Quick Thoughts On The Shocking Simchat Torah War In Israel; My Strategy For Helping Family Find Flights Out Of Tel Aviv

Photo Credit: Askii [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
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Over the normally joyous Simchas Torah holiday, word trickled in of the terrorist atrocities committed against Jews in Israel.

Hundreds killed and kidnapped? It seemed hard to believe. How could Israeli intelligence have failed like this, especially on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War on the secular calendar? That was also the last time there was an Israeli intelligence failure on this level.

Without access to real-time information, in my shul I encouraged the congregants to remember what the Lubavitcher Rebbe said during the Yom Kippur War. We might not be able to help fight, but the Rebbe encouraged everyone to be joyous as joy breaks through all boundaries. Dancing with the Torahs would go on with more joy than ever to counteract the evil acts committed in Israel, though we also said Tehilim to pray for the safety of the Jews in Israel.

But it has been absolutely heart-wrenching to go online tonight for the first time in 2 days and read about how this nightmare is even worse than we could have imagined. Hostages and dead bodies being paraded around by savages in Gaza? Attacks from the sky, sea, and land? Dozens of border cities taken over by terrorists? Paragliders guiding attacks in Israel? Israel still not under full control 2 days after the attacks started?


Unsurprisingly, Iran helped plan this attack and arm Gaza. Their goal, in part, is timed to destroy a peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Israel has declared war on Hamas, but with so many hostages in Gaza, it will be a very difficult war to wage. Surgical extractions will potentially be a long process, though perhaps Israel will now permanently revisit their decision to disengage from the Gaza Strip?

While Israeli intelligence showed that Hamas was content with improving life in Gaza, it was nothing but subterfuge. Israeli patrols were below full staffing, due to the holiday and skirmishes in the West Bank.

In the meantime, most foreign airlines have canceled flights to Israel.

Flights that were in the air, such as United flight 954 from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, turned around, creating a 15 hour flight back to its origin city:


Americans can request help getting home from the State Department here.

With flights to the US all full or canceled, several friends and family have asked me for help finding flights out of Israel. The key in these situations is finding a flight available to anywhere and then working on finding a separate ticket home from there.

One travel agent thanked me for the hidden city resource found on DDF here for helping him arrange flights for countless people out of Israel.

To use that yourself, copy the list of the top 150 airports in Europe and plug them into the destination field on ITA Matrix.


You’ll then get results for all flights into Europe with seats available, which you can purchase directly from the airline or from an online travel agency. Flights on Israeli airlines are the most likely to operate without being canceled.


Availability is constantly changing, so be sure to keep checking.

Americans can contact their representatives in the House and Senate to encourage them to send aid and support to Israel and the Americans captured, killed, and stuck there. You can also send them this letter from Aipac here.

Are you in Israel? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. May G-d avenge their blood, and may Israel quickly rescue the hostages and destroy Hamas.

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176 Comments On "Quick Thoughts On The Shocking Simchat Torah War In Israel; My Strategy For Helping Family Find Flights Out Of Tel Aviv"

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חזק וברוך דן
The situation in Israel very bad.
They need help .. let’s organize donations



A great organization helping soldiers get basic necessities.


Thanks Dan, my aunt went for sukkos sending her the link that is why I love dansdeals always there to help


Thank you Dan and team, very helpful


link doesnt take me to the list of 150 countries


another part of the puzzle: if one is able to follow dd’s advice and book a return flight, what is the status of the ticket, on an American carrier, that was not used?


Here now in Yerushalyim jets heard all night

Israel Bobsled

A few of the Bobsled team members have been called up. If you can say a bracha for them we would most appreciate it


We had a fantastic Sukkos in Israel, based in Ramat Bet Shemesh. Shabbos morning before going to Shul we kept on hearing loud explosions, and we heard some sirens in the distance. During shachris we had our 1st real siren, and many after that, terrifying for the kids and adults. I left shul at one stage to see 5 soldiers waiting outside to be picked up, while quickly finishing Hakafot!

Tonight was on the line and on chat for 3 hours to rebook my virgin flight home. At 1 stage they got me a direct tlv-nyc but they couldn’t book it, they said they can only book on virgin. Finally rebooked for next Monday! We were supposed to leaving today, and now the earliest is a week later! Really need to get on an earlier flight!


