Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef responded to an inquiry from El Al CEO Eliezer Shkedy regarding tefilla on board El Al flights.
In his response, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi explains that it is preferable for one to daven b’yechidus on a flight rather than to organize a minyan. He adds that his father, Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita conducted himself in this fashion on flights as well.
The query is based on the well known dilemma of frum travelers who are at times called to assist making a minyan. Some are fine with it while others feel it may be a chilul Hashem due to the disturbance caused to others in addition to safety concerns to passengers standing and interfering with the plane’s flight personnel who find passing in the isles difficult during a minyan. Others feel that davening with a minyan on a flight is a long established custom which is perfectly acceptable and there is no need to disturb other passengers by doing so.
In his written response to Shkedy, Rav Yitzchak Yosef explains that if there is discussion over davening at one’s seat or organizing a minyan, one should daven alone, especially if organizing a minyan may disturb the sleep of elderly passengers or children.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)