'Terror' alert over Orthodox Jews' tefillin ritual

Discussion in 'Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan' started by Bay Pisco Shark, Mar 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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  2. ItsADryCold
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    Because just as some people freak out at Muslim rituals on board aircraft, Americans are unused to seeing orthodox Jewish rituals at 35K feet and freak out at those, too.
     
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  3. bmg42000
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    Perhaps they should explain what they are doing to the FA's beforehand and then the should not be a problem.
     
  4. Bay Pisco Shark
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    I know. My question was rhetorical (but maybe not obviously so). Once the crew reported something, the ground authorities had no choice.
     
  5. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Why would you? They may have flown all over the world without issue. The seatbelt sign may have been on. Who knows.
     
  6. LETTERBOY
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    As a Jew, I agree with this. In this security conscious climate, doing something like this before giving the FAs a heads up is asking for trouble. If someone is unfamiliar with Jewish religious practices, or those of any other religion, how can they tell the difference between this and a genuine threat? They can't, and if they see something unusual, better safe than sorry.
     
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  7. IMGone
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    Except with the current climate, I'm more sorry than safe.

    .... and just in case you think TSA is actually there for your safety - you are less safe today than ever before, with their radiation emitting (and not managed) machines, their intrusive searches of your belongings both in and out of your presence, the unlocked nature of bags allowing freer access to any airport employee in the area ... and the list goes on. Note that TSOs are being arrested at a far higher rate than any airline cargo worker ever was, is it any wonder :mad:
     
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  8. mhnadel
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    For people who put on tefillin, it's a perfectly normal thing to do and it probably never occurred to them that anybody could find it suspicious. And it has to be done at very specific times, which means it is not unusual for it to be done during flight.

    In my opinion, it looks more like somebody taking their blood pressure than anything that could be considered threatening. And there was a similar incident on US Air about a year ago, which got enough publicity that you would think airlines might actually educate their crews, particularly on flights to/from cities with large Jewish populations. (And, yes, Mexico City qualifies on those grounds, as Los Angeles more obviously does.)
     
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  9. goalie
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    And as such folks need to simply become aware that "people are different" and stop freaking out over some male with perhaps dark/olive skin, an unshaven face and speaking in a "funny" language. <grrrrrr> :mad:
     
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  10. goalie
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    Unfortunately true
     
  11. goalie
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    Why? Should a Catholic baseball player who crosses himself before stepping into the batter's box call time out, grab the p/a microphone and announce to the non-cristians in the crowd what he is going to do? As I posted, folks need to simply become aware that "people are different" and stop freaking out over some male with perhaps dark/olive skin, an unshaven face and speaking in a "funny" language.
     
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  12. goalie
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    I am also Jewish and I disagree with this completely. If someone is unfamiliar with Jewish rituals (or any other religion's rituals), they NEED to become more aware and stop living in a paranoid box-plane and simple.
     
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  13. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    tell me about it! I use 'eh and sometimes say aboot, but I hope people realize that just because I am a Canadian, I should not be considered a threat! [​IMG]
     
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  14. aitchly
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    In a non-christain majority culture . . . yes.

    While it would be nice to educate the American populace about other cultures, it is not going to happen for many of the same reasons why Americans don't have second languages.

    America is a Christian majority culture. When you are a minority, you have to accept some ignorance from people who have no need to learn your culture. (I didn't say accept bias, though there is a fine line between bias and ignorance). This even applies to some streams of Christianity, ever talked to a seventh day adventist or LDS (Mormon) about their 'weird' and 'different' practices?
     
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  15. goalie
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    Yup-have to accept ignorance <blech>. DOn't have to like it tho and If i see and/or hear it, I will absolutely confront the ignorant person. You know, have them pat the top of my head to show them that I don't have horns ;)
     
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  16. aitchly
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    Did you go for the grinding or surgical removal?[​IMG]
     
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  17. IMGone
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    As soon as they turned this into a law enforcement incident and caused those people to be dragged off the plane in front of the other passengers (and who knows what they did during the flight, as well) - then it is beyond ignorance. It is Unacceptable!
     
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  18. KyRoamer
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    Again. It is about time that airlines trained their FA's and other staff. Observant Jews do this on planes often enough that crews need to be prepared to calm down passengers who understandably might not be aware of what is happening. Shame on Alaska Air.
     
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  19. RedTape
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    Airlines do need to address the flames of paranoia. This is an embarrassing episode, but a great opportunity for the airline to address some cultural awareness issues.
     
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  20. Gardyloo
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    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014489439_prayerflight14.html

    I wonder if they were speaking Spanish or Ladino among themselves, further widening the cultural/knowledge gulf.

    Perhaps it would have been okay if they had just praised God's name in song instead.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. jackal
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    Statement from AS:

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/alask...-241-mexico-city-to-los-ang/10150117534431073

     
  22. mhnadel
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    To be fair, in their statement about the incident (on facebook) AS says they will be working with the Seattle Jewish Community on educating their crews. I won't link to the facebook statement because the comments on it are considerably less reasonable.

    I suspect a lot of the problem in this particular case had to do with a language barrier. The statement said that the men provided only minimal information about what they were doing, which would make sense if they don't speak English and the flight attendants don't speak Spanish (or Hebrew, of course, but one would assume if they spoke Hebrew they would know what tefillin are).
     
  23. mrx900
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    it would be nice if they work along with the Islamic community of Seattle to learn about Muslim praying practices so we dont have a repeat involving Muslims...but Muslims dont have any black tapes hanging from them or anything...it just looks like meditation...
     

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