We were supposed to leave tonight to E”y will chase sapphire reserve cover me as a trip cancellation benfit ? Tysm.


You can donate at MADA (Magen David Adom); United Hatzalah; and ZAKA– all reputable Israeli Jewish NGOs


trying to get my family of 8 to dubai nothing opening for Tuesday or wednesday


Thanks for all this. Curious if you have advice for those trying to get back home TO Israel… if booked on US airlines like delta that cancelled for the week, anyway to have them send you on el Al? Should Amex play or sapphire reserve cover other ways to get back like buying new tickets? Tia


heard from reservist that they are being prioritized on all elal flights TO israel


Prioritized ?
Are flights into Israel in high demand now ?


Yes relative to the very few flights avail


Yes. People need and want to return to serve and help.


Anyone have ways to get Iberia to book my second connecting flight from Madrid to US without first getting to Madrid? My first leg was delayed out of Israel so missing connecting flight and they’re telling me to go to madrid and then they’ll figure it out- but traveling with a bunch of kids


Just be happy you have a flight out.


How to put ELAL as preferred? and arkia too?


Hi all, if you are here in Israel you know first hand whats going on. If you are not, let me just say everyone’s Tefilos are needed more then ever. We also need supplies for Our Soldiers. Deodorant, Shampoo, Phone Chargers, Bullet Proof Vests etc. We are in touch with families whose sons and daughters have been deployed and they are letting us know what they need. We are buying it and IMYH getting it to them. Link to donate May we here Besuros Tovos Bikarov

Please write “our brothers” in description


Hi Dan. Great post as always. As an Israeli may I respectfully suggest you utilize your great skills and contacts to help Israelis stuck in the U.S. to get back home, especially those who need and want to join their units. This is the priority at this time.

shelly sussman

Thank you yet again Dan
Thanks to your post we’ve booked our grandsons out of Israel on a el Al flight to saloniki Tuesday


Are El Al and Arkia flights going out?


Why only about leaving Eretz Yisroel??
The Rebbe always encourage those there to say and even encouraged others to go!


Which airlines are the best for no cancellations? Can you pls list trying to book flight for my family in Israel


Whats the best way to find out if the airline (Delta) will be cancelling a flight to TLV? Flight is thru France


Does the “hidden city resource” list help even if we have checked baggage?
And side question: Is it safe to travel through Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, or the Emirates?


You’d probably have to pick up your checked bags and self transfer them.
Give yourself enough time.


can you help me a family with 8, have a flight tomorrow morning, canceled


In case this is helpful https://amud.im/emergencyevacuation


How sad that at a time like this you prefer to run away from home (Israel) when you have the opportunity to stay and help.


Well said. We are in Netanya and our first thought has been how can we help and not how can we escape. We are all scared but if you are already here DO SOMETHiNG to help and packing might not be it.


I cannot see or bear the news, just terrible what is going on! Praying for all our brothers and sisters protecting us right now and the countless who are captured (hopefully still alive). somber last days of Chag 🙁


Any thoughts about the safety of Ethiopia Air, from Israel with stopover in Adi’s Abbaba and refueling in Adjinab? Safe?


Do Isrealis need visa to travel to the USA since my family does not have Visas?

CLE Rocks

Our united flight has been cancelled. Trying to go through Dubai or Turkey.

Alizah Frayda (Blake)Hochstead

As a proud former Clevelander, a citizen of Israel, and a former member of the Israel Defense Forces (Zahal)I am bothered by the idea of helping Jews leave Israel. we need manpower whether it be doctors , street cleaners, babysitters, cake bakers. Every body here in Israel regardless of the age is valuable. I am 76 and have survived several wars and would not think of leaving Israel. Several of my grandchildren are on shlichus ooutside of Israel, one is serving as I write this somewhere in Israel with his army unit, 4 of our 5 children live in chutz l aretz. We who are in Israel are proud to be here and will survive this war b simcha. May there be no more deaths.

