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Mar 12, 2009

Sanity prevails in the Haredi - El Al fight

The haredi ban on flying El Al is coming back.

In January it was announced that there would be special flights that would be considered mehadrin - no movies, separate seating, etc. for the haredi community. At the time many said it is not a big deal - those flights will simply be chartered flights. On a chartered flight, let them do what they want.

I agree. On a chartered flight, let them do what they want.

But now, the haredim are reintroducing the ban on El Al. Goldknopf and his Committee of Pure Travel are upset that the mehadrin flights have not yet been put into motion. As Pesach approaches, many yeshiva students, and haredim in general, will be flying and they could easily fill such planes.

because El Al has not yet developed the mehadrin airplane, Goldknopf is saying people should avoid flying El Al and pick other airlines that show films of scenery and not debauchary.

El Al's response - they were open to developing it. They say a travel agent tried to make such arrangements, but he was not able to fill a flight. They will do it if a group fills a plane.

In other words, if you would charter a flight, and fill the plane, they will agree to your request to not show movies and seat men in the seats and women in cargo. It turns out though that they are not trying to charter flights, but to turn regular commecial flights into mehadrin lines. And that is something El Al says that they cannot do.

So it seems like the haredi public, or the majority of it at least, realizes Goldknopf's stupidities are just that. Most people are not interested in his made up chumras.

Whew. There is still some sanity floating around.


  1. Where do you see sanity prevailing?

  2. I don't understand why El-Al can't make a "Mehadrin" section - for example an area at the back of the plane with separate seating and no movies and if necessary a male flight attendant.

    There would be an added benefit that if you have religious male passangers seated together, it would be even to daven in your seat (with or without a minyan) without disturbing other passengers or staff.

    BTW - is there really a "Committee of Pure Travel", sounds like people would take them about as seriously as the "Ministry of Silly Walks"

  3. bluke - sanity prevails in the sense that most of the haredi public is obviously not buying his nonsense.

    Michael - I seem to remember they tried it for a while. I don't remember what happened.....
    And about the name - I make up a new name for his committee every time I quote them. The real name is Committee for Purity of the Camp or something like that...

  4. I don't understand why the charter flights didn't take off. I would assume these would be a huge hit in the charedi public. Maybe charedim appreciate the ability to watch movies on flights more than some would like them to.

  5. I don't understand this ruling. Is a non-Mehadrin flight any less problematic on Air Canada, British Air Ways, American Airlines etc.... There is no way any other airline would even consider a mehadrin flight.

    I think El Al has made the right decision on this one. If the Haredi want to be taken seriously, they need to issue a gezerah that leaving Israel should be banned until they can charter a flight. That should either get the rank and file to work towards a solution or break away from their out of touch leadership.

  6. Abbi - well, either El Al is lying and there has not really been an attempt to create such a flight and they are just trying to deflect, or people are not really interested, en masse, to sit separately from their families and not have movies....

    ehwhy - they only pressure El Al because El Al is the "airline of the jewish country" even though it is now privately held. It is more of a chilul hashem because El Al is supposedly the jewish airline.
    Also, it is the only one they can pressure like this.

  7. The BDS movement claims that they want an all out boycott based on principle. However they admit that it is more effective (and convenient) to target individual companies.

    If these flights really are a problem they should be a problem accross the board. If they are willing to admit it is just a chumra than they can go start their own airline.

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  9. B"H

    I'm sorry, but could someone remind me why it's not ok to seat the women in cargo?

    Oh, right, that's why I'm still not married....

    And now for some post Purim frivolity:

    Q: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: Shut up. That's not funny.

    {giggle, wink}

  10. What airlines (which come to Israel) fly without an option for movies these days? I want to make sure I'm never on it.

    Many years ago I flew TowerAir.. THEY had a Mehadrin section which unfortunately my family and I were in (we didn't know it was an option at the time) and let me tell you, that was THE longest flight I've ever been on... flying 11 hours or so with 6 and 7 year old and no TV to distract them... yeesh.

  11. this story reminds me of your neighbor who would steal your newspaper in the morning, read it infront of his kid he was taking to school; then he asked you to cancel the subscription because he couldn't stop himself from reading your paper. Let them Turn off the video player on the flight, pop open their lap tops, review their off-shore bank accts, and watch the movies they missed at home.

  12. pesky settler, if you are male don't you realize the mehadrin flights are there to save you?

    separate seating, men alone, apart from women and babies. I can just picture haredi men dying to get on these flights!

    if you're female and a mom, what can i say except that it sucks to be you.

  13. Does a mehadrin flight take off and land in mehadrin airports?

  14. anon - there is only so much they can [try to] control (for now)

  15. "bluke - sanity prevails in the sense that most of the haredi public is obviously not buying his nonsense"

    rafi-nobody asks the haredi public what they want. They will just to do it and the public will follow.
    Nobody asked the hredim for mehadrin buses either.

  16. You know even the Ramba"m allows women to leave the house for a few reasons, such as visiting her parents, menahemeth avel, s'mahoth, taharath mishpahah, so I don't know what you fanatics are getting all worked up about.

    They're allowed to leave the house.

    So, of course, they would need to be provided space on the airplane to fulfill some of the above misswoth.

    So, please do not say that women are not allowed to fly. It's simply not true.

    She should, of course, though, where a רדיד.


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