Monday, December 23, 2013

תפילת הדרך T'fillat Haderech, Jewish Traveler's Prayer, Public or Private?

The Jewish Press has a poll up about whether or not it's a good idea for El Al to have someone say the  over the loudspeaker system when the plane is ascending.

Should T'fillat HaDerech (The Traveler's Prayer) be said on El Al flights over the loudspeaker? 

  • Yes. El Al is a Jewish Airline. It's the Jewish thing to do. 
  • No. It's religious coercion. 
  • Yes. I like it. It adds a positive feeling of authentic Jewish culture to the flight. 
  • No. It's offensive/annoying to some people. 
  • Yes. But a real person should be saying it, not a recording, so that the blessing is real. 
  • No. Because it won't be taken seriously. 
  • They should 'Bench Gomel' after landing. View Results
Read more at:

I honestly wish every airline would do it some how.  I always have trouble reading the tiny print.  And on some airlines and flights, the lights are turned off by then so we can get some sleep.  The little airline reading light just isn't enough for my elderly eyes.

A number of years ago, I was privileged to accompany a couple of Nefesh B"Nefesh immigrant flights.  From the pre-flight excitement, the flight itself and the great production, including lots of nosherei after landing, the cheering, speeches etc, both times I felt that there was one thing missing.  I hope that short element is now included.

Yes, you guessed. I think we should have heard T'fillat Haderech over the loudspeaker system.  I can't imagine anyone finding it offensive. No doubt that most people won't listen carefully.  They don't pay attention to the safety and emergency instructions.

It should be part of the "El Al experience," like that hand-clapping when the plane lands.


Hadassa said...

It should be the last of the public service announcements before the plane takes off. No-one will be bothered by it because it won't be breaking a silence. Anyone who doesn't want to listen doesn't have to. Someone will probably claim "religious coercion", but there's no requirement to answer "amen". Who will say it? If none of the staff wants to say it, someone else certainly will.

Anonymous said...

Although one can fulfill their obligation of tefilas haderech by hearing it recited by someone else, they should preferably not hear it through a loudspeaker, since the sound heard is not a valid bracha according to some opinions. (Sefer Ishei Yisrael 50, footnote 1, Sefer Halichos Shlomo 22:15)


Yisrael Tzion

Batya said...

Yes, amen, Hadassa,
a, reading along is ok, especially when it's hard to read. No, I don't have a "tablet" yet.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea and doesn't stop the person who would anyway, say the tefilah by themselves. It would give a Kiddush H' to the Jewish Airline and am sure that 99% of the people travelling would be thankful and appreciative of the prayer. No normal person is averse to prayers and/or blessings said to them, for them and upon them. This nonsense (a 21st century phenomenum, it seems) of going against G-D or having to do with anything relating to belief in our Creator, is sickening. Sure that anyone finding themselves in a dire situation would be pleading to HIM to be saved. raizy

Batya said...

a, amen!!

Shy Guy said...

Sad to say but El Al is an Israeli airline. Maybe some day it will be a Jewish one, too.

Just trying to be realistic.

Batya said...

Shy, l'at, l'at, we must encourage small steps.