Frum Jews Cause a Stir on El Al Flight to Kiev

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elal.jpgA Sunday morning flight from Tel Aviv to Kiev became tumultuous according to some passengers, the result of the screening of an objectionable film. 

According to a report, chareidi passengers on board the flight became unruly as a result, with one man identified as traveling to Rav Nachman’s kever in Uman stated he was assured a film would not shown on the flight.

According to some passengers, a number of chareidi men shouted and objected when the screen became active, seeking to disrupt the airing of the film.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


66 COMMENTS

  1. I hope that these men who were promised by the airline get a public apology from the airline for what they were put through:

    + risk of death by air marshal

    + accusations of chilul Hashem by readers of these stories

    + damaging sights from which they aspire to keep their minds pure

    One can never unring a bell, so there is no way for the airline to undo the damage caused by their breach of their prior committment.

    A strong effort by the airline would at least set the record straight that the airline was wrong and the men were right to correct the staff making the mistake in violation of the airline’s agreement.

  2. It is clear that the people that chose to protest the spiritual poison that was being aired, are very concerned with what type of irreparable damage it could cause their neshamos. And whether they meant to or not, they were saving other neshamos from deep wounds at the same time. Wow-what a zechus.

    There are many other types of protests that take place in this world, and they are applauded for fiercely voicing their opposition. No one says “oh, why don’t they just close their eyes!”

    Just because people are ignorant when it comes to truly caring about their own eternity, doesn’t mean that those that are passionate and sensitive about “lo sasuru acharei l’vavchem v’acharei eineichem”, should just sit passively with their eyes closed.

    And, who’s to say that is was a chilul Hashem? There are many times that scenarios unfold within seconds, and the only thing to do is to protest loudly so it will stop…. especially for those that work diligently on constantly protecting their neshamos from spiritual harm.
    Would anyone just close their eyes if their two year old was about to run into a busy intersection?

  3. I hope that these men who were promised by the airline get a public apology from the airline for what they were put through:

    + risk of death by air marshal

    + accusations of chilul Hashem by readers of these stories

    + damaging sights from which they aspire to keep their minds pure

    Excuse me, but the airline owes them an apology for none of those things. The airline didn’t cause them to riot and risk death by air marshall. The airline didn’t cause them to riot and cause a Chillul HaShem. And the airline didn’t cause them to even view the movie.

    If the airline promised them that there would be no movie on the flight, then the airline owes them an apology for going back on their promise. But one does not have a right to riot just because a promise is broken – especially in an enviornment such as an airplane in flight.

    What *should have* happened is this. The man should have made a complaint with the flight crew, advising that a promise was made. If the flight crew insists that the movie be shown, then he should advise them that he will take the matter up with their superiors — and then follow through. However, he should not have stood up and started rioting. That’s simply wrong and there is no excuse (absent a life and death situation) where it is warranted. He should have, at that point, simply refused to watch the movie (I’ve done this on flights… it’s really not hard to not look) and then followed up with the airline later on.

    The airline may be guilty of breaking a promise, but that’s it. If the guy would have been shot by an air marshall, it would have been entirely his own fault.

    The Wolf

  4. wow what a chillul hashem b’farhesya mamesh!!!!
    but i’m sure that they were mechaven l’shem shomayim
    i hope rebbe nachman can save them from the gehenom of chillul hashem

  5. Chavrusa:

    1. Act like a mentch, and there is no risk
    2. Act like a mentch, and there will be no accusations of chilul Hashem
    3. Keep your mind pure? Close your eyes and put on earphones.

    Who gave them this prior commitment? A peon? The CEO?

    There is a way to give mussar, and a way not to give mussar. They could have very nicely gone over to the flight attendant and requested the video be turned off. Why is it necessary to create a ruckus and hubub just to make a bigger tzaddik of yourself? All this person did was make a fool of himself and create a large chilul Hashem.

