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Orthodox Jews were forced to change the route of the plane because of Shabbat. They put the blame for the conflict on the airline

Passengers staged a fight, because the flight was late due to the weather.

Conflict on board. Photo by Roni Meital

A group of Orthodox Jews unleashed a conflict during the El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv and forced the crew to change the route to prevent violations of the Shabbat, writes Arutz Sheva. On Saturday, believers are required to refrain from work.

The airliner left the John F. Kennedy airport on November 16, but due to a snow storm in New York, the flight was delayed for several hours. Weather conditions have affected the “hundreds of flights” of different airlines, recognized El Al.

One of the passengers of the El Al flight, Roni Meital, said that the group of passengers was alarmed at the fact that the board would not land at the start of the Shabbat. According to an eyewitness, the Jews demanded that they be let out of the cabin prior to departure: at the same time they pushed the stewardess, and also threatened to break the door to the cockpit. Meital posted a scuffle video on her Facebook page.

Another passenger, a tourist guide from Israel, Bezalel Steinhart, said that he had not noticed any violence on board after the pilot announced that the landing time had been changed. “I saw upset faces, anger, loud voices,” he noted. Steinhart added that he himself observes the Sabbath, and noted that he could not watch everything happening on board from his seat.

At the same time, Steinhart accused El Al of incompetence because of the flight delay by five hours (from 18:30 to 23:45) and lies by the pilot. “At 23:40, when it was already clear that in the event of takeoff, we would be late for the start of the Shabbat, many religious passengers demanded to be let out of the plane. To make them sit down, the pilot announced he was returning to the gate. Then the plane took off within a few minutes, ”the passenger stressed.

The stewardess delivers food to passengers of the delayed flight. Photo of Bezalel Steinhart

As a result, the plane El Al was forced to land in Athens, where he landed a group of orthodox Jews. In Greece, they waited for the first flight after the end of the Shabbat. The rest of the passengers were taken to Israel by other airlines.

In total, on November 16, two El Al aircraft flew from the United States to Israel. The airline usually does not operate flights on Saturdays, so she planned to land another of the planes in Rome ahead of schedule. However, due to the state of health of one of the passengers, the liner did not change the route and sat in at the Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. The airline apologized to the passengers.

In accordance with the Torah on Shabbat do not use electronics because it is considered by heating the metal – and on Saturday the fire can not be lit nor extinguish. Thus, according to the Times of Israel, Orthodox Jews refrain from traveling on Saturdays. Among the exceptions are situations where this should be done because of a medical condition or for safety purposes.

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