of the best flight altitude was assigned to the IDF eggheads, which, as it happens with theorists, made a mistake of about 100% in their estimates.

The planes flew too low - and all the windows and lights on the main street of the peaceful and quiet Syrian town were shattered. Which was considered by the Israeli military experts an unexpected propaganda effect. It took the surprised Syrians a week to clean the debris from the street, the IDF conducted a usual debriefing, physicists were looking for the unexpected twist in the equations ...

Time passed, and the chief of that Aleppo operation, David Ivry, who later became a commander of the Israeli Air Force, picked up a kid hitchhiker. The kid was a new immigrant from Aleppo (in those days there were immigrants from other than CIS countries). And the boy told him that life in the city of Aleppo in Syria was good to the Jews, none of the Arabs touched them, until suddenly a miracle happened on Hanukkah - and the miracle caused his father to decide to come to Israel. And what, in fact, was that miracle? On Hanukkah, Israeli planes flew over and completely blew out all the windows on the main street - except at the Jewish shops!

- Are you sure about this? - asked Ivry. - Absolutely! - replied the boy, and added: - The Jews used the same glass as everyone else. The same! This is a miracle, and that's it!

Where lies the solution of this phenomenon? - Ivry wondered.  And he appointed an investigation committee. So what was the result? A long time ago in Aleppo some Emir or Pasha issued a decree, according to which Jews were forbidden to trade on the main street. And the cunning Jews kept their shops only in lanes perpendicular to the central street. Historically there were none of non-Jewish shops in these alleys. When the devastating Israeli sonic boom has come, the Jewish shops' windows were positioned perpendicular to the sonic boom front, and thus survived intact...

And Aleppo Jews decided that it was a divine sign given to them on Hanukkah - to immigrate to Israel before it's too late .. .

Hat tip: L.G.


Dick Stanley said...

Heh. Very amusing. You must always be perpendicular to the boom. I'll remember that.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

In fact, if you are standing in an open space, your best bet would be to lie down.