    Duvd’l

  6. #6. You hope nobody responds to PuhLease… I got to say something though. There are so many amazing frum people and there are so many people who look up to us and admire us. Those that hate us, Hate us because they are jealous of us. The disturbing action of some “frum” jews is there excuse for their hate.

  7. These men were completely correct in making a tumult. They were not flying on some goyish airline but rather on El Al, which is considered a Jewish airline. As such, it carries the burden of being “kosher”, which should refer to a lot more than just the food. Shame on El Al, and shame on all the people who think that “closing your eyes” solves the problem.

  8. According to El Al’s website and subsequent check of IMDB, the movies on that segment were PG rated. So they should not of looked in the first place.

  9. Disease Strikes……

    For those who are screaming “Chillul Hashem & close your eyes…..” are clearly infected with BSD “bad sights disease” for their sensitivities has been weakened by seeing lots of Schmutz consequently becoming immune to lesser Schmutz where only big Schmutz get them excited (if you will) Vhameivin Yuvin.

    This is a clear Simon of BSD disease, enough said, one should speak to a Godol about this subject.

  10. WAY TO GO “Y2R” (NO. 20):

    Evidently, most of the commenters on this blog have either never flown on an overseas flight or just don’t care what they are exposed to.

    Try to convince any advertising agency executive that customers may “close their eyes” to avoid seeing his advertising message. He’ll give you a huge belly laugh.

    We can’t avoid our environment. Rav Hutner, ZT”L, even argues that we are affected by the evil thoughts of the people around us.

    The hareidi community has every right to demand a “clean” flight. They are a huge source of income for El-Al, and they are entitled to service, like anyone else.

    This kind of Sodomite garbage that is routinely shown on airline flights today, used to be llegal!

  11. Define “Chillel Hashem” on a “jewish” airline. Is it a Chillel Hashem if they served chazir and someone protested? Exactly how is Hashem and his name being profaned?

  12. Perhaps someone knows what was the screen display on the flight? personal or main cabin. If the screens were personal then just don’t turn them on, and with the size of these things, you can’t see your fellow passengers screen eitherway. Let us assume for one minute that the film was being shown in the main cabin, there are seats on most aircraft where in flight entertainment can not be viewed. Perhaps a request for a change of seat in an orderly fashion would have created a Kiddush hashem if these actions were explained in a way that befits a ben Torah. Furthermore, sadly many of our Acheinu bnei Yisrael do things “lehachis” perhaps some of these people have to take into account that their actions might have caused some of their fellow passengers who would have otherwise not viewed the in flight entertainment to do so purely out of spite against the “protesters”.

  13. Very nicely said, Wolf.

    Queen: Let’s be real – Israel is also supposedly Jewish; supposedly Jewish means nothing and one would be a fool to expect anything concrete from such a “reassurance”. El Al is a secular business that happens to be in a based in a nominally “Jewish” State.

    If they were so worried about their neshamos, all they had to do was get an eye covering, or a visor, so when they look up they wouldn’t G-d forbid, see any portion of the screen.

    One wonders where this azus comes from? HaKol Kol Yaakov ViHayadayim Yidei Esav? Or does everyone think they are Pinchas and the movie was Kazbi bas Tzur? What’s going on?

  14. to #17..also those who “hate” the frum is because totaly different reason, these are just “tam niglah” reasons,”tam nistar” is the “tachas” (dvorim) ,undrelying factor, to big pthetel to type..but one of them is “gedoloh sinas ….am hahretz l’talmid chachim yosor misinas akim l’yisroel..” so all these reasons are just smokescreens..

  15. if the plane was a 777 each seat has its own screen.

    #23
    It really would make sense if would have been ‘the ten commandments’ cuz firstly its pesach time so there getting everyone in the spirit of pesach. second i think the man who plays ‘moses’ died on sunday.

  16. md levine, I appreciate the humor.

    #26 pinay, it would probably be a chilul Hashem if you see a friend eating non-Kosher and you curse him out in public. It would not be a chilul Hashem, however, if you were mochiach him al pi halacha.

