Davening on Planes

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The incident aboard an Air Canada flight from Montreal on Friday may bring new meaning to the term “high dudgeon.” Was this an outrage at 35,000 feet?

A chassidic man who spoke neither English nor French was quietly davening in his seat albeit apparently with a talis over his head and shukeling away. The cabin attendant understood that he was not Muslim, but nonetheless had him leave the plane after it returned to the gate. After apparently securing a translator, they let him board the next flight.

To us, it does seem outrageous. First of all, when it comes to those whom they should be suspicious of, Western authorities walk on eggshells. Secondly, doesn’t everyone know that we are harmless?

Do they? How can we possibly know how we look in the eyes of people outside our community? To those with no familiarity with the whys and wherefores of traditional Jewish life, doesn’t it seem a bit bizarre that fifteen people gather on the side of the baggage claim area at JFK at 7AM with what look like Muslim prayer rugs wrapped around their persons, except for some leather straps on strategic parts of their anatomies? (That was me and fourteen others a week ago.) I don’t know if I fully blame them.

The next morning on the return leg of the flight I had to daven solo at JFK. A Texas-type came over after I finished and asked a series of pointed and intelligent questions about what he observed. He bothered asking. What about the hundreds of other folks who never ask. What do they think? I’m not suggesting that we stop davening at airports, but I wouldn’t criticize everyone who raises an eyebrow at the sight. Most Americans at least are so inured by unexpected behavior that after they raise those eyebrows, they let it pass. Try that around a bunch of Russians, or older Germans, or upper class Brits.

I do know that some of our behavior on planes is most definitely offensive, and should be stopped. It has become much more difficult after 9/11 to get minyanim (prayer quorums) to congregate in the back of planes, making life miserable for the cabin attendants, blocking access to the bathrooms, and jostling the sleeping occupants of the last row.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a welcome development. We now are forced to abide by the long-standing psak of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l, who opined (Halichos Shlomo vol. 1, pgs 95-96) that people on planes should daven in their seats. Shemonah Esreh should be said sitting in place, and not standing in the aisles creating a disturbance for others. While he ruled that those who fathered minyanim on planes did not have to worry about the lack of a mechitza, he was against forming those minyanim, because of their inconveniencing others.

It is not clear whether his solicitude of others extended even to French Canadians.

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47 Responses

  1. brenda erratt says:

    In June 2005 I was blessed to be able to visit Israel via an El Al flight. Not being born Jewish nor ever having known Chasidim, I was not “used to” their davening. Although I was familiar with tallitot and kippot,I had not observed men donning tellifin. I was delighted and overwhelmed by the sense of the Presence of HaShem when the men gathered for prayer. This is a wonderful ritual, don’t destroy in the name of “the other persons comfort”. I felt very safe on that flight, because I knew He heard the cry of His people. Be proud, hold your heads up and defend your brethern.

  2. Bob Miller says:

    Since Baruch Horowitz (comment 43 above) raised the issue of Good Shabbos greetings to strangers.

    The same Halacha and the same human nature exist in and out of town.

    Those Jews who see right through Jewish strangers on the street and won’t wish them a Good Shabbos (often even in reply) need guidance to overcome their habit/shyness/whatever. Their Rabbonim and teachers and other talmidei chachamim should be the first to break the ice and set the example in this area. And the smile with the greeting should come from the heart.

  3. Jewish Observer says:

    “Not chasidish, but hey, are you?”

    in spirit I am. I daven late and nusach sfard, clap by lecha dodi, and was born in brooklyn

  4. Baruch Horowitz says:

    Rabbi Menken,

    I agree with your point regarding the statistical aspect and Starbucks. Nevertheless, as someone who always envied courtesy associated with “out of town”(as defined by a location being beyond the Verrazano Bridge :)), the survey brought a smile to my face.

    I have no problem saying that many New Yorkers are more jaded, harried, and less courteous. In a different context(for moral reasons), the Gemara says that living in big cities is difficult. But I think that there is a trade-off involved in choosing where to live, and that there are benefits as well to living in big city.

    A related issue to the RD “study” is the issue of saying “Good Shabbos” to strangers. I admit that this area needs improvement, and that for this reason, one might say it is indeed more pleasant to live in neighborhoods where everyone greets each other freely. But I think that for improvement to be made, in must be put into perspective.

