El Al CEO: Refusing To Sit Next To Another Passenger Will Result In An Immediate Ejection From The Plane

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El Al flight 2 from JFK to Tel Aviv last Thursday evening was delayed 75 minutes in part due to 4 charedi men who refused to sit next to women. Eventually a couple of women agreed to move seats so the plane could take off.

Israeli tech company NICE said that they would boycott the airline due to El Al’s policy of asking women to move to accommodate the men. NICE CEO Barak Eilam wrote, “At NICE we don’t do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion. NICE will not fly @EL AL Israel Airlines until they change their practice and actions discriminating women.”

NICE has been ranked as the most innovative company in Israel.

In response to the boycott threat, new El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin told YNet that, “למען הסר ספק הוריתי היום על חידוד הנהלים בנושא ולהבא נוסע שייסרב לשבת ליד נוסע אחר יורד באופן מיידי מהטיסה”

Roughly translated, “For the avoidance of doubt, I ordered today the strengthening of these procedures and from now on, any passenger that refuses to sit next to someone will be immediately ejected from the plane.”

This won’t be the last story like this and I’m not sure what the solution is if people who refuse to sit next to a member of the opposite sex won’t buy an extra seat to ensure that outcome.

El Al is stuck between a rock and a hard place here between trying to satisfy their charedi and chiloni clientele. After all of these incidents, I’m surprised that El Al doesn’t yet have several rows reserved exclusively for men and women that can fluctuate based on demand. I’m sure there would eventually be some smart-alecks who will try to force their way into a row like that, but that would put them into the wrong rather than vice versa.

What other solutions can you think of to solve this recurring problem?

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291 Comments On "El Al CEO: Refusing To Sit Next To Another Passenger Will Result In An Immediate Ejection From The Plane"

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You should look into an advising position for elal.


I would say better an independent airline (board) consultant.

Iberia can use some help in how to deal with the hundreds (or thousands) of tickets they sold over the weekend, that will end up as no-shows.

United would have avoided Smisek altogether had they consulted with Dan.


Charedim using a off the derech friend to check in online?

Chaim D.

how exactly does that help you
you cant see whos sitting near you

Frequent flyer

Simple solution!!!
Which nutcase still flies Elal in the first place???

From the worst airlines in the world


I had the same issue on delta and united. But with less hate.

Abraham jacobson

Same with Lot and Lufthansa


have very good experience on this issue with swiss and brussels airlines


So elal won’t discriminate against gender but against a religion


What a ridiculous comment…


Which religion specifies a man can’t occupy physical space next to a woman?


100% that’s exactly what they are saying! just to make things clear, the wives and daughters of those same chareidi men who will refuse to sit near a woman, will likewise refuse to sit near a man, with this clarified it’s quite obvious that there is no discrimination issue here from the chareidi side but a purely religious issue, while from EL-AL’s side there is a true discrimination against religion going on, since ELAL is willing to accomodate any other passenger on the plane for any other need, especially a secular women that feels “uncomfortable to be seated near a chareidi man”… and if so how would this new policy enable NICE to remove their boycott if “At NICE we don’t do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion.” ???


There is no actual prohibition for a man to sit next to a woman or vice versa. Certainly nothing that justifies delaying flights. Exactly what “needs” does El Al accommodate? Allowing a bulkhead seat for people with infants does not exactly fall into this category. And, the “secular woman” seated next to a Chareidi Man should be asked WHY she is “uncomfortable”. Has the Charedi Man made any comments to her? If the Charedi Man is doing nothing overt, then there is no reason to accommodate the “Secular Woman”… However, that does not always appear to be the case.


the israelis hate chareidim so just say your a very religious christian


On elal flight non frum woman next to me asked if I want her to change her seat. I was confused I said “I don’t think so” now I know why. I thought maybe she wanted me to have privacy?? I was so weirded out. And I am frum with a beard…


Actually, that “not frum woman” was trying to be NICE to you!! She thought that you might have been uncomfortable so she very nicely wanted to make you “feel comfortable”!


Rav Moshe Feinstein ruled that one may sit next to a woman on a public transport. End of discussion


Please quote a source.


If everyone would obey by Rav Moshe Feinstein rules there would be no eirev in brooklyn. It’s not the End of discussion.

Azis Papa

What difference does it make if there is an eruv in Brooklyn or not. The Jews living in Brooklyn are too holy to hold by an eruv and don’t use it.


The difference is with the Eiruv there are many opinions. Rav Moshe says its his opinion not to have an Eiruv there but acknowledges that there are other opinions saying its fine. With the seating Rav moshe is saying there are NO other opinions arguing against this matter.
These are individuals being extra stringent which is not a problem in it of itself if it does not conflict with anything else but thats all it is, a stringency.
In this case it DOES conflict with actual Halacha of chillul hashem and tircha d`tzibbur and possibly more depending on the scenario.
A stringency never beats out Halacha


1. I didn’t see the actual source in the “Igros Moshe” but with all respect to the “posek hador” if the Rambam didn’t always have the final psak nor did the Shulchan Aruch or the Remah, than there can be other Halachic opinions here as well, especially in such a sensitive matter where so many details make such a big difference, and I hope most people here understand that these details should not be discussed in a format like this, (as a matter of fact even the decresening of the seat width can make a difference here).
2. The issue of Chilul Hashem is totally not in place here, as anyone can use this term as they desire, in fact as long as the person looking to change his seat does it the right way by trying to deal with the issue in a proper and polite way, if any chilul hashem happens it is because of the anti religious FA etc. which is trying to make a fuss and get everyone angry, instead of dealing with the issue just like they would deal with any other seat change request, I don’t think this would be the obligation of the person trying to follow his religious practice. Well what if My neighbor hates Jews and every time I park my car in our shared driveway he comes out and curses all jews for “always stealing his parking space” Is that considered “Chilul Hashem” ?