    It certainly seems to be a chilul Hashem if “Ultra-Orthodox” Jews act like biheimos and not in the civil and respectful manner that binei Torah must try to always act in, unless it were a Pinchas/Zimri incident, and even there, there are still ways to act like a mensch even while neutralizing the noef and noefes.

    Even if the airline breaks its promise to you, you simply cover your eyes and file a formal complaint after the flight, and seek whatever justice you can under Israeli law. It’s not an excuse to act uncivilly.

  17. This is a Shreklacha problem that is not new!
    I pay huge monies to fly somewhere (most of the time I have no choice but MUST fly), then I am FORCED to watch the most disgusting JUNK!! The lowest of the lowest!
    As strong as I am I will keep my eyes off the screen, everyone who ever flew knows I’ts almost impossible to keep the eyes closed!
    I once flew with a couple of choshuva ehrlicha bochrim from London to New York and the movie shown was called “NINE MONTHS”! …by the way, this was pretty “kosher” according to other shmutz, but “VERY” “informative” indeed!!!! (My Yetzer Hora gave me a heter to watch because I’m a female…)
    What does such a shreklacha movie do to a bochur? His whole z’man in yeshiva can chollila be jeopardized by this one flight!! R”l
    Why do we have to go through this?
    I’ve asked this question many times but I do feel guilty that I never made a real noise! Maybe that would help! I think this is an issue that WAS addressed by rabbonim and probably the Agudas Yisroel, but I think it needs more….
    If you would take a survey on any flight, you would be surprised that MOST of the passengers are NOT interested in the garbage!
    I really hope that the guys in this story did mean it “l’shem Shomayim” and if they did then I’m sure it will help….

  18. all you out there its not so simple as “close your eyes”..see brochos 32a last narrower line..”moshel…..mah yase haben shelo yachto..”

  19. If #30 is correct and it was indeed a 777 with each seat having their own screen, how did they know what movies were playing without switching it on, and if the movies were announced over the PA system how did they know what the content of these films were, kinda makes you think…..

  20. To illini (33)

    If someone has an allergy to cigarette smoke, and he asks the pilot to prevent anyone from smoking, do we insist that he shut up and just choke to death?

  21. If someone has an allergy to cigarette smoke, and he asks the pilot to prevent anyone from smoking, do we insist that he shut up and just choke to death?

    C’mon, deepthinker, you can do better than that. That’s a pretty poor analogy.

    First of all, cigarette smoking on airplanes is already against the law (and the policies of the airline). Watching movies is not.

    Secondly, unlike cigarette smoke, you *can* avoid the movie. Don’t use the headphones and read a book or sleep instead. I’ve done it numerous times on airplane flights. It’s really not difficult.

    The Wolf

  22. It is impossible to keep your eyes closed on an entire flight. Besides, maybe some of these people were flying with their children and did not want them exposed to such shmutz? Try getting your kid to close his eyes the whole time!

  23. If you dont want to be exposed to “JUNK” then you should not be leaving your neigborhood. If you do leave then learn how to control your yetser horah by not looking. Elal is a business and if you dont like their services dont’fly.

  24. It is impossible to keep your eyes closed on an entire flight.

    Movies don’t usually last an entire flight. In any event, so go to sleep, read a book or talk with your spouse. Or were the passenger planning to just stare at the seat in front of them the entire flight.

    Besides, maybe some of these people were flying with their children and did not want them exposed to such shmutz?

    Then surely they brought something along for their kids to do, right?

    In any event, it still doesn’t make a difference. There is *still* no right to riot and potentially put other passengers at risk.

    The Wolf

  25. to #41..from your postings on other news items we derived pretty much what your haskofos are so we can pretty much assume of your “reliable sources who were on the flight” that you want to put “chareidi” gentlemen in “positive light”..see #29..pertains to you too..would you supply us with name ,flight #, ticket of your “reliable sources” so we can verify otherwise?

