Tefillin use scares flight crew; plane makes emergency landing in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (Press Release)–A Kentucky-bound flight was diverted to Philadelphia after the crew mistakenly believed phylacteries used by a Jewish man for prayer were a bomb.
A 17-year-old Orthodox Jew traveling from New York to Louisville on a US Airways flight had been using the prayer items, and even though he had explained the ritual to crew members, the captain had decided to land in Philadelphia. Later, the plane was searched and the passengers questioned, but the Jewish teenager was not detained.
Phylacteries – called tefillin in Hebrew – are two small boxes, usually made of black leather, with straps attached to them. Observant Jewish men are required to place one box on their head and tie the other one on their arm as part of their morning prayers.
US airports are on high alert after a Nigerian man failed to detonate a bomb on board of a Detroit-bound aircraft in December.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress