Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tefillin freak out airline personnel again

I put on tallis and tefillin in airports on occasion, but I have never had a problem. I think the tallis helps people realize it is just prayer and the guys who generate security alerts are bachurim (unmarried guys who do not wear a big prayer shawl along with their phylacteries):
[...] Alaska Flight 241 from Mexico City to Los Angeles International Airport landed safety at LAX and was met by fire crews, foam trucks, FBI agents, Transportation Security Administration personnel and police dispatched as a precaution. [...]

The three passengers had startled members of the cabin crew with what was interpreted as suspicious behavior shortly after takeoff, airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

"The three passengers were praying aloud in Hebrew and were wearing what appeared to be leather straps on their foreheads and arms," she said. "This appeared to be a security threat, and the pilots locked down the flight deck and followed standard security procedures." [...]

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