  26. I wonder if any Rosh Yeshiva ever made a fuss about such a thing while on the trip to EY (the answer is no, they just kept their heads in their sefer if needed)? And I also noticed that Roshie Yeshiva who normally take a long time to daven, are never the ones who are blocking some path and has the stewardesses yell at them to move. Does anyone think that it’s because they know that when you are traveling on an airline your #1 priority is to make a kiddush Hash-m and not bring attention to ourselves? Long shemona esreis and other things can wait until they land.

  27. I agree with #’s 2, 3, and 4. Why do we have to make a Chilul Hashem???? Just close your eyes. Say Tehilim – do something Frum. Do not make a Chilul Hashem.

  28. It’s really quite simple.
    If they were promised no films as an incentive to purchase their tickets, then the Airline should have honored their pledge.
    If a passenger buys a ticket and specifically tells the airline that they are severely allergic to peanuts and can only fly if they accommodate this strange request. The airline can say no and let the passenger fly at its own risk or they can pledge a peanut free flight, in which case when peanuts are served, the sufferer should protest as loudly as possible.
    While many of you may not see movies as an allergenic, those with finer tuned Yidishkeit are as appalled by the sick images on today’s films as the allergy sufferer to his allergy.
    R” Elchonon became physically ill by passing 42nd street in the 1930’s, something we would laugh at today as the tum’ah of the 30’s is kodshei kodshim in today’s street.
    I hope someday I’m as sickened by tum’ah.

  29. Who says anyone has “rights” during golus!

    If people want a flight that meets our wishes, we need to charter a flight, or begin a chareidi airline. We ARE in Golus. We can not expect those frei Jews to miss their movies because of our needs.

    THEY have rights too! They paid for their flights and have a right to see the movies they paid for.

    True we can’t keep out eyes closed. But that is being in golus.

    Do I wish we had “Kosher & Clean” flights? Sure I do. I wish there were flights with no movies, and only the very best CRC hashgacha food, etc.,
    But “wishing” it does not give me the right to demand it.

    Yes, it is a chillul Hashem. It made the news, it is a chillul Hashem.

    If we got together, and had just two “kosher” flights per week, Chareidi Charters, we could solve the problem. That would be kiddush Hashem.

    We certainly have enough Chareidim flying to Eretz Yisroel, that we can have Chareidi Charters a couple of times a week. Of course it means changing our schedules to meet the charter times. But, people want to fly on the day that is convenient for them, on the airline that flies at the best time for them, and they, the minority passengers, want to dictate the rules. Sorry…. we do NOT have that right.

    Remember we do not own that airline! It is not Chareidi owned or operated. They offer a service, which we are free to use or not use. We are not free to dictate to them.

  30. You are not forced to travel on El Al. I never do. I travel on another well known air line that has a screen for each seat and you can choose any program you want or none at all. I don’t know why El Al hasn’t installed such a system in their air planes yet.

  31. shvermaseh,
    that’s MS. PuhLease, to you, justify is spelled with a “y” at the end, not an “ie”, and let me guess, now that you’ve been upstaged by a frum, educated woman, you are going to take the stand that I am not tzniusdik because I had to absolute nerve to stand up for myself?

    By the way, I do not have to justify Jew haters. Jews manage to do that all by themselves just by their actions.

    Ms. PuhLease

  32. to #36 sammygol..can you please elaborate on the meaning of the term “ghetto mentality, ghetto jew” i have heard these terms pretty often..but not from a shomer torah u’mitzvos so i have pretty good idea but just to make sure..

  33. DM – “We can not expect those frei Jews to miss their movies because of our needs.

    THEY have rights too! They paid for their flights and have a right to see the movies they paid for”.

