Two pilots for United Airlines joined a rabbi traveling on their plane for a dance and seized the opportunity to wear tefillin after they touched down in the Bahamas on Monday, reported COLlive.

Right before Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld from the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. N.Y., deplaned the United Airlines flight in the Bahamas, where he was going to oversee the koshering process of a local restaurant that would be hosting a Jewish group, he stopped by the cockpit to thank the pilots.

In response, one of them replied, Zei gezunt! (a Yiddish phrase that means “Be well”).

After the pilot confirmed to Weinfeld, who serves as the head of the food-service department of OK Kosher and rabbi of Manhattan Beer, that he is Jewish, the rabbi asked him if he had put on tefillin, also known as phylacteries. The pilot said he had done so once before and would be happy to put it on again.

As Weinfeld was helping him put on the Jewish prayer items in the cockpit, the co-pilot walked in and said that he was also Jewish.

“He remarked that he knows the Shema and says it sometimes, but he said he is 44 years old and had never put tefillin on in his life,” Weinfeld told COLlive.

Both pilots ended up wrapping tefillin, and the three men danced together while singing the popular Jewish tune “Siman Tov U’Mazel Tov,” celebrating the bar mitzvah of the pilot who put on tefillin for the first time ever.

“After the flight, the pilot was in touch and told me that his family is thrilled that he had a bar mitzvah, and said that he would like to keep in touch to learn more,” said Weinfeld.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

JNS is more than just another news website and syndication service. It is an organization devoted to nonstop reporting, and telling the truth about Israel and Jewish issues unburdened by the biases and institutional blinders that distort so much of what we read, hear and see about these topics elsewhere in the secular and even Jewish press.

At JNS, you get the facts about Israel and Jewish issues without the bias that so often tilts the argument against the Jewish state. JNS articles and columns are republished every week by digital outlets and print newspapers across the globe. But in the age of round-the-clock news coverage, advertising and syndication revenues are not enough to support our continued growth. We need your financial help to keep JNS on target as we continue our fair and accurate reporting.

Please help us take JNS to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.