Sunday, December 02, 2007

Are those phylacteries, or are you just happy to see me?

Please note, picture has nothing to do with the posting.

YNET reports...

A Jewish passenger on a Chicago train was arrested after fellow passengers accused him of being a suicide bomber.

The incident took place on a train that left Chicago early in the morning – when Jewish men are obligated to put on tefillin (phylacteries). The passenger began strapping the head-tefillin to his forehead and passengers unfamiliar with the custom rushed to the conductor and told him there was a man on board who was fastening a box to his head with wires dangling from it."

The conductor approached the passenger but the latter refused to answer him as he was in the middle of the prayer, heightening the conductor's suspicions.

Meanwhile, the passengers grew even more frantic when they noticed that the passenger sitting next to the Jewish man had a Middle-Eastern appearance and wore a turban.

"That was too much," said the Bob Byrd, NICTD chief of security.

The passengers panicked and the engine driver stopped the train. Police officers rushed into the train with a bomb-sniffing dog.

Police investigators soon realized their mistake and apologized to the passenger.

"This incident has given us all an opportunity to learn about other religions and their customs," said the chief of security.

Isn't that special?

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Daniel said...


OY what a shonda! Who uses such a mishegoyishe translation such as "phylacteries"?.
I could understand the "I'm not Jewish I'm Israeli" editors of for their anti-semitic gentile and JINO yordim readers. I could also sortof understand the "I'm not Jewish I'm Israeli" editors of YNET,but their readers would know what tefillin are and many might use them. Of corse the YNET editors may have to wiki tefilin to know what they are.
But why would Jameel use such a mishegoyishe term?
Are you lighting a "candelabra" next week , while you are in the "Holyland"? Do you "pray" the "eighteen benedictions" with with a "quorum of ten "?

May you have a happy "Festival of Lights"

Anonymous said...

Why would people know what the tefillin is?
It sucks, but for heaven's sake, why on the train? He should have used his beter judgement.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

How can anyone daven with even the minimum level of kavanah while on a commuter train?

Anonymous said...

I know there are halachic rules regarding when you can speak during prayer, but it seems rather foolish to risk being arrested rather than explaining what you were doing.

Unless you are the type of person who likes testing the people around you....

Gee a Moron said...

Chol Hamoed Sukkot I had the opportunity to take a train ride from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh with my 25 year old son. It was late afternoon. Shortly after leaving Jerusalem the conductor made an announcement that Mincha would take place in the last car of the train. We made our way there and found about a dozen other like-minded people and one was was saying kaddish who led the prayer.

Just before starting someone asked the conductor which way to face. The conductor smiled and said that since this was a train leaving Jerusalem one faces the rear of the train. Makes sense to me because it couldn't possibly be appropriate to play Twister while davening as the train goes around the various curves (and the line from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh is about the curviest in Israel).

It felt very much like davening on an El Al airplane except that the aisle was much roomier. The "turbulence" from the twisting train curves would have been enough for the pilot to light the fasten seat belt sign - at least I felt the need to hold the side of the train car to steady myself. Also the other people around us were quite respectful even if they did not participate.

Lurker said...

To Daniel:

Are you for real?

(1) As Jameel clearly indicated, the article is quoted verbatim from Ynet. Are you suggesting that Jameel should have altered the quoted text?

(2) The article does use the word "tefillin". It simply adds the word "phylacteries", in parentheses, after the first time "tefillin" appears.

What, exactly, are you criticising here??

Daniel said...

"Are those phylacteries, or are you just happy to see me? "

That was Jameel's title, not YNET's.

YNET's title was "Is that a bomb strapped to your forehead?"

My point is that if the goyim come up with mishegoyishe mistranslations of our scriptures, rituals etc. we need not ape their terminology. We know the real thing. Moreover much of the mishegoyishe terminology was created to DeJudaize scripture. G-d forbid if Dan Brown used the term Kiddush cup once.

Lurker said...

To Daniel:

The title was obviously meant to be humorous. "Phylacteries" is a rather pretentious, not to mention unused, term. That itself makes the title funny.

Lighten up...

Anonymous said...


Happy Chanukkah!

I am the clown in that picture. My name is YoYo The Clown. I am based in LA. This picture was taken in SD at the last Israeli Independence Day festival. If you look closely, you will notice that the sticker on my stomach is for Chabad of La Jolla. I am the official clown of Chabad of S. Diego. As far as I know, I am the only frum clown in Southern California. I am available for higher for basically anything from Brises and Upshernishes to birthday parties to weddings to camp, school, and synagogue events such as public Chanukkah lightings. If you want more information about my upcoming public appearances or wish to hire me, please contact me at or (818) 970-0013.

All the best to you and yours,

YoYo The Clown
(818) 970-0013

Nechama said...

Correction: The sticker is from Chabad at La Costa!!!
Nice picture Yo-Yo :D

YMedad said...

I posted this on Nov 17. People should read other people's blogs more often:

YMedad said...

Okay, for those too lazy to block and copy and paste: here

Search the Muqata


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