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Posts Tagged ‘airport’

Woman Dies on El Al Flight

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

An American woman died on El Al’s Tel Aviv-New York flight on Tuesday.

Medical personnel that happened to be on the flight tried to save her, but weren’t able to. She died 6 hours into the flight.

The woman’s family in New York were informed by El Al, and were waiting at the airport.

UFO Halts Ben-Gurion Airport Traffic

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

With the military jumpy over the incursion of an enemy drone deep into Israeli airspace on Saturday, the IAF is taking no chances when they see something unusual on their radar screens, which are apparently now set at their highest sensitivity levels.

Around 5:00 AM on Wednesday morning, IAF fighter jets were scrambled over Ben Gurion Airport after IAF radar systems detected an unidentified flying object over the airport. All international flights were put on hold, and landing planes had to switch to a holding pattern as the fighter jets checked everything out.

Galei Tzahal reports that the all-clear was given a few minutes later and the planes were allowed to land.

There’s no report as to what the radar had detected.

This is the second time the IAF has scrambled fighter jets since Saturday. Earlier in week, they sent jets over Beit Shemesh, but that turned out to be nothing.

An IDF source is saying that the army would prefer to be more careful and not take extra chances.

Also, it turns out that Saturday’s F-16 had to launch two anti-aircraft missiles at the drone in order to shoot it down because of the drone’s low heat signature prevented a good lock the first time.

 

See: Related Cartoon

 

 

Religious Passengers Stranded at Ben-Gurion Over Shabbat

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Chadarei Chaderim reports: US Airways flight number 796 from Philadelphia, landed at 4:00 on Friday afternoon, instead of the expected 2:15 PM.

The doors to the plane only opened at the terminal at 5:20 PM, and passengers arrived at the passport control at 5:30.

Rav Yochanan Chayat, the El Al rabbi was called, and he in turn called Zaka for assistance.

Zaka had passport control open a special lane for religious passengers to rush them through.

And by the time Shabbat arrived, Zaka managed to bring around 100 mattresses to the airport, and collect enough food from a number of Bnei Brak stores for the passengers who were going to be stranded in the airport over Shabbat.

The only question is, who in their right mind willingly flies on a flight that will hopefully arrive only 3 hours before Shabbat, knowing that flights get delayed all the time?

Red Hot Chili Peppers Rock Tel Aviv

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The “Red Hot Chili Peppers” performed in Tel Aviv on Monday night, a decade after they canceled their show due to security issues. It was the group’s first visit to Israel, and to make the most of it, the members went to the Western Wall in Jerusalem straight from the airport. The band talked about Hillel Slovak, one of their founding members, who died from a drug overdose in the early 1990s.

“Hillel Slovak forever!” band leader Anthony Kiedis shouted on stage, adding, “I must say, Hillel had his own brand of Israeli funk, pretty sure he invented it. That Israeli funkinstein.” Guitarist Flea added, “He went out to a trip in Israel, and he came back and he was so lit up and so excited and so full of love, and to come here today and think of him it’s truly a dream.” The band dedicated the song “Other Side” to the city of Haifa, where Slovak was born.

Slovak is not the only Jewish connection of the Peppers. Current guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is Jewish, and is related to Leon Klinghoffer, the elderly man in a wheelchair who was murdered by terrorists aboard the Achille Lauro in 1985.

Pro-Palestinian groups in Lebanon, where the band performed just a few nights before, were outraged about the Peppers’ decision to perform in Israel, and even threatened the opening acts in Beirut to not perform, causing one of the bands to cancel. Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith tweeted earlier this week: “In any city of any country we play … Our sole purpose is to uplift people thru our music. Nothing more. Nothing less … that’s it.”

So Happy Together

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The day following our oldest daughter’s wedding in Eretz Yisrael was the day we had planned for my husband to return to his job in the U.S. I was staying for another week in Israel with the rest of our children and my dear mother in order to participate in the remaining wedding celebrations.

Baruch Hashem, after shedding some tears, my husband agreed to stay with us for the rest of the week. His new return flight was an hour and a half before the rest of our flights. At least now we would spend the rest of our vacation together, traveling to the airport and going through security and passport control as a family. We were thrilled with my husband’s decision to stay and grateful to Hashem for allowing us the opportunity to share a simcha together.

The days sped by. While in Israel we were supposed to help our daughter complete a scholarship form for seminary. Working on that form got pushed off until the day we were leaving Israel. When we were at the airport, after engaging in a long discussion with his new son-in-law, my husband was finally able to do the form online with our daughter. By the time the two of them had finished, I was in a near panic. The time had passed by much too quickly and the airport’s lines were getting longer and longer. I had never before seen such a flood of people at Ben Gurion Airport.