    People–both Jews and non-Jews– find it hard to greet strangers, I think, because it feels awkward to relate personally to strangers in the context of a larger community. Particularly in the Jewish community, “in towners” have the luxury of concentrating on differences resulting from splintering. Nevertheless, it is a social awkwardness and perhaps shyness, that makes exchanging greetings difficult. I have nothing philosophically(“b’shittah”) against greeting a stranger, yet I sometimes feel as if there was a non-tangible wall that I need to overcome in the interaction.

    That is why I disagreed strongly with one letter-writer to a Jewish newspaper who stated that people in community X do not greet people because they are hypocritical and snobbish. I also disagreed with the attitude of one non-NY friend who insisted on counting how many people *didn’t* greet him(a’la the story of R. Eliezer Silver in the DP camp). As pointed out by commentators( # 26 and 35), people who have a negative aspect may have a positive aspect, too. My application of this is that the Chasid who people malign for being too insular may be saving the life of the complainer through Hatzalah, or rushing into the burning World Trade Center. So by all means, be aware of the problem, but define it properly, and try solve it.

  5. hp says:

    :I think we would have a good time together over a shabbos seudah or cigar (by the way, you aren’t chasidish, are you?)

    I agree. Not chasidish, but hey, are you?

  6. Yaakov Menken says:

    Baruch, the overall lesson remains valid, and I admit that when it comes to holding doors, I am as surprised as anyone to learn that New Yorkers do it best. But there is a lesson to be learned here about statistics as well. One of the Readers’ Digest tests was the “service test” that you mentioned: “We bought small items from 20 stores and recorded whether the sales assistants said thank you.”

    All of the New York tests were done in a Starbucks — meaning all of the service tests were performed against Starbucks employees. Starbucks happens to have an intense employee-training program focusing upon customer service and satisfaction, covering everything from the way the “Barista” greets you at the door to how to describe blends of coffee. They have classroom training, they have on-line training, they have on-the-job training.

    And, says my local expert in Starbucks employee training, “we say thank you for everything. Oh yeah. If the customer says thank you? We say thank you back.”

    So a realistic test would be to measure the “thank yous” from NY Starbucks employees to Starbucks employees elsewhere. Instead, they measured Starbucks employees in NY vs. the poor guy in Mumbai, India, who defended his failure to thank the customer with “Madam, I am not an educated guy. I hand goods over to the customers, and that’s it.” And, indeed, he’s not educated — and every Starbucks employee is. This is like expecting every child to be as adept at avoiding Loshon Hora (malicious gossip) as the kids who learn the laws against it on a daily basis.

    The test as performed by Readers Digest just tells us how easy it is to skew your data and render your “conclusions” entirely meaningless.

  7. Jewish Observer says:

    “JO-Now you’re making me laugh”

    Yes! My goal of being mesameach a yid is is achieved. As an aside, I think we would have a good time together over a shabbos seudah or cigar (by the way, you aren’t chasidish, are you?)

  8. Jewish Observer says:

    “making New York the most courteous city in the world”

    – imagine how high Israel would score

  9. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “To resist admitting that certain groups, as a group, are better or worse at certain things than other groups is to deny reality…The challenge is to love all jews, nay, humans, in spite of the reality of their flaws”

    Since you are emphasizing groups, I have no problem admitting to that. Besides taking the positives of a group into account(“judge the *entire person* favorably”),and therefore appreciating a group as a whole despite its flaws, the challenge is in the first place, not to pigeonhole individuals into a particular group, but rather to individuate them. This is harder to do if one is not from the particular society; i.e., to a secular person, all Chasidim may look the same, just like all Orientals look the same to many Americans and Europeans.

    I prefer also to look at negative characteristics as an “at risk” factor. A government might allocate funding for research to a particular state or zip code that has the highest percentage of deaths from a particular disease(“lo p’lug”). Theoretically, just as a particular age population is statistically more at-risk for automobile accidents, one might say that the closer a community is to either end of the insularity-integration spectrum, the more some of its members are “at risk” for either being less intensely observant, or for being less concerned about the effect of some the group’s behavior on the broader public.

    Sometimes the generalizations are so general that they become meaningless. For example, take the attitude that people who live in big cities–Jew or non-Jew–are less friendly. I don’t like that attitude since I am a born and bred-Brooklinite! But I take comfort associating with New Yorkers because Rav Avroham Pam Zt’l lived most of his life in Brooklyn(true, he learned in Russia as a young boy).

