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Jewish Journal

When Jews fly

by Brad A. Greenberg

January 27, 2010 | 2:42 am

I didn’t miss that story about the plane diverted because of the Orthodox Jew on board. It’s just that despite all the people who sent it to me, I forgot to blog about it. He’s the short version:

A Jewish teenager who was praying on a plane and wearing a religious object made one of the flight crew members so nervous the plane was diverted to land immediately at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday morning.

The airport went into Emergency Response mode for what turned out to be a big cultural misunderstanding.

The 17-year-old was wearing a Tefillin—a Jewish religious object that has two boxes attached to leather straps.

One of the flight crew was alarmed. Police said she had no idea what it was and even though the teen tried to explain he was just saying his morning prayers, the pilots decided to take no chances.

I love that last line—take no chances. Mollie put it best when she explained just what the teen had done wrong: “Flying while Jewish.”

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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