Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

14 Tammuz 5768 - July 17, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Rabbonim Call on Travelers to Choose Movie-Free Flights

By Yechiel Sever

According to directives issued by maranan verabonon, the Rabbinical Transportation Committee has started to address air travel in order to allow every observant Jew concerned for his spiritual well-being and that of his family members to fly free of stumbling blocks.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts to safeguard against immodesty, the current situation on planes is highly unsatisfactory, particularly regarding in-flight movies. Airplanes that show movies on a central screen in every cabin make kosher flying nearly impossible.

Based on an inquiry, the Rabbinical Committee found that certain airlines do not screen movies at all or show only nature films, therefore these flights should be preferred since this is a case of "iko darko achrino," i.e. a suitable alternative is available.

Flights that provide individual screens should also be viewed as a preferred option since they allow passengers not to view movies at all, but the Rabbinical Committee notes that unwholesome images on nearby screens are liable to draw attention unwittingly.

In the case of airlines that show movies on a central screen the Rabbinical Committee advises travelers to avoid these flights if at all possible, and if not they should take along a folding mechitzoh, available by calling 057- 3155613.

The Rabbinical Committee recently publicized lists of flights ordered from preferred airlines to less preferred airlines, particularly since many people are already making travel arrangements for the chagim. The Rabbinical Committee also reissued an important notice by gedolei Yisroel shlita, which reads: "We have heard the outcries of bnei Yisroel, headed by the roshei yeshivos of the yeshivos kedoshos and the principals of other educational institutions, regarding the various stumbling blocks precluding proper modesty for passengers on air routes to Eretz Hakodesh, for they are exposed to immodest images in the movies screened before the Holy Nation, which despises and avoids them...

"We hereby issue an impassioned plea to all of the airlines to make arrangements for passengers to fly on their planes without stumbling blocks to tznius and kedushoh...And certainly when these arrangements are made passengers from among the Holy Nation who fear the Word of Hashem will make arrangements to fly on these approved airlines...Likewise the roshei yeshivos and seminary principals will direct their students, ensuring they use these companies that enable flying on their planes under conditions of tznius lemehadrin...

"May the activists and travel agents who assist, along with the entire public who back them in this matter be blessed, and in this merit may Hashem Yisborach, Tohor Einayim, Whose Eyes See All, Shomer Yisroel Who neither sleeps nor slumbers, guard his People, Am Yisroel, and bless His People with peace."

The call by gedolei Yisroel shlita is creating a widespread awakening on this issue and the Rabbinical Transportation Committee hopes the various airlines will try to make acceptable arrangements for the sake of all observant passengers.


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