Photo Credit: Tsahi Ben-Ami / Flash 90
El Al Airlines, the national airline of Israel

NOTE: This article was posted from New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.

El Al Flight #LY008 skipped a stopover in Rome after taking off late from New York on Friday and raced for Tel Aviv — despite the knowledge it would land after the start of the Sabbath — due to a medical life-and-death situation with one of the passengers on board.

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The decision was reached in consultation with El Al’s medical officer and rabbi, and together with the permission of Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi.

The stopover in Rome was to have been made in order to avoid violating the holy Sabbath.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.