A PILOT’S BAR MITZVAH: As Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, Head of the Food Service Department of OK Kosher, was deplaning on a United Airlines flight he took a moment to thank the pilot who responded with a hearty “zei gezunt!” (be well in Yiddish).
“When he said that, I asked him, ‘are you Jewish?'” Rabbi Weinfeld told COLlive. “He said yes and I asked him, ‘have you put on Tefillin?'”
The pilot replied that he had once before, and he was happy to put on again. As he was helping the pilot with wrapping Tefillin in the cockpit, the co-pilot walked in and commented that he is also Jewish, remarking that he knows the ashram but he had never put Tefillin on in his life.
Both pilots ended up putting on Tefillin and the three broke into a joyous dance of ‘siman tov u’mazel tov,’ celebrating a Bar Mitzvah right there in the cockpit of the United Airlines plane.
“After the flight, the pilot was in touch, and told me that his family is thrilled that he had a Bar Mitzvah, and said that he would like to keep in touch to learn more,” Rabbi Weinfeld said.