On the other hand I recall one instance where a Religious looking man was sitting near a woman and he didn’t even try to change his seat, and I heard two secular people talking, one said: “Hey you see that bearded man there, he seems to be comfortable, he doesn’t care about that women near him” and the other responded: ” He seems to be puting pleasure before religion”…
Now if according to the Poskim that this person follows it is permitted for him to sit there, is this considered him causing “Chilul Hashem”???


The fact that a secular person THINKS that a religious person can not sit next to a woman is simply an opportunity for the Religious Person to teach those secular people something. On the other hand, causing a plane to be delayed and upsetting OTHER people will cause disgust for the religion. The very fact that this is even being ASKED shows a rather warped understanding of Chillul HaShem.
And, yes — if someone causes yelling about “stealing a parking space” — there is an EXCELLENT chance that it IS a Chillul HaShem. On the other hand, trying to “work matters out” in the case cited would likely be a KIDDUSH HaShem.
A “proper and polite way” MEANS that if you do not get what you want — that you just shut up. Delaying the plane and making OTHER people uncomfortable because of your CHUMROS is neither “proper” nor “polite”.


Wow so out of touch
Do you think everybody uses Reb Moshe psakim as last word
How about is Psak about
Cholov Akim (with a new name Cholov Stam)
Mechitsa Seperation
Etc Etc


Chuliv akum and chuliv stam are 2 different things entirely, maybe you should learn something before you say things against Reb Moshe Ztzl


Reb Moshe clearly states that if it’ll cause improper thoughts it is asur. End of discussion.


If it will cause “improper thoughts” — that is the PASSENGER’S problem. El Al is NOT responsible for the “thoughts” of its passengers. A person who has to worry about that should take the necessary precautions on his own (e.g. getting an aisle seat and / or traveling together with OTHER Chareidi men) and not expect the airline to deal with HIS “thoughts”….


R’ moshe says if someone is thinking in torah its not a problem
good luck on 12 hr flight


Judaism isn’t and shouldn’t not be viewed as discriminatory towards women


How about a mechitza,like in some classy kosher restaurant like glatt-al-carte

Krum Cup

Or down the aisle of the Monsey bus……

Dr. B. M. Nemon

I’ve eaten many a time in Glatt Ala Carte and I’ve never seen a mechita there. These shvantzen aren’t representative of Charedim, they’re Fahrch’nyokters.



Most people who I’ve heard discuss this issue have the same answer. Offer separate rows for people who choose. Maybe you can promote that idea as I would assume you have the proper bully pulpit to reach the right audience.


Would it be illegal for flights flying to/from the USA? (who knows about other countries)


Why would it be illegal? On whatgrounds? No one is forcing anyone to sit there. It’s just an option for those who want it. They should probably reserve the last two or three row, but fill them with men only from the back so that if all of the rows arent needed as men only, the non needed rows can be filled with both genders as the space is needed.


No one is forcing people to sit there yes. However, you are forcing people to not sit there. same thing under the law.

imagine a store will only sell to non jews. No one is forcing non jews to shop there, but you are preventing jews from shopping there.


forcing them not to sit there?? is there any reason they need to specifically sit in thoose seats??? sounds like my 2 year old daughter…


Great I’ll bring garlic and start chewing it and get the female next to me ejected because she refuses to sit next to another passenger


I know a older man that does that


And you truly believe that’s what hashem you to do tzadik? I heard one a pshat in hashkivenu we ask Hashem to take the soton from in front of us and from the back, why shouldn’t he be in back of us? Because sometimes the soton is in our back pushing us to do “mitzvos”…


Female here and i like the smell of garlic. Chew away my friend! 🙂




Problem with herring it may have worms also you need the liquid and thats a security issue


For some reason, when someone asks someone else to switch with them to sit next to a family member, it’s not a major affair. It’s only when it’s for religious purposes that people get so upset. Let’s call a stone a stone.


its not the asking that’s necessarily the problem, its the refusal to sit and delaying the plane when one can’t find a seat.


While I don’t necessarily disagree with you, it is possible that if these guys were to be a little more discreet about it and pretend they just want to sit next to their family it could avoid the confrontation.


When it happens to me I ask the person if she minds if I sit next to my friend. They always said for sure. Never had an issue. It’s how you ask.


That’s the whole thing. They wont talk to these women!


Not the same at all. When someone refuses to move for ” family reasons “, that is usually the end of it. If it’s for “religious purposes “, and no one wishes to move, they hold up the entire flight. And inconvenience everyone on board. Even standing so the flight cannot take off. So they are not the same situation at all.
Their behavior is abhorrent plane and simple.

Chaim D.

why doesnt anyone get up to all these airlines and ask a simple question.
if i would ask the crew if i can sit (or even better sleep) next to another person(stranger) of another gender would they let me so why can i be forced to sit next to whom i refuse?????

now next question
in this day in age that one can accuse anyone without evidence whatsoever why should i have put myself in an opportunity of trouble

forget the yiddish issue


I don’t quite get your first point. Regarding the second one, if your problem is false accusations, how is sitting next to another man any help?