    I very much enjoy reading your posts, and usually agree with every word, but here I am surprised at you. Since when do Yidden have a right to watch movies even if they paid for them?
    כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה means that one has a responsibility and obligation to protest when witnessing someone desecrate one of the laws of the torah.
    If every erlicha yid would vocally protest when movies are being shown, we wouldn’t have had to deal with this problem anymore.
    And to all those who say that one should just close ones eyes and not look, How naive can you get? מה יעשה הבן ולא יחטא I cannot count how many times I have seen otherwise erlicha Bochurim and Yungerleit watching the movies on flight, and every single time it breaks my heart seeing what they are inflicting on themselves.
    Remember we are fighting for kedushas Yisroel and although we might never totally win but every little bit of light is a nitzachon.
    Even if one can control himself, what will he answer לאחר מאה ועשרים when he’s asked, what did you do to help in this shreklicha matzav.

  34. I don’t particularly care about movies in-flight.

    Davening before or after the flight has never been a problem for me, since I’ve never flown for longer than 5 hours (inside Europe, and from Amsterdam to Eretz Yisroel and back a few times).

    Typically, I don’t need anything. I’m vegetarian, and since there are (as far as I know) no vegetarian ‘mehadrin’ meals (it’s either this or that), I skip the meals anyway.

    All I need is my old-fashioned MP3 discman and something to read, and preferably a window seat.

    If you’d ask me about movies, I do vaguely recall that there were movies on some of the flights I flew on, but I didn’t even look at it for more than a second.

    Oh, by the way, on these El Al flights, out of about 200 passengers, there are usually about 2 or 3 religious people (ie, kippah-wearers). The last time I flew I was the only religious one (no other person on the entire plane was even wearing a kippah).

  35. A story comes to mind, I may have many details wrong so please correct me. I think it was The Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz. Some bochurim asked about travelling to miron for lag baomer.
    He answered “What about all the bad hashpo’os you mind bump into on the way?! I will stay in the Beis Hamedrash and be by Reb Shimnon here”.
    Is it worth the whole trip to Reb Nachman (or Lizhensk/Mezhbuzh/Belz…etc) on a public airline if one is going to see kol dovor haossur on the way?

  36. To #24 lesschumras,

    I’m sorry I touched a raw nerve. I surely didn’t mean to offend your hashkofas ha’chaim.

    I was sharing the Torah’s hashkofa….”lo sasuru acharei l’vavchem v’acharei eineichem” is part of the “Torah Judaism” hashkofa to which I subscribe….I didn’t make it up. This is the first time I’ve heard anyone align this hashkofa with muslim extremest tactics.

    Additionally, I was not on the flight. I was merely commenting on what I read above. Making a comment on YWN is not a physical gesture of violence.

    The message and feelings that I extrapolate from your words though are well taken. You can make your own choices, but at least realize there are choices to be made when it comes to protecting one’s neshama.

    Lastly, there is nothing in the article that I read that indicating any physical violence by the offended passengers. I advocate voicing strong opposition when one is essentially put in a situation of spiritual harm against their will, when they were told otherwise.

  37. I very much enjoy reading your posts, and usually agree with every word, but here I am surprised at you. Since when do Yidden have a right to watch movies even if they paid for them?

    Firstly, you’re making the assumption that watching a movie is ipso facto forbidden. I would think that the content of the movie would probably determine that fact. But I don’t even want to argue that point. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the movie was the worst piece of shmutz possible and was clearly forbidden. There’s still one flaw in your argument — who says that everyone on board was Jewish? Don’t you think that it is possible that there were non-Jews (even if they were a minority) on the flight? They have a right to watch a movie that they paid for too, no?

    The Wolf

  38. Who hasnt been on planes with Rosh Yeshivas ? They dont complain about the movie that is being shown to everyone – they just look in their books.

  39. Maybe Im missing something. Why didnt these super-ultra-orthodox bring a sefer with them? Normally even if i want to see the movie Im in a seat that cant see the screen. So the movie is never in anyones face. You have to look up at an umcomfortable position. And if they are truly worried about others on the flight seeing shmutz, they should walk down the streets yelling at people to keep their heads down, as not to see any pritzus. Evidently, some people are misguided and like to show how “frum” they are and make a total chillul Hashem in the process. And as i recall, the advertisements in the airport are always far worse than any movie they show on a plane!

