Unusual Sight: Pilot on Flight from LA to New York Wears Tefillin While Bidding Farewell to Passengers

Unusual Sight: Pilot on Flight from LA to New York Wears Tefillin While Bidding Farewell to Passengers

Chabad Hasid who was on the flight explains how the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, came about.

By Ben Rappaport, United with Israel

Passengers recently departing a flight from Los Angeles to New York beheld an unusual sight: the pilot of the flight bidding them farewell while wearing wearing tefillin – Jewish “prayer straps”. Footage of the incident has since gone viral on social media, Ynet reported.

Ynet explained that the impetus behind the incident was a Chabad Hasid named Shmuel Fogelman. Speaking to Ynet, Fogelman explained how the “tefillin operation” came about: “I got on the plane very early. I couldn’t do the tefillah (prayers) so early in the morning, so I knew that I had to do it on the plane. I sat in a good seat, I had room, the plane was quiet, and it was a good time. So I stood up and I was davening (praying). It was quiet, it was very nice.”

At one point, he explained, one of the passengers must have felt uncomfortable, as “the stewardess came over to me, very nicely, and she said, ‘You’ll have to sit down,’ and I said, ‘No problem, I will.’”

“Then the captain came out, and I realized probably it’s not a good thing. And he came and he whispered in my ear, and he said ‘Listen, if you need to daven [pray], I made space for you in the back of the plane, go ahead.’ I realized he was Jewish and I said ‘You wanna put on tefillin?’ and he was like ‘I can’t, I’m flying the plane.’

“When the flight was over, I went straight to the front of the plane, I figured here’s an opportunity. I said ‘Would you put on tefillin?’ and he said ‘It’s impossible.’ I said ‘Do me a favor, I’m going to the Rebbe of Lubavitch, I need to bring something.’ He put out his hand and said ‘Let’s do it right now.’

“I put the tefillin on him and he was very happy and you can see he’s a very inspiring fellow.”

Fogelman said passengers did not seem bothered. “They seemed very receptive, and nobody seemed to have a problem. I don’t even think whoever it was that complained had a problem. Something so positive couldn’t be negative. How could I miss the opportunity?”

Following the flight, he said, he arrived at the gravesite of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, as it was “Gimmel Tammuz,” the Hebrew date which marks the anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing, and left a note.

“I wrote down on the paper that I came with something small, I found one Jew and I put on tefillin, which is a silly thing to write because the Rebbe’s lesson is that every single Jew has infinite power and infinite energy, and we each carry the wick to light another Jew. By the time I left […], the story was all over the world, so I realized that that energy was inspired.”

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The post Unusual Sight: Pilot on Flight from LA to New York Wears Tefillin While Bidding Farewell to Passengers first appeared on United with Israel.
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