Agree with Yossi, how about you stay home? Or you can rent a boat and take it to where you need to travel. Where does it say you need to fly?
This whole request is not “practical”. If you have a problem, avoid the problem and find another way, dont impose and force someone else to deal with your demands.


you may be talking practical since your certainly not speaking English…


now that’s discrimination


I never heard of any chareidi men flying in business or first class cause a ruckus for being next to a woman. And on some of those flights, they’re actually LYING next to a woman! Interesting, don’t you think?

Chaim D.

in business youre not sitting on each other lap


Actually, that was the case in a lawsuit that was settled by ElAl.

Dr. B. M. Nemon

That’s because if you’re a Charedeshe that’s classy enough, and can afford to fly 1st or business class, then you’re surely not a Ch’nyok.


Some rebbes buy out the whole first class so not to see a woman

dan\'s fan

by all you’r common’s you could see you’re hatred to people who are a bit more into yiddishkit then you

dan\'s chossid

a flight atend’nt told somone that he had give up his 10k ticket not to sit next to a women and since then i alway’s make sure to help you guy’s

Perpetually Perplexed

I was on a flight back from Israel and this guy made a huge commotion to avoid sitting next to a woman. He ended up sitting my next to me. And watched movies for 12 hours straight…


2 wrongs don’t make a rite!


Shalom, I’ve heard this from you in person!


Dumb comment. If someone wants to to do something right (not saying that demanding a seat is right, in fact I believe it’s totally wrong), they have to be perfect people with no flaws?


No but don’t be a hypocrite.


I think his point was, that if it is such a big deal to you not to sit next to a woman because of the “pritzuis” and not “tznius” issues, then watching TV/movies which are almost certainly filled with men and women in various modes of undress and nisht tznius activity would run counter to the whole reason for protesting in the first place. We call it a chosid shoite. Like insisting on ordering kosher food or a KSML and then drinking some treif wine to wash it down. No judgment, just calling it as I see it.

dan\'s fan

that’s the reason he did not trust himself וד”ל


Make an option next to kosher meal while booking the flight if you wanna sit next to a men or a women, and they’ll try to do the best possible.


What about the unknown


The El Al CEO is right. The men who refuse to sit next to women are no different than a person who refuses to sit next to someone of a different race or religion. If they cannot sit next to women they should be escorted off the plane.


This is perpetuating an untruth.
The man is not saying that the woman is inferior.
If a Muslim doesn’t want to sit next to a Catholic simply because of the cross around the Catholic’s neck, that isn’t discriminating based off the Catholic fellow’s religion.


That is literally discriminating based on his religion.




No one mentioned that women are being considered inferior. Is that perhaps something that you feel and are projecting?


Agreed! End of story! If they have a problem, they dont need to fly.


El Al – הכי בבית בעולם
When I’m at home I always sit next to strange women. I have a non-discriminatory policy in my house.

All jokes aside, I can’t help but wonder out loud whether it was worthwhile for elal to jeopardize they’re chareidi clientele. This will definitely mean a no no to many MANY people. And that is a huge percentage of their customers.


what other airline are they going to fly that will put up with this? Especially if El Al won’t. (“can’t be more catholic than the pope”)


At least on other airlines you have a chance at your request being granted if you pursue it in a respectful manner, whereas on elal, the moment a crewmember gets word of your “highly-discriminatory” provocations, you are immediately Dr. Dao’d.

Abraham jacobson

I flew on 4 other airlines in the last year and saw people asking for it they tried to please and everything went smoothly (in one cases the woman requested it)

It depends on the flight attendants attitude!

Almost no not religious women wants to sit next to a chanyuk


It happens on almost every flight where hemisha hidden are but unfortunately on elal it’s getting out of hand because of so many heimisha people….


Since you brought in the worth it issue; many chareidim, like me travel on the lowest fares in the bucket. ElAl is possibly endangering these while maintaining business paid travelers that use higher fares to fly economy and business.


One reason I won’t fly El Al

Alan Katan

Ummm…hate to break it to ya but, last year when I flew Delta, the same story played out. Fortunately, everyone was compliant and in a few moments, all worked out. Me thinks that was the exception.

Mr. CC

That’s exactly the point!

Delta etc. would TRY to work it out


If El Al attempts to enforce this, Chareidim in response should get up from their seats en masse 45 minutes after take off on a cross-continental flight to protest and demand they rearrange the seating then and there. They’ll all sit on the floor in the aisle, even if they are already sitting next to the same gender, until everyone who wants the same gender seating gets it.

If 100+ people per flight, on every flight, do this ElAl will have to capitulate quickly.


easy way to get arrested.


Good way to get arrested upon landing.


Peleg yerushalmi style


So they should use the stink spray on the plane.


Most already do get up they soon into the flight.
But usually they just accompany it with tfillin, chazaras hashatz, And Kaddish if someone is in aveilus.


I don’t think the Israeli police will arrest 100+ Chareidim on every ElAl flight landing in Tel Aviv if so many participate in this protest.

They’re going to jail thousands of protesting Chareidim for how long?


And I don’t think that there are 100+ chareidim who will agree to cause such chilul Hashem. B”h most chareidim didn’t forget Hashem in the race to frumkeit. מי כעמך ישראל. And iy’H all of the ערב רב will do tshuva soon and remember that דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום

Cynical historian

Saul Alinsky Would be proud

Shlomo Fisherowitz

This is stupid. An enterprising travel agency needs to buy a block of tickets and resell them to the chareidi crowd with the understanding that men and women will be seated per their halachic understanding. Of course, it will need to be at a premium to absorb coat if unsild seats


Why doesn’t the enterprising airline do that?
Is it really so hard to have three choices for seat preference? Aisle, window, or matching gender?