Alizah Frayda (Blake)Hochstead

Simchas Torah we woke up to the sirens and the explosions. We went to our safe room and then went to make coffee, another siren. We debated about going to shul. Our shul is a small shul but it is like a family. We call it Beit KNesset MIshpachat 770 in the Hadas neighborhood. We need a lot to finish the shul, but the spirit is always high. We walked to shul ducking into the entrances of several apt building on the way to shul. Got in to the shul and started davening. Not everyne came.A bit later another siren and we ran to the shul next door to be safe and then back to ours. After davening some people took food home as we were to eat the seuda in shul. We decided to stay. For those of us who stayed no limit to the simcha. WE danced and we sang. Out the window we saw a bus come and pick up young men for the army. It was SHabbos and CHag and Beitar is a chareidi city. NOt a common occurence. We continued and even had Hakaffos shnius but in the shul not the street and we went hone. Since then I have been hearing airplianes flying BH may they all come home safely. The supermarket as barely stocked and only Jews are working there BH.BUsses are running infrequesntly. Yesterday we had a tehillim gathering in my home. I baked a lot of cakes and took themto the nearby base where I was greeted with simcha by our tired dirty hungry soldiers. I wish I could bring them some cocnut bars and Russian tea biscuits. Not an easy time but we will win. Have a good winter.


Hi if I have a flight back from Israel on Thursday with stopover in turkey I should keep it or should I try booking for earlier? And is it safe to fly through turkey? Thank you.





Esty B

Is royal morocco airline safe


If first leg of my trip from israel will be cancelled
Can I just book another and catch 2nd leg?


What about israir is that a advisable option


Booked TLV-OTP for today thanks


thank you dan. i was rebooked for next week which is crazy but i used the matrix to book to europe and from there home (nothing direct showing up at all) with 2 stops total which is also crazy but itll get us home that much earlier …hopefully


just a note to others doing the same. every few minutes i tried the matrix again and new options came up, which were then gone minutes later. then some of them didnt really exist anymore on elal (or priceline for the next part of the trip). but be persistent and eventually something works out. if youre doing like me and booking one through elal and one through priceline, try to book them both together as fast as possible before they tell you sold out. and of course do priceline first as thats refundable (which can be tricky though because elal tends to say they have availability and then a popup tells you otherwise). im sure i didnt choose the smartest option but hey other then ppl originally booked elal, no one seems to be doing too much better


Does travel insurance cover this? Because if you booked with chase or Amex they should cover up to $10,000 per passenger to get home. Please advise.


Very important, I’m sending my daugther from Israel to Europe with elal and then a seperate ticket to final destination, can I request in Israel that the luggage should go to final destination??


Depends if the airlines have an interline agreement


Israel must first coordinate an operation to extract all the victims / captives…. Then ________ !!!! This can never be a thought by any mischievous, evil brain again.

Internally ….. study (quickly) the failures and establish new intelligence operations. If neighboring “friends” don’t cooperate now, they are NOT friends unfortunately.

Just sayin\'

סכנתא חמירא מאיסורא
Danger is more stringent than a prohibition.
It is pertinent for every G-D fearing Jew to understand, now is not the time to be politically correct and a die hard Zionist. It’s time you run from Danger. There is no bigger danger than to be in Israel. Soon the airport will be closed and there won’t be a way out. Our enemies are emboldened and ready to do the unthinkable.

Save yourself, your friends, parents and children.



A person can’t run away from Hashem. Yerushalayim is the safest place for a Jew. Unless Chachamim say to leave I wouldn’t. I’m in America now and wish I could be in Yerushalayim.


Where in the whole entire Torah down to the last Achronim does it say that Yerushalaim is a safe place?! More Jews have been killed there than in any city in the diaspora since WW2

Reb yid

All Jews should leave Israel? Insane, or anti-Semitic troll?


Please learn Shulchan Aruch halocha שכ”ט 329 where the halachic necessity of fighting when lives are in danger is clear. See also Sota 44b where it is written that the beginning is downfall is fleeing. It would seem that your argument is invalid and unnecessarily casts fear in the hearts of people. This has nothing to do with Zionism or being “politically correct”.


This is a ridiculous post and most certainly not Daas Torah


Is there anyway to see if the flight is refundable on matrix?


is amman safe


Assume not.



I flew RJ


Thanks for this. Original Royal Jordanian flight looks like it’ll be cancelled (- they’ve cancelled all flights so far since the onset of the war.) Used this tool and booked a flight to Bucharest and from there back to USA.

Regarding the cancellation compensation what can we expect? Partial refund? Refund of full 2 way trip? Cost of obtaining new flights?

