Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another Chilul HaShem

I really think that most Yeshiva high schools - including this Modern Orthodox one - simply do not teach their students how to behave in public. And that can only end up in Chilul HaShem. Furthermore, I don't buy the argument made by one of those students at the end of the following JTA article. In fact I think he increased the Chilul HaShem with those accusations! What is the matter with these people?
We’ve all been there before. You’re on a flight and a teenager wearing a Dave Matthews Band t-shirt, headphones and a neck pillow walks down the aisle still wearing sunglasses. Then another one. And another.
Or maybe you’ve been the teenager on a flight, excited to hang out with your friends and schmooze en route to some sunny destination.
Either way, it can be frustrating: for the adult passengers, who just want the damn kids to sit down and shut up; and for the kids, who keep being told to sit down and shut up.
That frustration apparently boiled over on Monday, when 101 Jewish high school students and their eight chaperones were ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight to Atlanta, CNN reported.
The facts of the matter remain, shall we say, up in the air. The crew claims the students, from Yeshivah of Flatbush in Brooklyn, were thrown off because of their disruptive behavior, refusing to sit down and shut down their phones prior to takeoff. The teachers and students claim the crew blew the situation of proportion and that they were acting well within normal expectations. Predictably, one student felt that it was their visible religiosity that drew unwarranted attention.
“They treated us like we were terrorists,” student Jonathan Zehavi said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not someone to make these kinds of statements. I think if it was a group of non-religious kids, the air stewardess wouldn’t have dared to kick them off.”
The group was put on other flights within the hour.


  1. But business passenger Brad Rinschler, who takes the commuter flight three times a month, said he saw "definitely less than eight" chaperones with the students. He saw only two adults walk off the plane with the kids. And the chaperones sat in the front of the plane, while the noisy students sat in the back. Rinschler sat in business class, he said.

    He said about 10 of the more than 100 students didn't listen to the flight crew's instructions and were noisy, swapping seats to sit beside friends and using their cell phones.

    "They were laughing at them and ignoring them," Rinschler said of the 10 students.

    The crew gave the students "multiple chances" to heed preflight instructions.

    "They pilot warned them. They did not comply. They thought it was a joke. You know, it wasn't a joke," Rinschler said.

    "I've never seen this," he added. "It's a commuter flight. There's no families on it."

    Rinschler didn't witness any anti-Semitic events. "Absolutely not," he said. "There was not one ethnic slur from anyone on the flight crew or anyone who was inconvenienced for two hours.

    "If they were adults, they wouldn't have even had that many chances. That's the bottom line," Rinschler said.

    -- CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/us/new-york-students-off-plane/index.html)