Mr. CC

To make some people happy they should add the option of opposite gender


Lets first understand the reason why a man should try not to seat next to a strange woman and what’s the reason of separation between man a w


I vote this as the best solution so far.


El Al can save a few rows in the back of the plane for men who wish to sit among men only. (I have yet to hear of a woman refusing to sit next to a man, or delaying the flight for this reason.)

The following conditions should apply:

1. Any passenger requesting this accommodation will pay an upcharge/fee for the privelege.

2. Any passenger booking a ticket in this class will not be assigned a seat until boarding, and agrees to sit anywhere that the flight attendant assigns him to sit, which will never be next to a female.

3. Any passenger who does not comply with the above, or who otherwise delays the departure of the aircraft will be immediately deplaned – no refund.







I like the no refund. Can I then run to the airport and use their ticket for free and I’ll be glad to sit anywhere?

not picky eater

Separate planes,men and women. And one for mixed. Elal changes the color scheme of the plane for women to pink, and the mixed one gets rainbow. Problem solved you are welcome


I think we have a winner


Lets say your transgender, which plane do you go on?, Ha ha


The rainbow of course…


Rainbow is actually more apropos for the separate planes.


Well, Delta and United always seem to understand that it’s a religious issue and try to accommodate. El Al on the other hand always makes a fuss, no matter how normal you behave and ask like a normal and non threatening way!



Abraham jacobson

It’s all about the attitude


ELAL seemes to have the same (mis)understanding as Delta and United, but it leads them to a different conclusion (due to their Israeli DNA).

(This is based on your post, I am not necessarily agreeing with your statement about Delta and United).


perhaps its because you can fool Delta and United into thinking this is truly a religious issue but tricking a Jewish airline into this nonsense is more difficult. I remember working for a Jewish supervisor. An orthodox co-worker tried telling the boss that he had to leave at noon on Friday year round for religious reasons and that the last supervisor had always allowed it…


George it seems that u have little knowledge on Jewish religion yes there is such a thing by lots of people not to work after chatzos on fridays which is noon …..


wow your definitely not being respectful toward other peoples chumras and being understanding. should we be understanding of you and your Lubavitcher shenanigans? you people are the most annoying in your face people on the planet i cannot even go to a nets game without you guys hogging the whole night by halftime show during quarters talking about your silly fantasies and only being nice to get an extra few bucks from some non religious jew the feels guilty about his shortcomings in religion. seriously respect others peoples mishegasin before you attack and make fun.


English please?


yo chill


Can I get a HT for this?? I posted this on DDF!!


And now I see it was posted already before my post!


breaking!!! El Al ads burkas to all amenity kits,for those seated on the left side of the plane.now for those of you seated on the right side,blindfolded service from the tarmac with a Porsche,will be offered.

Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

If chareidi/chassidish men need separate seating accommodations, just like they have Monsey Trails, let them invest in a frum airline. They can call it, “Chareidi Air…” or whatever else they prefer. My opinion.


Honestly? I would totally fly that as it would probably be operated more efficiently and cost a third of the price for tickets!!! Dan, who do you know who would invest in that ? Let’s get a new airline going that charges flat fees of $500 a ticket to go to Israel!


A better suggestion would by to fly Delta, United, or any other airline but ElAl, being as ElAl seems to be the only ones to make a big issue of it.


Monsey Trails tickets actually cost more then the other publicly available modes of public transport, have breakdowns significantly more often, have inferior quality buses, and are frequently off schedule (this is coming from 15 years of riding a combination of available transports from Monsey). Additionally, Monsey Trails is partially publicly funded and travels interstate, making these suggestions of sex segregation against federal law. But perhaps if you’d like to have reserved seats in the back for one group or another you can have Claudette Colvin stop by to talk about that…

not picky eater

If our forefathers would be here they would pasken that this whole thing that many people do these days, is not yidishkeit at all its something else


its just making them feel comfortable


It looks like this new CEO still needs training in understanding the reason behind the refusal of chareidish men to seat next to strange woman and so a lot of people who are comenting on this, some chilonim refuse to change because they look at it as a discriminating against woman but the real reason is to protect the woman in our own lives our woman are queens כל כבודה הבת מלך פנימה that’s why we do chumres to guard ourselves from isurim what can come out …… when you explain this to people they usaelly understand I never ever had a issue with changing seats with whatever airline I had ever traveled of course it has to be in a nice way……


Nobody has a problem understanding the need (in referring to most normal ppl) but they have a problem understanding the fuss some ppl make. It’s one think to ask for any special request, it’s a whole nother thing to make a fuss. To stand on the corner and REFUSE to sit etc. We all witness it sometimes and it’s simply hard to swallow the fact that we officially represent the same g-d same torah. I was tought that דרכיה דרכי נועם is not just a song and that דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה is not just a say. I’m not ignoring the fact that some people believe that sitting next to a women is a problem but I question the way some ppl are dealing with the issue.


I thank Gd every day for not making me a queen…


Elal is smart enough, they could if they really wanted to, figure out seating arrangements beforehand or at the gate at least. They have everyone’s information.

They could also have an option at check in to request special seating so Elal actually knows who they are dealing with.

Obviously they could care less about it so go fly anything else.


the only information they do not have is religious affiliation. I share a name with a certain rebbe yet I am not religious. Maybe to book a flight ElAl can have you put down your religious affiliation, which shul you daven at, 2 references, blood type…


Actually that is not a bad idea.
Like I said they could if they really wanted to accommodate figure this out.
You have to understand, the people that want this special seating arrangements really believe that this is what God wants us to do and since I believe they are a nice chunk of Elal business they could have options to request in advance.


