Saturday, January 23, 2010

Power to the Tefillin, Always

Laci sent me a link to an incredible story. What do you think would be the best title?

A. The fear level has risen.
B. The ignorance of flight attendants.
C. Gun-free zone saves boy's life.

A US Airways crew panicked by a Jewish teen's prayer ritual aborted a flight from LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, landing in Philadelphia amid unfounded fears of a terrorist bomb.
The trouble began when the 17-year-old White Plains youth pulled out two small Scripture-filled boxes used for his morning prayers on the Louisville, Ky.-bound plane, authorities said.


  1. Gun-free zone saves boy's life.

    I'm sure you have a pile of evidence that someone would have shot the kid if they'd had a gun handy--but you just haven't gotten around to mentioning it.

    My favorite part of this is imagining the discussion here:

    "A passenger might have a bomb!"

    "Oh no--we'd better go to Philadelphia, then!"

    Philly is a sewer of a city--I get that--but is it so bad that it's where we send planes we're afraid might blow up soon?

  2. You don't need a gun to kill someone on an airplane. So it's not the gun free zone that saved the kids life. It was the graciousness of the passengers that saved his life.

  3. You know how I like to read into the story. What you said on another thread about annoying people at times is true. I've received a number of comments and e-mails from irate people I'd written about who wanted to straighten me out on the facts. I welcomed them and wrote about what they'd said.

    I've also received communications from people involved in the stories who agreed with my take on them and thanked me for it.

    I'm not pretending to be a reporter, you know that.

  4. A & B

    As I said in my post on this:
    It seems the flight attendant saw the leather boxes of the kid's tefillin with what she thought were wires coming out of them and flipped out. The Captain didn't have an idea of what was going on. The crew in post 9-11 caution decided to land in Philadelphia to have the suspicious objects investigated.

    The NY Daily News Article opened with the line "What schmucks".

    Although, were the crew being schmucks? They see something suspicious and its their duty to look out for the safety of their passengers. Yes, a little bit of knowledge might have stopped an embarassing situation.

    But the US is a Christian nation.

    Laci away from my home computer

  5. I forgot to mention this wasn't the first time that this sort of thing happened. And neither is it limted to the USA.

    An Orthodox Jew Praying on an Air Canada Jazz flight on 1 Sep 06 had the same results.

    The story doesn't mention whether tefillin were involved that time.

    Tefillin do look a bit weird if you haven't seen them before.

    So, education helps.

    I didn't consider the gun free zone aspect, but isn't there a programme that allows US Pilots to carry guns on their planes? That means the pilot could have had a gun on board.

    I'll stick to the religious tolerance aspect here.

    Laci away from my home computer

  6. the media title of the story that the media used should also be analyzed. Instead of just saying that a plane was diverted for a man praying, the headline should have reported that "A plane was diverted for a Jewish Teen praying". The headline was ambiguous and led the reader to think it was "another" Islamic related incident.