    Think about this recent Reader’s Digest survey the next time you sterotype anyone:

    “…Is it really true? Reader’s Digest decided to find out if courtesy truly is kaput. RD sent reporters to major cities in 35 countries where the magazine is published — from Auckland, New Zealand, to Zagreb, Croatia. In the United States, that meant targeting New York, where looking out for No. 1 — the heck with the other guy — has always been a basic survival skill.

    The routine in New York was similar to the one followed elsewhere: Two reporters — one woman and one man — fanned out across the city, homing in on neighborhoods where street life and retail shops thrive. They performed three experiments: “door tests” (would anyone hold one open for them?); “document drops” (who would help them retrieve a pile of “accidentally” dropped papers?); and “service tests” (which salesclerks would thank them for a purchase?). For consistency, the New York tests were conducted at Starbucks coffee shops, by now almost as common in the Big Apple as streetlights. In all, 60 tests (20 of each type) were done.

    Along the way, the reporters encountered all types: men and women of different races, ages, professions, and income levels. They met an aspiring actress, a high school student, a hedge-fund analyst and two New York City police officers. And guess what? In the end, four out of every five people they encountered passed RD’s courtesy test — making New York the most courteous city in the world. Imagine that. “

  10. hp says:

    JO-Now you’re making me laugh, instead of shaking my head :)

  11. Jewish Observer says:

    “Let’s “deal” with G-d fearing people with increased tolerance and respect”

    – if you knew how bad of a guy I really was, you wouldn’t expect this much from me

  12. Jewish Observer says:

    “We are all guilty in one way or another of ego centric behavior, so let’s all improve …”

    Some of my best friends are chasidim also.

    Here the thing. We cannot draw conclusions from isolated incidents, good or bad. A lifetime of experiences must feed into our feelings. To resist admitting that certain groups, as a group, are better or worse at certain things than other groups is to deny reality. There is an expression in the talmud “to’ano chitim v’hodeh lo b’seorim” meaning “party a claimed (that part b owes him) wheat and party b admitted (that he owes party a) barley”. does the fact that chasidim are great at chesed somehow prove that they also excel at public behavior? furthermore your honor, is it wrong to say that chasidim excel at chesed, in that it impliues that mitnagdim are not as good at chesed? what if a blogger brings a r’ayah from his Tanteh Shprintze, a great Litvaker baalas chesed? will that disprove the claim about chasidim? The challenge is to love all jews, nay, humans, in spite of the reality of their flaws. As it happens I come from chasidish roots and sometimes skip a shower myself.

  13. Jewish Observer says:

    “Let’s “deal” with G-d fearing people with increased tolerance and respect.”

    Agree. And let’s not deal with the G-d fearing people without increased tolerance and respect

  14. HILLEL says:

    We have been reminded that we are in Golus among people who do not necessarily understand us or like us.

    For awhile we foolishly believed that we were exactly like everyone else around us–It ain’t so.

  15. Seth Rubenstein says:

    Are you convinces that the stewardess acted solely out of safety concerns. Over the years I have heard of serveal religious people who encountered difficulty while attempting to pray while in transit. Personally, I do not profess do be politically correct and I believe bias is definitely a factor. In fact, my google search turned up an incident with a government lawyer who was stopped from praying in London. The link is pasted here for you to check for yourself.

    http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/4744/format/html/displaystory.html

  16. Calev says:

    I’m very glad that Seth Gordon raised the incidents of the mind bogglingly hysterical reactions accorded to some Muslims on various flights. It was only a matter of time before this hysteria affected Jews because, as can be inferred from Yitzchok Adlerstein’s piece, most people are profoundly ignorant about who Jews are and what we’re about. I find the hysteria exhibited by the English, in particular, to be bitterly ironic given the prevalent sentiment in that country that Israel’s response to Hezbollah aggression was “disproportionate”. Given their hypersensitivity to swarthy men checking their watches, imagine what the English response would be to the real and deadly threats Israelis experience on a regular basis?!

  17. Jameel @ The Muqata says:

    While I usually try to find a quiet spot to daven in airports, the one place I had no problem davening with tallit and tefillin for all to see — was in the Frankfurt airport.

    I couldn’t care less what the Germans may have thought, and if they knew I was Jewish, and knew I was davening, then even better.