A big part of the problem is these individuals usually have a middle seat somewhere and they want to start switching with end seats cause it’s pretty hard to find 2 men on both sides..if these people would get aisle seats from the start half of them wouldn’t even have to change and if they would want to it would be alot easier finding a switch…so for starters get an end seat


I would not fly El AL, if I don’t need to, y would step onto a plane where all stewardess hate chareidim, let alone the very shabby service

Derech Eretz

Derech Eretz Kadma la’Torah. That’s the only solution. Especially since not sitting next to a member of the opposite gender isn’t even Torah. It’s sad to see such silly issues. 70 years ago, we were on cattle cars. Today, we have a country, a national homeland.


Right, That put’s you again on a cattle car to a spiritual Auschwitz


I was on an Elal flight recently jfk-tlv with approximately 100 nonreligious teens traveling on the Birthright program. The middle seat near me was given to a girl who insisted that she NEEDS an aisle seat (for free of course) . The row in front of us was a 60 yrs old man at the aisle sitting near a woman. He happily gave up his aisle seat and sat his 6plus foot figure near me on row 32 which doesn’t recline ( its in front of the bathrooms) . He learned 80% of the flight. (The other 20% i was sleeping) מי כעמך ישראל!

Mountain man

Do any of the muslim country airlines (egyptair, saudi air, malaysia, etihad, etc.) have these issues? What do they do?


Thats my question as well. What hapoens on Royal Jordanian, Emirates, etc???


Fyi, The Gemura says “Asura Kabin Zima Yurdu L’olam, Tishu Nutlu Arbiyem”. Here you have your answer


who told you which country is arbiyim?


I remember something about a muslim airline having separate seating in the back or something for women only


ElAl is doing the right thing.


i think its nice to give everybody what thy want, so everybody should be comfortable. i wouldn’t turn over a plane for sitting next to a woman, but who cares to help other people be happy on the long flight. and when someone wants to seat next to his wife its also wrong ?

Just Ask

Why doesnt someone just ask a gadol a sheila? Let’s stop deciding things for ourselves….
Don’t we all want to do the right thing?


Ask a shayla? From a gadol? Are you serious? What are you, a frum yid or something? The minhag ho-internet is to pasken al regel achas and be kanoi about it.


and to hide behind the anonymity of our screen-names

be nice

even its ok al pi halacha to seat next to a lady, some would be vary uncomfortable to do so, so y cant we help each other


If they force people off the plane who ask for a seat change, it’ll simply mean those folks will wait to the plane is in the air before insisting on a seat change.

How will they like if dozens of seat change requests suddenly materialize 45 minutes into an international flight?

New York jets

I have seen many times that the men insisting on a seat change just don’t want to be in a middle seat!! I avoid flying el al unless I have no choice. I find they are always playing some kind of game with the flights like delaying the flight for no reason. Our 1 am flight from tlv to jfk after Pesach was delayed to 5 am. We got notice of this as soon as Chag ended. I think it was a ploy to get people to book the flight thinking they had a 1am flight bc no one would have booked a 5 am flight.


I like some of the suggestions like simply blocking out a section. I remember the days when movies were shown on a center screen and there used to be a chareidi section where the movies were not shown.

Here’s another possibility: On check-in, the kiosk or agent could say “I notice you have a middle seat – would you be willing to switch for an aisle seat [check here] and/or window seat [check here] if another passenger wants to switch?” I’m sure there would be enough volunteers and the FAs could have a report (or dare I say it, a tablet with passenger info like airlines that invest in tech) that would allow them to quickly call on the volunteers.


This is the first idea that i actually like. charge a premium for those who want a “flexible seating option” with no reference as to why it is being requested and offer a commensurate discount for those willing to be relocated. There are still huge logistical issues (such as availability of seats that are not offensive, I mean come on, a plane has a finite number of seats…) but it could at least guide the FA to those who have agreed to move and those who have indicated a special need. If you don’t request the option (and pay for it) once you’re on the plane it’s too late and any amount of carrying-on will result in removal.


There is a solution already. It’s called buying an extra seat. If you are too cheap to spend the money on your chumra then why do you think you can force it on everyone else?


“El Al is stuck between a rock and a hard place here between trying to satisfy their charedi and chiloni clientele”

Dan this isn’t about charedi vs chiloni, it’s about some charedim vs all those who respect women, equality and the law. Many religious people are against this disruptive behaviour that hides behind religion


The ones who want separate gender seating are the ones who respect women. The men who want to purposely sit next to a woman are the debauchees who disrespect women.




If nobody else proposed it yet, I will refuse to sit next to anybody when I will not make it to destination before Shabboss. Off the plane I go!


Simple, discrimination unacceptable.


What’s the halacha?


$20 offer always worked as someone purposed on a related issue on Dan’s Deals in the past.


If they where smart they would capitalize on selling Seat assignments its real easy, just like ordering speacial kosher, one can order a speacial kosher seat Male or female, based on the ticket and passport credentials. I think people will pay $80- $100 for example, to ensure your religious convictions are met. It’s a win win solution.

GL Member

1. For all those who have a problem with chassidic rules of conduct and its religious mandates, and accuse us chassidim of racism or sexism, be advised you’re mistaken or maybe simply intolerant of our customs. The airlines know quite well that this is due to religious doctrine and I’m afraid Mr. CEO will quickly have to reverse course and acknowledge that it’s not racially motivated segregation, rather accommodating religious mandate, if he does’t want to lose a HUGE chunk of his clientele. To prove my point, if it would be my sister or mother sitting next to me, my religion allows it, yet if it was my mother-in-law or sister-in-law, I cannot sit there. How is that racist?