Retrieve compensation from airline or credit card (venture X)? Never done this before on credit card, not sure how to proceed.

Thank you again.


Try the CC first, I did the airline first and it took 2 years for the CC (Sapphire) to pay because they were waiting for the airline credit to expire.



someone who trusts Hashem watches us - not bibi

Bibi is now like hashem who doesnt always protect us


Can you rephrase that??? Must be a typo..
Hashem always protects us!!! Fact.


He’s refering to statments Bibi made refering to europe as a place where hashem didnt always protect us… which is true BTW, we dont have magical powers becouase of hashem – theres a concept of hester panim, where hashem allows the malach hamaves to roam…


Right now 5:02pm sirens in yerushlayim


@Dan Any info on taking advantage on travel insurance offered via the credit card used to book the flight? Would it cover additional costs incurred when booking a more expensive replacement flight?


take a taxi over the Allenby Bridge to Amman and take a non-stop to USA


Safer to stay in JLM


I flew from Amman to Dubai before there was a non-stop from TLV. Efficient and safe airport. No reason not to fly from there.


my flight was rescheduled on united to sfo for wednesday.
\do you think united will continue to cancel?
will they let me book on el al?


Can you slap on the banner for the page ways to help donate or organizations make a list. Thank you


What are the codes for saudi arabia?


Not sure why the sentiment here is to run from Israel at such a time. To quote the same Rebbe you quoted above, when he was asked this question during another war by parents of a seminary girl if they should bring her back: “Chas Vshalom to leave at such a time”. He also said the same applies for everyone else thinking of leaving. Americans are used to being comfortable and worry free with big houses vacations and everything always going perfect, so it’s hard, but it’s ok (and recommended) to be Nosei Ol with your brethren. Most areas are not a war zone and it’s Eretz Asher Einei Hashem Elokecha Bah and Hashem will protect. Take normal precaution but don’t exaggerate and there’s no need to run to America. Daas Torah certainly doesn’t say that.


A few months ago, I booked the $300 El Al tickets on Chol Hamoed from TLV-JFK and used Iberia on points to come for first days. While I was here, I decided to stay. So I switched my $300 El Al flight to a flight to Amsterdam Tuesday morning and then a KLM flight on points to JFK. I could not have fathomed the implications of my decision. People encouraged me to simply cancel the El Al ticket, get a voucher, and book a regular stopover, but I didn’t listen to them. And I’m glad I did not. Flights on El Al to Amsterdam are now fully booked till next week.
However, the airport is a madhouse here, and I plan on leaving to the airport five hours before my flight tomorrow morning.
Hopefully everyone makes it home safely, our brethren in Eretz Yisrael stay safe, and as I said to someone on the (less frequent) 1 bus from the Kosel today, I hope to come back to Eretz Yisrael soon “בקלות ולא בגלות!”


Is it safe flying royal jordanian thru amman back to europe ?? Thats all i can grab at this point.


Kudos to Dan for having self control not to go online for two days on his level I’m not judging him but realize if a observant married man like Dan that keeps Shabbat and goes to minyan and more or less doing the right thing is saying that his test was to hold out on yom tov sheini the generation that we are in and the , that the problem of technology and the sins today are unlike anything we seen before and that is why this terrorist attack was the worst ever we have to double down on limiting its use and distancing it as much as possible besides the bad things that have nothing to do with dansdeals and what he represents there is still an attachement that takes away from spiritual matters such as learning davening and maybe spending time to project my 2 cents which might not inspire anyone reading it anyway. I’m more or less projecting the views of our gedolim and manhigim of our time not stating my opinion when I own an iPhone , and let’s not start a debate who that is.but we need leaders today and it’s important to unite an appoint one






Are there organizations flying people (without military background) to Israel to help with the war efforts?


You can help with your prayers.


Google flights is listing a number of choices for TLV to NYC. With stopovers of course.


Non of them are actually available


Yes I live in Jerusalem. The Hakafot were stopped Shabbat morning in the middle. Many shuls ordered everyone to go home while some quickly davened musaf and then everyone went home.

Today, Monday 10/9 I went to the safe room twice so far and I live very close to the center of Jerusalem. The streets were quite empty.


