prayer ritual spooks flight flight attendants;

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Ravenclawgurl
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14 Mar 2011, 11:57 pm

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... _lock.html

Orthodox Jewish prayer ritual spooks Alaska Airlines flight attendants; crew locks down cockpit


Flight attendants on an Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles on Sunday interpreted an elaborate prayer ritual by Orthodox Jewish men onboard as a security threat and locked down the cockpit, airline officials said.

Police, FBI and custom agents swarmed the plane when it landed at Los Angeles International Airport at around 8:30 a.m. and three men were escorted off after it was reported that passengers were acting rowdy and a fight had broken out.

In fact, the disturbance was the farthest thing from a fight. The men were praying.

"We've since learned from law enforcement that the passengers onboard were practicing a traditional Orthodox Jew ritual called Tefillin," Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan told the Los Angeles Daily News.

The ritual involves strapping leather ribbons and small wooden boxes containing verses of the Torah to the body while saying morning prayers.

A flight attendant became spooked when she saw the men wrapping the straps to their foreheads and arms and praying loudly in Hebrew, and she instructed the crew to lock down the cockpit, Egan said.

The FBI questioned the three men – described as Mexican nationals – before releasing them to make connecting flights to other countries, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the LA Daily News.

They were not charged.

The flight was travelling from from Mexico City. Other passengers were not delayed, Eimiller said.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nationa ... z1GdnsBQ91

sheesh i though this was the 21st century i guess ignorance is still alive and well



Kenani
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15 Mar 2011, 12:02 am

This happens all the time when you fly El Al. Orthodox Jews praying, that is, not attendants being ignorant. Once on Rosh Hashanah, they even did the whole thing with the shofar.



Zara
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15 Mar 2011, 12:09 am

Couldn't they have just done that BEFORE they got on the plane?
Lord knows people are tense enough about odd things on planes these days.


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ruveyn
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15 Mar 2011, 1:49 am

Kenani wrote:
This happens all the time when you fly El Al. Orthodox Jews praying, that is, not attendants being ignorant. Once on Rosh Hashanah, they even did the whole thing with the shofar.


They did not blow up the plane, they blew in the plane.

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Tensu
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17 Mar 2011, 6:42 pm

Zara wrote:
Couldn't they have just done that BEFORE they got on the plane?
Lord knows people are tense enough about odd things on planes these days.


Well depending on how long this ritual takes they might have missed their flight if they stopped and it sounds like it might be the kind of thing that's hard to do while walking.

Maybe someone more familiar with this ritual can clarify.



visagrunt
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18 Mar 2011, 9:33 am

Zara wrote:
Couldn't they have just done that BEFORE they got on the plane?
Lord knows people are tense enough about odd things on planes these days.


Given that it was an AS flight and that the flight landed in LA at 8:30 am, chances are reasonably good that the flight took off before dawn. As such, the timing would be inappropriate for weekday morning prayers.


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