2. Personally, I always try to ask at check-in if there’s a male seated next to me. They usually confirm and try to accommodate seat changes if there’s a female. There’s less pressure then and they don’t make any issues. Sometimes, if it’s too close to departure, check-in desk will say it can only be changed by the gate or on the plane. Then it boils own to the situation on board and the attitudes of the crew. If they’re pressured to leave on time or it’s an over-crowded flight then things may get sticky. I once witnessed a scene where a non-religious family whose twelve-year old daughter was seated separate from the rest of the family and the mother would not sit down resisting to be separated from her and didn’t agree to wait till after takeoff to sort it out. It took well over twenty minutes after scheduled departure with the intervention of the first-officer to sort it out. I don’t blame her, but so much for religious coercion.

3. A friend of mine was once in a situation where the plane has began taxiing before his seat was arranged and he offered to deplane rather than sit next to a woman, he was then threatened to be arrested. To which he declared “Please, I’m waiting for this day when you guys will show your true colors of intolerance and arrest someone for practicing his religion”. Two minutes later he was duly seated next to a male. To be clear he didn’t make the fuss, the crew knew all along that he can’t sit there and initially told him they’re working to find another seat, but when it didn’t go smoothly they tried to threaten him in order to get out of the situation. This would never happen on other airlines.

4. El Al has been abusing the charedi clientele for decades and taking their submission and silence for granted, in a way I’m glad they’re pushing us in this corner to finally make the switch and say goodbye. I may just try to get United to match my ElAL GL status. What’s United’s equivalent?


I call bull***t on 3) – there is no way a plane would begin taxiing without everyone already in their seats


I agree with Schmaltz et al. aside from being severely against policy to taxi with passengers standing, standing in the aisle is the biggest fuss a passenger can make so the entire story lacks credibility.


“El Al has been abusing the charedi clientele for decades”
No, they aren’t abusing you. They are just not accommodating you. Well, they are, to a point.


Kudos El Al for putting an end to the madness, the madness of course being the decades of these on board protests and countless chilulei Hashem. I would argue that any charedi who shows up in his IDF uniform or even presents his army credentials, be allowed to choose whichever seat he wants.


If the airline is willing to accommodate seat change requests for people wanting to sit next to friends or family that were assigned elsewhere, or nearer or further from the bathroom or exit or any number of other reasons for a seat change, they must accommodate seat change requests for religious reasons.

They cannot discriminate against religious people who request a seat change while helping other people requesting a seat change for non-religious reasons.


But they’re not always able to accommodate those requests. In the cases where people want to sit next to friends or family you usually dont hear about people holding up the plane if they cant accommodate. In this case the men are refusing to sit of not accommodated. I don’t see a problem in either case of making the request (and in a polite way) . The problem is what happens when the request cannot be accommodated.


I would love to see how fast they rearrange everything if a Charedi man were to turn to the woman that he is supposed to sit next to and say “Wow, I am so happy they put me next to such a beautiful woman. I am so excited to spend the next 12 hours with you…”. It would be a record how fast they would move either him or her to make her comfortable. I wouldn’t necessarily promote such behavior without first discussing it with my moral guide but it would surely be effective.


I don’t think borderline sexual assault is really the answer to EVERY issue…

Ani Yehudi

I live in Israel and find when traveling aboard ppl are more understanding about religion then here in Israel. The Chilonikm have a deep seeded hatred to chareidim that is hard to get rid of. When traveling aboard ppl are usually respectful and accommodating if you are respectful.


the media in israel is busy with this the whole day with the draft law etc


Just a minor editorial point on the rough translation: “חידוד הנהלים” is not straightening of procedures since that implies changing them, it means ‘reiteration or clarification’ but of existing procedures not new ones.


I have a respect for the wishes of anyone, charedi or no, who, on account of a meaningful commitment to a principle, needs to make a choice different from the majority of people around him.

In this case, however, charedim know that they might encounter such a situation (of being seated next to a woman or member of the opposite sex). Rather than simply showing up and intending for someone else to solve the problem for them no matter how much it may inconvenience a few hundred other people, it should be on them to organize themselves in advance of the flight.

Surely charedi passengers could communicate beforehand and coordinate seat assignments so they are not in jeaopardy of being seated next to someone of the opposite sex. And if charedi passengers committed to sitting next to memberships of the same sex were to take responsibility for their own situation and coordinate in advance, they, in my opinion, would be fully within their rights to refuse to be unexpectedly moved, or have someone moved next to them, resulting in a situation where they’d be seated next to someone of the opposite sex.

The Israeli mainstream perspective is not opposed to charedi lifestyles and beliefs per se. It’s true that on the left and hardcore secular many are; but the majority of regular Israelis respect the devout nature of charedi life.

The problem is that over and over we encounter situations, like this one, where *some* charedim insist on their own principles, lifestyles, actions and ideas at the expense of everyone else — or, in extreme cases, to the injury of others. (Think of the shonda of certain charedi Jews throwing stones at Jews walking through their neighborhoods or spewing epithets at young frum girls on their way to school.)

Charedim are not the problem, but that doesn’t mean a problem doesn’t exist within the charedi community (much as there are problems unique to other communities in Israel as Jewry today). It’s not enough to assign blame but — much as Dan has suggested with this post — to join together to find actual solutions. That of course begins with acknowledging the validity of the other person’s perspective, something many (though certainly not all) charedim, for their part, are not always willing to do.