  40. My Rav, who doesn’t daven with a minyan on the plane, but rather at his seat, was asked by a fellow passenger how he could forgo a minyan. He replied:

    I didn’t daven with a minyan; you didn’t daven (pause) with a minyan.

    Get real… do you really have any kavanh standing in the aisle???

  41. to#66 poshute yid..nut tzi glieben..you forgot to cover your true self ..what you posted that the bnai yisroel have nothing to offer except sholom is kefira of first order..also according to you we should leave our stender go into science etc,etc..we’re not even going to refute you..someone else has time maybe do it..just from your writing “reviewing ancient texts” zeit men vie eir halt..yes ,you’ll say “not me, i’m just saying what they hold” na,na..from your words one can feel you have either complex, or you hold so too but trying to cover..by the way there are plenty scientists who are bnei torah also the biggest technologial invention lets say regarding computer chips is fun yisroel un fun vie kumt de koiech ??..nit az men darf farenferen, just stating a fact..also the not frum do not look into tosfos ktubos before they hate us..and tosfos there did not say that in negetive light like you (dehine doing something wrong..to long to elaborate..)…also as if every non-frum hates frum person, nit azoi. did you make survey?..how they view (those who hate us not all ) seems to be bothering you alot, looks like you dont know the the meaning of “v’yigbor libo b’darcay hashem”

  42. #28 HaKatan – I am “real”. And no, I do NOT consider Israel a Jewish state. That so called “state” is more of a chilul Hashem than the movie that was shown. Unfortunately, people view the state as “Jewish”. They couldn’t be more off target. It’s the antithesis of “Jewish”.

  43. Short and sweet, El Al a jewish airline that ferrys orthodox jews should have more brains than to to air shmutz!! Shame on El Al!!!!!!!!!!

  44. I am missing something. From my flight experiences, when the screens came out, one has to turn on the screen, turn on the volume and put in the headphones. Are you telling me that instead of just not pressing buttons, religious Jews, on a spiritual journey to Uman, decided the safest way to protect spiritually themselves was to damage property and cause a flight risk? (the “ruckus” included yidden running around the aircraft trying tp physically stop the screens from opening)
    For what? I have yet to be on a flight where I was physically forced to watch a video. Was the flight a private chartered chareidi flight? If not, so where is the justification to demand a flight to not do show a video?I am not anti religious. As a religious Jew, this news breaks my heart. I am just trying to figure out how this type of behavior is acceptable in the chareidi world. If there is someone who is driving on shabbos or wearing not tznius clothes, do we accost them, yell and scream at them, and damage their property? Wait, I think we do that already.

  45. to#79 reb pushete yid.. zolt eir zein gezint mit gantze mispacha in derleiben de goial tzedek..eich hob shoin nisht koiech tzi eich..min hastaam farshtied eir vos eir zoked, mir nit..maybe your wording is not right ..”chachomim huzhory b’divreichem.”.so you shouldnt have to give such long speech to clarify your original post which some times is not so oisgehalten ..anyway a kusheren un freilechen pesach (b’rochnias u’vegashmious)to you and gantze mispacha

  46. A brief perusal *again* of the EL Al website shows that the regularly scheduled aircraft is a 737, which used “mainscreen”. There are small monitors in the aisles.

    Terrible lack of common sense here, and it’s very easy not to look UP at the SCREENS in the AISLE. If anything, if you are by a window seat it’s sometimes DIFFICULT to see the screens without straining your neck. Fly another airline, there are 2 other airlines flying the route, and like many above, BRING A SEFER OR GOOD BOOK!

  47. I meant to put this in my post. However, I forgot until I was reminded when I re-read some posts of people who consider looking away as not protecting ourselves from tumah.
    I thought we are supposed to avert our eyes, not damage property.