One more point, I realized this was more than the usual rocket barrage when I saw several guys in kippot and tzitzit running to their cars and using their phones around 1pm Saturday. I asked one where he was headed and he said to the Gaza border.


Is Greece safe to fly into?


Why not?


Is turkey safe to fly through?
And is there a chance that airports will be closed by Thursday?
Should I rather just book to a random country tomorrow and from there book another flight?


I have a direct flight with Delta on Motzai Shabbat JFK-TLV, meanwhile it’s still running, any ideas if I should start looking into option B, or the flight should run as scheduled?
Thanks so much for all your help, and may we be redempted from all our Tzarot


Is CSA taking off or are these being canceled?


I have a neighbor who asked Rav Avigdor Miller if he should get passports for all his kids. Rav Miller told him “ Where are you running away to? The Middle East? Don’t go there. It’s dangerous there!


Please tell me what you feel about flying UAE which has a 4 hour stopover in Dubai


does the sapphire reserve cover the cancelation of my united flight and would cover a rebook


cancel yes, rebook no.


Shame on all of the judgmental people here who are complaining about people that want to be safe and leave a chaotic warzone. The IDF are the ones that are there to fight and die… let people make their own decisions. Instead of acting like a Super-Jew Keyboard Warrior, log off of DD and go take the fight to Hamas, not complaining about what someone else is deciding to do.


If a ticket was booked VIA chase UR points to TLV is there a way to get back Chase UR points or only airline credit / voucher ?


If they offer credit call and complain until they issue you back your rewards points.

Dan deals reader

“May G-d avenge their blood, and may “Israel”quickly rescue the hostages and destroy Hamas.”

Dan as a big admirer and dansdeals reader I need to correct you G-d doesn’t only avenge, I thing it would be better written and may G-d quickly rescue the hostages and destroy Hamas.




Not looking to preach but it is a shame that some of the remarks are hurtful.
As G-d fearing Jews, we know Hashem hates when there isn’t shalom, especially among his children. Unfortunately there was too much fighting going on amongst the Jews before this war started. Hopefully everyone has their own LOR, who is currently alive that you can ask. There is not going to be one right answer. Each person should do what he is told and pray that everyone should be safe. Maybe if we start acting like true brothers & sisters and are b’shalom then we can ask Hashem to send us everlasting peace.


Sadly this is the world we live in. With the way technology has reprogrammed our brains to act and react, I think it will take many years for this to be undone. Thanks to Facebook/instagram, and Twitter, this is how people interact with one another. I honestly thought that this attack on Israel would bring everyone together stronger and closer, united as one, similar to how it brought the USA together after 9/11. Hoping for only good news on our side until this war is over! AYC!


Does ELAL have 24 hour cancellation policy for refund?


It’s a US law (If there is at least 7 days to your flight).


Are there any airlines operating in Israel? I see flights out with airlines not mentioned- Air Serbia)


Hi, I’m currently in Instable Airport coming from TLV with a ticket to Miami my original ticket was TLV to EWR, and they told me in TLV that the only option i have is to go to Miami, now in Istanbul the desk is telling me that there is space to jfk but only want to add me if I pay $3000, do I have any rights, any tips???



is israir still running


Thanks, this was super helpful. After having searched for ages fruitlessly, this link was exactly what I needed to get a ticket within minutes. Tizkeh l’mitzvos, and it should be for better things next time – flights to EY with the coming of mashiach, amen.


We used your strategy to get my daughter home to the US through Dubai last week B”H. A belated thank you Dan!! My son and family live in E”Y. May Hashem protect them all and may we see Yeshuos quickly.


Thank You Dan!!! I used your suggestion and booked a flight thru Dublin for 2 weeks from now. I went to the airport Thursday afternoon to try to transfer onto the Dublin flight. I kept going and waited until they finished check- in. A very kind agent checked for me availibility- despite being told by others that the flight is overbooked, and saw there were 5 available seats for my family. He got El-al to reopen the computer for us to check in. We got onto the plane within 10 minutes- all passengers were seated and took off 5 minutes later. Had great connection from Dublin and got back to NY Friday.
May Hashem protect us in all corners of the world!


Thanks Dan. We got out by flying Arkia to Larnaca, easyjet to Gatwick, and the Norse to JFK. There were layovers, eapecially over Shabbat, but this way we didn’t have to fly through unfriendly countries.