Lots to write but don’t want to write pages pages (and its currently 2am!)
There is a halacha in Shulchan aruch even ha’ezr siman 21 si’ef 1 detailing all the precautions when dealing with woman. And i will quote, starting with the very first line “you must distance yourself me’od me’od from a woman. And as the beis shmuel brings that this is a loshon we use for something that is naturally attractive like regarding the financial gain of ribbis and bribery etc.
The halacha also mentions what to do about walking behind (or not) behind a woman etc
and then says that someone who looks at even the pinky of a woman with the intention of having pleasure is as he gazed at her private part etc.
Now obviously the key word is for han’ah (A certain chossid once boasted to my father how holy his rebbe is, that when he flies (jfk-lax?) he buys out the whole first class so as not to have any women around. Of course one time a mistake and a woman and the rebbe/chassidim were offering her 10,000 15,000 dollars etc and she refused (sorry i dont remember the end of the story) and he smiled to himself because the Lubavitcher Rebbe had no problem meeting many many many many women of all ages etc who came for advice or a brocho (obviously the shaila of yichud was avoided) but didn’t have an issue and here this Rebbe is scared to see a woman….
The gemarah in gittin about the churban- R yochanan recounts the difference between before the churban and AFTERWARDS and one of them was that “i remember that you used to see 16/17 year old males and females walking down the street together and nothing happened. now…………. Meaning based on our level of morality (which seems to be at a all time low nowadays unfortunately) that is the standards and halochos we have to make…. So if you can see a woman as a jew who needs help right now (with whatever it may be- shabbos candles, a question in judaism, directions to the store) then no problem but usually in general yes we get affected by sitting next to a woman (who probably isnt dressed fully tsniusdik) and ending up touching her multiple times…. unless of course you are not normal (which could be in either direction…..)
So yes, whenever i fly i try avoiding sitting next to a woman i nice way (which includes respectfully explaining to her the reason behind AND THEY ALWAYS UNDERSTAND AND RESPECT!) and when it will cause a big deal i just sit in my (aisle) seat avoiding the armrest and squeezing to the far end of my seat (i am skinny :)) and turned away from the woman so i dont need to end up touching her and having a very uncomfortable flight.

It really boils down to your attitude in life. Hashem creates us every second otherwise you would be nothing as you deserve Are you living/existing and when comfortable and easy throw Hashem a few bones? Or do you live to serve Hashem?! or as brought down the 2 versions “Ani nivreisi l’shameish es koni”? or an”Ani loi nivreisi ELLAH lshameish es koini”?
If you would offer me $10,000 or even $100,000 to skip (even rabbeinu tam) tefillin one day i would never take it (no i am not a billionaire :)) If you would offer me a billion dollars to take one bite of nonkosher or even one sip of cholov stam(see the other post about kashrus) i would refuse without blinking an eye. And the same goes for 100,000,000,000,000 united miles and GS to miss a zman krias shema. of course i would refuse!! this is my life! this is why i am living!
So do i agree with certain men who refuse to even talk to the woman and politely ask her to hep him out (i had women agree to sit in middle just because i wanted aisle for the space, she couldnt care less- she just wanted to sleep/listen to music all flight long anyhow) NO.
do i get a little frustrated with them and their belief that it is an issur to sit next to a woman? NO! But do i respect and admire them for sticking to their religion etc and what they are taught etc? YES!
It is all these self hating yiddin (those who nebach wish they were born goyim) that is totally uncalled for! It is time to realize that just because you aren’t strong enough to overcome your yetzer horah it doesn’t mean that it is permitted. It is the halacha but you can’t overcome it! its not a reason to ch”v hate another jew!
I have a lot more to add but i think this is long enough for tonight at this hour (I was already in bed but couldn’t fall asleep because this was bothering me so much so decided to write it now and get it out of my system!)


Written pretty well and clear, but please make sure to use a capital I when referring to your self.


While you’re at it, “yourself”…


You’re absolutely correct.

Just Ask

Maskim. Thanks for speaking up.


Can I take the money to not wear Rabbeinu Tam and eat Chalav Stam 🙂


It is similar to the movies on planes. I wish all planes would be TV less
Or at least one per 10 rows like the olden days. Although i chas vshalom don’t turn on mine but It is very difficult to control myself and not watch something for a minute here and there on one of the many neighbors screens when all the people around me have movies in my face. So yes, I won’t leave insist on only sitting next to passengers who are all going to sleep and not turning on their movies etc but on the other hand it is very difficult for me. Boruch Hashem i recently just discovered that row #1 is the way to go (or the first row of economy too)
And yah i think the story above of the chossid who refused to sit near woman but then went and watch movies for 12 hours is ridiculious. Its not “2 wrongs dont make a right”, its not 2 separate things its a very distorted man who doesn’t realize that watching movies (unless it was totally clean cartoons???) is way way worse then sitting next to a woman. Very sad that people don’t realize the issues and issurim of watching movies.

Just Ask

Yes. It is extremely sad. We all learned from the story of Yona that Hashem is in the ocean. Can’t we understand that He is in the sky too? Every 2 year old knows it. Why do people think they could watch on a plane that which they would never down below?


Toirah loi bashomayim


It’s not only ELAL. This behavior is seen on United too. I was also delayed by this inappropriate behavior. If they have specific seating requests:
a) Pay for business class. They will have their own seat.
b) Pay for and extra seat.
c) Pay to book your seat ahead of time
d) Take a boat. No one says you have to fly.