Though we asked again, El Al would not change my husband’s ticket so he could join us on our flight. We raced together through check-in but had to be separated at the ticketing counter in order for my husband to be able to board his flight on time. I was very disappointed and frightened that he was not going to be with us when we went through passport control. Even though we had gone through great lengths to prevent a mishap from occurring, I still worried that an official would decide to single out one of our children (who held dual citizenship for army service).

I took my seat on the plane with, Baruch Hashem, all of our children near me – and not on their way to serve in the Israeli army! After having a good cry because I was leaving my newly married daughter in Israel, I decided I was due some relaxation. Now that all the months of planning, along with the traveling and busy week, were behind us, I really needed some undisturbed quiet. Instead, I kept thinking about retrieving and transporting all of our luggage, helping my mother make her connecting flight, and finding reliable transportation to our cars without my husband’s assistance. With great siyata d’shemaya we had done well up to this point, so I told myself once again that now was the time to simply relax and enjoy the week’s good memories.

We all rushed off the plane (which had been delayed in take-off), as my mother had to make her connecting flight to Los Angeles. When we were in line at Passport Control, I heard her sweet voice call out, “Jodi, David’s here.” I was delighted; we were going to be reunited. Knowing that my husband was in a rush to go to work, I was eager to find out why he was still at the airport.

After boarding the plane for his 11:30 p.m. flight, he discovered that EL Al had to conduct a security operation because a passenger had checked in luggage but failed to show up for the flight. The passengers had to remain on the plane for an hour and a half while all the luggage was removed from the belly of the plane and put back in again. Our plane took off right after my husband’s plane at 1 a.m. And that’s how we all arrived at the airport in New York at around the same time.

My husband was able to help us with our luggage, with my mom’s flight, and with transportation to our cars. It felt so nice and secure to be able to walk out of the airport together – as a family.

So happy together!

Gone With The Wind

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” – the column where people blindside me with questions, and I have to answer them, even though, oftentimes, answering questions only leads to more questions. Especially the way I do it.

This month, in honor of the summer, we’re going to answer some questions about travel. It’s important to go on vacation once in a while, so you have some relaxation, unless you count the stress of getting ahead on your work before vacation, catching up on your work after vacation, and driving long distances with your kids having border disputes in the back seat.

Dear Mordechai,

I haven’t flown in a while, but I heard they changed the size regulations for carry-on luggage. What should I do? Buy a whole new set of luggage that is one inch smaller?

Nervous Flier Far Rockaway

Dear Nervous,

You might be able to get away with your bigger suitcase, as long as they give you a smaller plane. The last time I flew, I bought a new suitcase, because the one I had was a half inch wider than regulation, and I’d heard that the airlines are very strict about these things. Like if your suitcase is too big, it’s going to be hanging out the back of the plane.

But then I got to the airport, and it turns out the plane I was taking was very small. Okay, so it wasn’t that small. It’s not like it was just me and the pilot, wearing goggles and scarves and yelling to each other over the motor. But I was able to stand up in the aisle and reach both sides of the plane. Until the flight attendants asked me to stop.

But my point is that because the plane was so small, no one’s carry-on could really fit in the overhead bins, so the flight crew didn’t bother measuring anything – they just told us they’d put it under the plane, for free. So the half inch would not have mattered.

So my advice is to request it. Just say, “Hi, could you please get me on a small plane, so I can put my carry-on go underneath the plane, instead of right over my head?” Those should be your exact words. If you do that, the size of your suitcase won’t be a problem, because chances are airport security is going to take it out into a field and detonate it, just in case.

But if you find out that your plane is bigger and that they are measuring luggage, you can always buy something smaller from the airport’s luggage store for 400 dollars.

Because really, for what other reason could there be to put luggage stores in an airport? Is anyone coming in with armloads of clothes and toiletries tumbling out of his elbows, and going “Suitcase! I knew I forgot something!” Is it for people showing up who already have suitcases? What are they supposed to do with their old ones? Are the stores for people who land at that airport and realize their suitcase was lost midflight? (I say “midflight”, like it fell off the plane.)

“What am I going to do? I lost my suitcase!… Oh, never mind. They sell suitcases right here. I’m good… Wait. These are empty.”

Dear Mordechai,

My wife and I are taking the kids on vacation, and we’re bringing along everything we own, apparently. How do I pack my car so it all fits?

M.F., Cincinnati

Dear M.,

Forget things. That’s what I do.

I’m not kidding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed up at my in-laws house for Shabbos without my suit, which was still sitting near my front door in a suit bag. In fact, most of my current suits were bought last minute on a Friday somewhere in Massachusetts.

But if you want to try to get everything in, you’re going to need to develop a strategy, taking into account such factors as how important it is that you see out the back window. I say that once you’re done backing out of the driveway, it’s no longer your problem.

The best strategy, probably, is to put in the bigger items first, followed by the smaller items, followed by your wife coming out of the house with her suitcase, which is the biggest item of all, which you now have to put on top of your hat, the food, and one of your kids. And then you realize you forgot to work in the stroller. It’s a lot like playing Tetris, only when you do a good job, the whole row doesn’t light up and disappear.

