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Jewish Journal

Flying On An Airplane – Rabbi Barry Gelman

by Rabbi Hyim Shafner

October 20, 2009 | 12:23 pm

I flew to NY yesterday on a very early flight – too early to daven before I left so I had to daven on the plane.

I have come to really enjoy davening on airplanes.

First of all, on these early morning flights, as was the case yesterday morning, most people were asleep and it was very quiet. I found it very peaceful and davening at my own pace without the sounds of others. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the sounds of a lively tefilla in shul, but my quiet airplane davenig was a welcome change of pace.

The are so few times in our lives when we actually have the opportunity to be in silence. usually the only time we are alone with potential for quiet time is in the car and then we usually put on the radio. Being alone and in a quiet space is often an unsettling experience as our thoughts may take us places emotionally that we do not want to go. On the other hand, quiet gives us a chance to think and concentrate, if only for a few minutes on important matters and the important people in our lives.

While daveing on the plane and reciting the blessing of “Ata Chonen L’adam Da’at” – “you grace humanity with knowledge” - I was overcome with a sense of gratefulness to God. I thought for a moment about all of the wisdom and knowledge that is involved in airplane travel and feelings og gratitude to God for granting humanity knowledge rushed over me.

It was a powerful spiritual moment, one in which I was reminded that even the most mundane and common occurences can connect us to our creator.

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