After Tefillin Scare, A Need for Education
Philly PD sniffs out the problem
In the wake of yesterday’s tefillin-grounded flight, Agudath Israel America—the governing body of non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodoxy—said (in an email) that it has already been working with the Transportation Security Administration and several airlines to spread awareness of tefillin and other Jewish religious practices. However, sensitivity is a two-way street, according to Agudath Israel’s government affairs director: “we have also cautioned members of our own community that they must understand that many citizens may not be familiar with Jewish prayer rituals, and that they should explain the practice to individuals in authority.”
Yesterday’s incident certainly indicated that a little more mutual knowledge could go a long way. In the video below, the Philadelphia Police Department’s chief inspector explained that the whole thing was indeed a misunderstanding—“there was no threat, there never was threat.” The male passenger, he explained, “was wearing what is known as an olfactory.” Er, that’s phylactery! At least the Philly inspector … smelled … no fear: “It is completely harmless,” he said of the tefillin. You know, except for those red marks it sometimes leaves on your forearm, but those go away pretty quickly.
Oh, and want to know more about tefillin? Slate’s got you covered (or wrapped).
Also finds anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are linked
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.