  18. mycroft says:

    Rav Shimon Schwab ZT”L refused to join an airplane minyan becasue he would have to disturb a lady to join it-kavod habriyot. Perhaps all airplane minyanim disturb some peoples sleep and thus should be avoided mkavod habriyot.

  19. hp says:

    “I am saying it may have played into her thinking. Is that not relevant?”
    “we are dealing with people for whom a second best approach is not so calmly accepted”

    JO- No, it is not relevant or even related, other than in some manipulative and roundabout way to make this an opportunity to say something negative about a group. I just don’t see the logic in turning this article into an opportunity to denigrate Chassidim, in however subtle a way. Let’s “deal” with G-d fearing people with increased tolerance and respect.

  20. Bob Miller says:

    Businesses today, especially customer-oriented ones, routinely put their people through diversity training. Airlines would be well-advised to include an orientation in the ways of their Orthodox Jewish customers of various backgrounds. Obviously though, the airlines can’t be expected to allow any practices that could interfere with flight safety, and passengers shouldn’t try to do these either.

    The Orthodox community should be proactive and find a way to produce and distribute the necessary information for presentation inside airline companies. A well-produced DVD showing typical Orthodox/airplane situations (humor doesn’t hurt, either!), along with written handouts, could work.

  21. L.Oberstein says:

    Two comments. 1) I have found chassidim in general to be kind and good people. I was on a plane that was delayed leaving for 4 1/2 hours and was telling my wife on the cell phone how I had skipped lunch and now was missing supper and how hungry I was getting. As soon as I hung up, these Satmar Chasidim nearby insisted I take a sandwich and cookies and wouldn’t take no for an answer. They overheard that I was hungry. So, in my book , these guys give Jews a good name,
    2) Inconveniencing people so that one can have a minyan on a plane or walking with a tallis over one’s clothes in the Diaspora are two examples of not recognizing how our actions look to others. We are all guilty in one way or another of ego centric behavior, so let’s all improve in time for Rosh Hashanah,

  22. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “unfortunately your experience makes you less, not more, objective / qualified to judge whether the misbehavior rate is enough to justify suspicion”

    I disagree. We can say that male Moslems in a certain age-group, who commit the majority of terrorist attacks, should be profiled and singled out for searches at the airport, and not doing so, is merely being politically correct(and dangerous). But to assume that Chassidim, or Blacks for that matter, have a proclivity to engage in anti-social behavior on airplanes is bias and discriminatory, unless a scientific study is done.

    If you confirm this statistically, and not merely based on anecdotal evidence or on an assumption( e.g., insularity leads to less positive social interactions with the broader society), then we can discuss further, how to express the results of such a study in a helpful manner.

    Being the victim of stereotyping–and I do not have a monopoly on this– is an excellent opportunity and incentive for a person to try to develop a fair and open-minded approach. Indeed, the Torah often says do or don’t do a certain thing because of the subjective Egyptian experience.

    One’s subjective experience of being stereotyped is merely used to cancel and outweigh pre-existing biases(besides the mitzva of “b’tzedek tishpot es amisecha”, which is to go further and give the benefit of the doubt). True, a lawyer interviewing a potential jurist might worry about your argument, but then again, the lawyer is trying to pick the most favorable jurist for his client, and is not necessarily concerned about the absolute truth.

  23. Aaron says:

    No doubt the Hollywood version will star Shmuel L. Jacobson and be titled “Jews on a Plane”.

  24. Shimon says:

    What is everyones opinion about ElAl which is a Jewish airline? What about on flights from NY to TA which is VERY highly jewish and religious flight? The stewardesses are Jewish and should be used to the sight of a chosid (or anyone else) davening, so there isnt any real suspicion of terrorist activity

  25. Jewish Observer says:

    “couldn’t you just postponed donning tefillin until minchah”

    – we are dealing with people for whom a second best approach is not so calmly accepted

  26. Jewish Observer says:

    “How is that related to the topic?”

    I am saying it may have played into her thinking. Is that not relevant?

  27. Jewish Observer says:

    “If this airline paranoia continues, we shall sooon have to strip naked”

    this should at least be optional

  28. Jewish Observer says:

    “In short it’s not what we want to do, its what we think Hashem wants.”

    – agree in principle. one subtlete: what we want can sometimes factor into what is right; i.e. what Hashem wants. For example, what makes one yid excel as a baal chesed while another focuses on devoting his life to shmiras shaatnez.