Are Diamonds Forever?

Friday, June 1st, 2012

This is in no way intended to dampen the enthusiasm of kallahs flush with excitement over their upcoming nuptials, but who hasn’t heard a “lost diamond ring” story or, for that matter, experienced firsthand the traumatic loss of a precious piece of jewelry?

In the recent past, the media featured a story of a Swedish vegetable grower who pulled a carrot out of the ground and was shocked to find her wedding ring wrapped around the vegetable. She had lost the ring sixteen years earlier and explained that her pet sheep had eaten it and “deposited” it in the compost heap where the ring’s owner eventually harvested her carrot crop.

We should all be so lucky in retrieving our lost treasures. I won’t soon forget the story of a young, naïve married woman who, some several years back, was duped into believing a tall tale a couple of strangers regaled her with on a Manhattan street. A man and woman, pretending to have suddenly stumbled upon some valuable papers lying on the ground, soon had the newly married chassidic wife parting with her jewelry as a way of showing good faith in partnering with them in a purportedly lucrative business venture — one that would have supposedly netted them dividends beyond their wildest dreams.

By the time the poor woman realized she’d been hoodwinked, she was stripped bare of all of her kallah trinkets, and at the end of the day, literally, had to face not only her spouse but her dumbstruck in-laws as well. Take heart, dear reader, for the story has a happy ending. No, she never recovered the jewelry, but her husband and new family proved to be tremendously supportive and sympathetic, and the young couple went on to build a bayis ne’eman despite the harrowing affair.

And what of those mysterious losses — earring(s), rings, and whatnots that have a way of vanishing from one day to the next? Heaven only knows how many baubles are forever buried in crevices behind yesteryear’s archaic radiators or behind sheetrock walls with central vacuum system inlets (those small circular openings children love to hurl things through).

Responsible adults can lose themselves too. Just ask the Floridian husband who tossed his wife’s $10,000 custom-made wedding ring into a trash heap. She had handed it to him as she was stepping into the shower, but instead of placing it in her jewelry box, he discarded it along with an old razor he’d been holding in his hand.

By the time the realization of his blunder dawned on him, the garbage collectors had done their thing. Undaunted, the negligent hubby donned goggles and protective gear and dove into the smelly county dump. After a half hour of wading in the most “absolutely disgusting” rubbish, he hit pay dirt when he located the pricey ring. “It was like winning the lottery,” he declared triumphantly.

My cousin Rachel can probably identify with that feeling of euphoria. Over thirty years ago, around Pesach time, her diamond ring was nowhere to be found. Presuming it went the way of the household chometz, she gave up on it. Her husband pacified her with a facsimile in the form of a cubic zirconia as a Shavuos gift.

Eight years and three kids later, my cousin rummaged for some old baby clothes her two-year old could dress her doll in, but the frustrated toddler soon handed the ill-fitting stretchy back to her mom — who reached into the foot of the outfit and fished out none other than her long lost ring. (Tucked in a pocket of a smock she had worn while Pesach-cleaning, the ring had apparently become enmeshed in the stretchy during a wash cycle.)

As the saying goes, you win some you lose some. Today many couples choose to forgo the costly real thing for a more modestly priced imitation (which to the untrained eye will pass as genuine more often than not). This would certainly help lessen one’s grief over being looted by sticky fingered domestic help.

Take the Monsey family whose live-in housekeeper absconded with $20,000 worth of jewelry in an almost clean getaway. Apprehended by detectives at the airport as she was about to board a flight back to her native country, she justified her thievery by claiming she hadn’t been paid all of her wages. Not so, countered her employers who had the forethought to secure some form of identification early on and thus had a name and passport number to go by.

Sometimes we have only ourselves to blame. Years ago, we stopped at a highway rest area where I could conveniently change my baby’s diaper. Not wanting to risk scratching him with my cherished opal-and-diamond ring I’d just received for my birthday, I removed it and placed it on the counter next to the changing table. I remembered leaving it there just as soon as I returned to our car, but it was too late. Some rest room patron had evidently found it hard to resist.

So how do we handle knowing with relative certainty that a prized possession is gone with the wind? To believe that Hashem in His mercy and benevolence has spared us a worse fate or inconvenience is a far better option than eating our hearts out. As the Yiddish expression goes, “Zol zein a kapora” (it should be an atonement).

My memory takes me back to my last year of high school, when a girl who had graduated the year before and had just become engaged, dropped in to bask in our adulation and collect our good wishes. As we surrounded the kallah and oohed and aahed over her sparkling diamond engagement ring, she smiled broadly and said, “It’s my chosson who is the real diamond.”

Now that’s a diamond forever (a gem of a guy?) and one of the more important lessons we took home with us that day.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/are-diamonds-forever/2012/06/01/

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