Three Men Davening in Tefillin Spark Security Scare at LAX


tefillinThe Associated Press reports: Three men praying on an arriving Alaska Airlines flight sparked security concerns on the plane and at Los Angeles International Airport, but authorities say there was no threat and no arrests were made.

Airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says flight attendants on Flight 241 from Mexico City became alarmed Sunday morning after the three passengers began an elaborate Orthodox Jewish prayer ritual, which involves tying leather straps and small wooden boxes to the body.

The pilots locked down the cockpit and FBI and customs agents, along with police and fire crews, met the plane at the gate.

LAX police say two or three men were escorted off the plane, briefly questioned by the FBI, and released. There were no arrests.

{San Francisco Chronicle/ Newscenter}


  1. Hello, don’t these people see/read the news? There have been afew such incidents in the news recently. Why are they clueless?

  2. Again?!
    When will airlines and their employees learn that putting on Tefillin is not an act of terrorism? Someone should teach them cultural training. Police officers need to attend this training as well.

  3. When you are ready to daven and donn tefillin, tell the airport security personel and they will recommend a spot for prayers. That’s what we did in Atlanta, Columbus and LAG.

    Stop assuming that the world knows and recognizes Jewish tradition and custom. We are less than 1% of the world population. GET REAL

  4. I thought we are supposed to be living in a multicultural society. What’s good for the Muslims should be good for the Jews! When did anyone EVER see a man wearing Tefillin blowing himself up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. yes we all know that these “wooden boxes” being tied to our body are haremless.. but look at it from their point of view..yes in this day and age if u would see something strange like that and not know what it is you would also think its some explosive…etc

  6. In the environment today, its understandable that people would have concern when they see something “unusual” on an airplane. It being “unusual” is the issue.

    I am sure when Moslems pull out a prayer rug and pray, its not considered “unusual” – regardless of how people feel, everybody knows they are praying.

    By us, our minhagim are “elaborate” and “Orthodox”. There’s nothing elaborate about tefillin and all yidden, regardless of what label they identify with, should be putting on tefillin.

    I am 100% positive if yidden were doing what they were supposed to, including putting on tefillin, it would cease being considered “unusual.”

  7. Comment from Perhaps Time March 14, 2011 at 11:40 AM : “I am 100% positive if yidden were doing what they were supposed to, including putting on tefillin, it would cease being considered “unusual.””

    I totally agree. However our people are not praying in private, much less in public.