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Elderly Jews were thrown from the plane because they did not agree to place the tallit under the seat - Walla! Tourism

2021-12-05T09:40:15.118Z

A couple from New York are suing American Airlines after the flight attendant ordered them to place a tallit under the seat, and they refused. The details in Walla! Tourism



Elderly Jews were thrown from the plane because they did not agree to place the tallit under the seat

A couple from New York are suing the airline after the flight attendant ordered them to place the mitzvah utensil under the seat, on the floor.

After they explained to her that this was forbidden according to Judaism, she shouted at them, and the two were deceitfully taken off the flight.

"No one took out a rudder. No one defended us," they say

Walla!

Tourism

05/12/2021

Sunday, 05 December 2021, 10:58 Updated: 11:35

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An American Airlines worker attacked a passenger with a cart and got off the flight (Photo: Facebook)

An elderly Jewish couple from Brooklyn, New York, were taken off a flight by American Airlines after refusing to place their tallit bag on the floor of the plane. This emerges from a lawsuit filed by the couple in a court in the United States.



In August, Roberto and Elena Birman were on their way from Miami to their New York home on flight 322. At the time, before the plane took off, the "humiliating incident," as the couple call it, occurred.



Watch: During a Rainier flight: Britons sang antisemitic songs to an ultra-Orthodox passenger



Roberto (76), and Elena (71), carrying a handbag, a small briefcase and Roberto's tallit bag with them on the plane. The two sat in aisle seats, side by side. Before taking off, the flight attendant began to check the upper storage compartments, pulled the tallit bag out of one of the compartments and asked "Whose is it?".



According to the indictment, when Roberto replied that his bag, the flight attendant threw the tallit bag on his knees and claimed that he should put it under his seat.

Roberto explained to the flight attendant that this was a religious item, which should not be placed on the floor.

He even removed his visor cap, showing her that he was thinking of a kippah, while explaining that he was a religious Jew.

"It does not matter," the stewardess replied.

He said she even shouted at him and pointed at him.

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Roberto and Elena Birman.

Did not agree to place the tallit bag on the floor of the plane (Photo: screenshot, New York Post)

Emigrated from Argentina because of anti-Semitism

According to the New York Post, the couple have been married for 52 years and have four children. They immigrated to their home countries from Argentina in 1985, where they encountered quite a few antisemitic incidents. "I could not believe it was happening to me in the United States," Roberto said, noting that he uses a tallit daily during his prayers.



His wife Elena added that the stewardess' instruction is similar in her eyes to a situation where a Christian believer will be asked to throw the cross on the floor, where people are walking on their feet. "No one took out a rudder. No one defended us. It was embarrassing," she added.



A report in the New York Post even interviewed rabbis who explained that according to Judaism, sacred things such as a tallit bag should not be placed on the floor. "This is an act that is considered shameful," said Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin. "It's just like taking a Bible book or a Koran and throwing them on the floor."



According to the couple, at one point the flight captain arrived at the scene, but did not contact the couple at all.

Eventually, a ground crew member was called to the plane and begged them to get off the plane with him.

As soon as they were off the plane, the couple says, the employee shouted at his colleagues "close the boarding gates."

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Insensitivity.

American Airlines (Photo: ShutterStock, Shutterstock)

The drugs remained on the plane

Elena recalls that at that moment, a thought went through her mind: "What, are we criminals?"

She added that "my husband was devastated".

Roberto says that "it went out of proportion. And the flight attendant annoyed me so much. I was really shaking."

The two were left out of the flight, without Roberto's diabetes medication, which was stored in the luggage that was in the belly of the plane.

They also did not receive any assistance from the airline regarding food or accommodation for the night they stayed in Miami.

Therefore, they had to board a taxi to travel to a friend's house.

And all this while a local hurricane began.



The couple are now suing the airline.

"My clients were taken off the flight due to prejudice and utter insensitivity on the part of American Airlines employees, for reasons unrelated to security," said attorney Brad Gerstman, adding that "the stewardess and captain's behavior was abusive and illogical."



The airline said it was examining the lawsuit.

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Source: walla

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