    “this is the most difficult asopect of Yahaudus”

    I can think of a few tougher ones, though they are not for publication

  29. ralphie says:

    Regarding tefillin… couldn’t you just postponed donning tefillin until minchah (obviously this won’t help if you’re taking a nonstop from LA to Australia, but it might cover a good number of cases)?

  30. hp says:

    “do Chassidim generally give an impression of being potential terrorist threats by their behavior?”

    “of course not. I am saying she was picking on him because of his group’s behavior”

    Comment by Jewish Observer

    JO- So it that justified? As I’m sure you agree it is not, why would you write “Now I am going to say the thing that everybody knows but nobody wants to say. For all the political correctness we purport to have there is real basis to the stereotype of chasidim not behaving like regular people in social settings.”

    How is that related to the topic?

    “some of the social behavior may not be in consonance with typical Americans”

    “are you a consultant?”

    Comment by Jewish Observer

    JO- Not sure what you mean by this.

  31. Jewish Observer says:

    ” have had the experience of being unfairly stereotyped(not on airplanes), so I know that it is wrong no matter who engages in it.”

    stereotyping, or profiling, always feels unfair to those falsely suspected. unfortunately your experience makes you less, not more, objective / qualified to judge whether the misbehavior rate is enough to justify suspicion.

  32. Jewish Observer says:

    “if last week stewardess had a bad experience with some loud rowdy African Americans, this week she can kick an African American off the plane?”

    – I did not mean to imply that her behavior is reasonable (not sure why you thought I did). I am merely raising a factor that may play into this

  33. michael Halberstam says:

    This is my first attempt to contact you, or any site such as yours. I admire a lot of what yoy do, and agree that it is important to air a lot of different ideas. Just as Chazal encouraged people to have many children in the hope that one would turn out ok, I have always felt that it can’h hurt to give birth to many ideas as well.

    Although it may not be obvious, the issue raised by the davening on a plane problem relates to what is clearly the fundamental issue for a Jew. The Torah says ” Ma HAshem doresh mimcho- ki im l”yirah” if nothing else MOshe is saying ” what do you think Hashem means by all these Mitzvohs, only that we have yiras shomayim. The torah commands shemiras hamitzvos, and the Torah command yiras shomayin, both, not just one. There is no Chitzoniyos type test for yiras shomayim. It means at ( this is clear to anyone who has read the writings of Rav Yisroel Slanter) that one should behave as if he really believes that someone is watching him. In the case of most of the things we do, really focusing on this would undoubtedly inform how wqe should behave. Unfortunately, this is the most difficult asopect of Yahaudus, and most of us have trouble with it.

    In short it’s not what we want to do, its what we think Hashem wants. Spending more time thinking about this, especially before the Yomim Hanoraim, would be very salutary.

  34. Baruch Horowitz says:

    “Is it not even remotely possiblt that she was prejudging him based on her experience with chasidim’s behavior?”

    It is very possible, in general, although we can only speculate about prejudice in this particular case. I am not chassidish, but I have had the experience of being unfairly stereotyped(not on airplanes), so I know that it is wrong no matter who engages in it.

    I always felt uncomfortable with the standard Tefila practices on airplanes, but in any event, Bnai Brith’s offer to provide sensitivity training can’t hurt.

  35. Jewish Observer says:

    “some of the social behavior may not be in consonance with typical Americans”

    – are you a consultant?

  36. Jewish Observer says:

    “do Chassidim generally give an impression of being potential terrorist threats by their behavior?”

    – of course not. I am saying she was picking on him because of his group’s behavior

  37. Tal Benschar says:

    Now I am going to say the thing that everybody knows but nobody wants to say. For all the political correctness we purport to have there is real basis to the stereotype of chasidim not behaving like regular people in social settings. It is likely that this was not the first chosid encountered by the stewardess. Is it not even remotely possiblt that she was prejudging him based on her experience with chasidim’s behavior?

    Comment by Jewish Observer

    So by this logic, if last week stewardess had a bad experience with some loud rowdy African Americans, this week she can kick an African American off the plane? Isn’t this merely “prejudging him based on her experience with [the others’] behavior?”

  38. Tal Benschar says:

    “doesn’t it seem a bit bizarre”
    “I wouldn’t criticize everyone who raises an eyebrow at the sight.”
    “I don’t know if I fully blame them.”

