Monday, December 27, 2010

Genuine Hachnachas Orchim in the Five Towns


In case you haven't heard yet:

1 - A full El Al plane pushed off from the gate at JFK around 6 last night and then sat frozen on the tarmac for almost ten hours as the airport closed. The passengers are still waiting (in the terminal, mostly) for their flight, which was rescheduled several times and is now set to leave at 9 PM (27 hour delay).

1a - There were a bunch of other Israel-bound passengers stranded at the airport at nearby gates.

2 - Although El Al fed the passengers on the plane (treatment on the plane was the best that could be expected), they were unable to provide anything more than vouchers at the airport (until about 3 PM, when some sandwiches showed up). Vouchers are pretty worthless for kosher food at JFK, especially since Hudson News wouldn't accept them.

3 - Enter "the frum community of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway," who by early afternoon had delivered about five million pizzas; countless bagels; muffins; croissants; individual cereal packs; chips, pretzels, etc.; oranges; juice; milk; and I don't even remember what else. Passengers had to leave the gate area to go to the chapel area to retrieve food, but most people brought back more than they needed to share with others.

We've been at the airport now for about 26 hours (10 of those on a plane) and are looking at another four before we get on our plane. It has hardly been fun, but our anonymous coreligionists have made it far less arduous and even a little heartwarming. Titzku l'mitzvot.


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