HUNDREDS of ultra-orthodox Jewish men delayed a flight from New York to Tel Aviv last week by refusing to sit next to female passengers.
The plane was filled with both non-orthodox and secular Jews who were traveling to Israel to mark Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year.
Ultra-orthodox Jews are forbidden to have physical contact between men and women unless they are family or married.
As passengers boarded the flight, the ultra-orthodox men asked women to change seats so they didn’t have to sit next to them, Ynet reported.
Some men even offered the women money to change seats.
A witness, known only as Galit, said the men stood in the aisles, delaying the fight’s departure for up to 20 minutes.
“I ended up sitting next to a haredi man who jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the aisle,” she said.
Some of the haredi men spent much of the eleven-hour flight standing and praying in the aisle, which caused general commotion and made it difficult to reach the restroom, Galit said.
“I went to the bathroom and it was mission impossible,” she said.
The plane eventually landed in Israel before dawn on September 24, in time for all the passengers to celebrate the New Year.
Source: Ynet, Huffington Post