    If one travels around the world, one will see quite a few things that are “a bit bizarre,” and airplanes and airports being conduits for international travel, some of the bizarre things can be seen there. A chossid with his tefillin on shukling to Shemoneh Esreh is hardly worse than some of the things I’ve seen in airports.

    The mere fact that something is “a bit bizarre” or “raises an eyebrow” is not enough to kick a person off a plane, a common carrier as I understand it. That is the outrageous part.

  39. hp says:

    “Is it not even remotely possiblt that she was prejudging him based on her experience with chasidim’s behavior?”
    Comment by Jewish Observer

    JO- do Chassidim generally give an impression of being potential terrorist threats by their behavior? I’m a little confused by your comment. The story seems typical for post 911 heightened wariness, but where does your particular comment fit in? Since the stewardess has seen other Chassidim, she knows that some of the social behavior may not be in consonance with typical Americans. Therefore, she has reason to suspect that the Chassid may be a threat. This is an absudity, and uncalled for.

  40. Seth Gordon says:

    when it comes to those whom they should be suspicious of, Western authorities walk on eggshells

    Except for a case in the news a few weeks ago about two “Asians” (Arabs or Pakistanis, presumably) being kicked off a plane because the other passengers were nervous in their presence, and the captain refused to take off with them on board. Why were these folks considered suspicious? Because they spoke a foreign language that sounded like Arabic, wore leather jackets, and frequently checked their watches.

    And then there was the guy who was detained by airport security because he wore a T-shirt with Arabic writing, and he was told that “people were feeling offended” by it. They let him board the plane after he changed shirts, but gave him a new seating assignment, in the back of the plane.

    And then there were the twelve men “said to be of Asian appearance” who “reportedly aroused suspicion by fiddling with mobile phones and plastic bags” after their plane was in the air. The plane went back to the airport, escorted by F-16s, and the men were arrested. They were released after a search for explosives turned up nothing and there was no further evidence that they were planning any violence.

    How many non-Jews in North America or Europe would know the difference between Arabic and Hebrew? How many could distinguish an Arab Muslim from a Sephardic Jew?

  41. MuMU says:

    Rav Schwab never daavened on a “plane” minyan to Eretz Yisroel.
    He said it was disturbing and wrong.

  42. Yisrael Moshe says:

    Police recommend that when a cop pulls you over for speeding, you should leave your hands on the steering wheel were he can see them. By making your hands visible, he is assured that you will not pull a gun on him.

    Perhaps the same should be applied to flying, or any potentially suspicious situation. By keeping your head and hands visible, you minimize potential suspicions of the other passengers.

    However, this does not take care of the Tefillin problem, since your neighbors might think that you have just strapped your arm and head bombs on and are saying your goodbye prayers. I have no solution for that.

  43. HILLEL says:

    If this airline paranoia continues, we shall sooon have to strip naked and put on a disposable surgical gown before entering an airplane.

    It’s time to return to the good old days of ocean steamers!

  44. Jewish Observer says:

    Now I am going to say the thing that everybody knows but nobody wants to say. For all the political correctness we purport to have there is real basis to the stereotype of chasidim not behaving like regular people in social settings. It is likely that this was not the first chosid encountered by the stewardess. Is it not even remotely possiblt that she was prejudging him based on her experience with chasidim’s behavior?

  45. sarah elias says:

    El Al distributed a booklet a while back with the same psak by Rav Wosner, who even said that it’s preferable NOT to have a minyan if it will annoy other people. This should be more widely publicized, IMHO.

  46. Dov Kay says:

    I understand that Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l also advocated sitting for tefillah in an aeroplane.

    This leads on to the propriety of wearing a tallis on top of one’s coat in the street on Shabbos. This has become increasingly prevalent here in Manchester, UK (where there is no eruv), and not just among chassidim. I have heard that Rav Yaakov Kaninetzky zt”l and the late Gateshead Rav objected to this flaunting of Jewish identity whilst in golus (exile). I think that your question needs to be asked with respect to this practice too.

  1. September 8, 2006

    […] This post started out as an aside to an earlier discussion, concerning the chassid escorted off a Canadian plane because passengers became alarmed seeing him wrapped in his Talis. Frequent commenter Boruch Horowitz pointed out the risks of stereotyping with an interesting report: Readers Digest performed a somewhat whimsical global “Courtesy Test,” and determined that New York is the most courteous city in the world. […]