This is a situation created by their own selfishness and disregard for Halacha. It’s about time ElAl is doing something right. I hope United and Delta follow their lead and remove these disruptive passengers from the plane.


Israelis need to become more polite people offer service and get rid of their hate for chareidim that israeli media is busy inciting

David Pasternack

Israelis hatred for Haredim when the 70,000 draft-dodging exemptions are ended and Haredi boys begin to go into harms way to protect Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael just like other 18 year olds.


is this protected under religius freedoms? or recent suprem court decision that businesses don’t need to serve all people or maybe only if the business has a religius reason
we should file for class action lawsuit and bring an end to this discrimination


NICE CEO Barak Eilam needs an explantion what discriminate against race, gender or religion means


Lesson learned – stop adding to the Torah. The CEO is just doing what the chareidi Rabbanim should have done years ago. Put an end to this madness that perverts the Torah.


Well, it certainly was interesting reading all of the previous comments this morning. But, in the end, my coffee didn’t quite taste as good as usual. Instead of dissing our fellow Jews all night long let’s just agree that there will always be bad apples (or people who don’t know how to handle social situations) in every walk of Jewish life. It’s inevitable cuz that’s life.

Spoken As One Who Tries To Love Every Fellow Jew


If they don’t want to take the chance of sitting next to a female, they should buy a row of seats. If a modern female would really want to sit next to a male who is sporting a long and probably unwashed beard as well as clothing designed to assure obnoxious odors on a hot day more power to her!

David B

Easy-peasy. Let the gentlemen bring $200 cash on the flight. First ask politely. Then offer money in $50 increments until someone agrees to switch. I’m pretty confident that for $200, you will find willing takers.


really simple solution here. you can book a ticket in a men only section. or a womens only section and they reserve the last few rows of the plane.


1. As much as I personally don’t see an issue with seating next to anyone (except that time I could feel the person’s fat pushing under the armrest going to Chicago), I had to push the girl next to me on a flight to Israel off my shoulder a few times so I understand the concern with the continuously shrinking economy seats.
2. My father was once shamed publicly by a chilonit because he wouldn’t let her sit next to her friend and take her seat right next to the bathroom (on a small flight from Europe to Israel). We’ll keep the comeback off here.
3. Around 10 years ago, I heard from an insider reports of ElAl trying or implementing a system where they could separate people of different genders as long as they were not from the same family or booked together. That obviously did not happen. Why not implement this now? As someone else mentioned rows in the back can work too, select a case to say you want a separated seat and be assigned at check in. On some flights some people won’t be accommodated but it would be much easier.


Remember a few years ago the guy who wore the transparent body bag while sitting on the plane? It went viral and everyone had a good laugh but maybe there’s a solution there…


How about a slightly less expensive fare if you are flexible with your seat? If if your seat gets changed the airline gives you some small freebie like a ride in one of the carts from the plane to immigration…


It’s hard to judge what happened without being there. But I have been on many flights where I politely asked someone to switch seats with me. I have never been denied a polite request. I would really like to know how the request was done on that El Al flight. Was it polite or confrontational? If it was confrontational, the answer is simple, be a mentch and you can get whatever you want.

Pride Jew

Firstly they need to ask the “women” how they identify so that the staff know if they are truly a problem

just buy a seat

Very simple, guaranteed way to not sit next to a woman: buy an extra seat. Oh, that costs too much? Kosher food costs a lot more but we pay for that, right? And air travel is certainly much less essential than food. So if you really truly feel it is against Halacha to sit next to a woman, you are mechuyav to buy that extra seat. Methinks that when it boils down to dollars and cents, suddenly it’s actually muttar!

Lo Sisgaru Ba\'umos

I am a full fledge Black Hatted charedi, who flies to Israel many times per year. I must say that Elal has just gained a valuable customer. The primary reason that I NEVER fly Elal is because I am usually forced to hang my head in shame at these supposed “religious” shinanigens, which have no basis in our religion.

vahavta leraiacha kamocha

wowow calm down y do you care to make someone more comfortable on a long flight
sineas chinam


You might be black hatted but you are not chareidi.


You cannot blame elal, they were sued by a 82 year old women who got really upset about asking to move and what not. Then an Israeli judge ruled elal cannot ask anyone to move seats for gender reasons. elal has been winging the accommodations of haredi clients but in actuality now its hitting the fan and they are simply obliging to the law.

ElAl Dreamliner

El al ordered a plane with seats and leg room narrower than same plane at other airlines
It creates a serious personal space issue regardless of gender.
On my recent flight, last minute came on standby a family member of an employee who get practicly free flights , that’s what she said
I have her name
She was on plane last minute with a few relatives, same almost free
Her large frame didn’t fit her seat and I suffered all flight
So if el al would care about any pax, any gender, give a wider seat so my seat not shared with fellow pax. Flying again soon
Not with el al
Their dream is a true night mare !
And their many free flyer are taking away my breathing space, arm movement, etc etc


My Rosh Yeshiva told us that we should not do anything about seats until after takeoff, and then only politely. He also told us that if its important enough to us to make a ruckus, then its important enough for us to bring a couple of hundred bucks, which will probobly solve all issues.
I always daven when I book my seat that I should not have a woman sitting next to me.
I also book a aisle/extra legroom seat so i’ll have a good seat to trade if the need arises.

In my opinion when a person buys a seat he’s buying a contract with the airline, nowhere in the contract does it state a right to chose a seatmate or the movie or how the flight attendant dresses…. a Chasidisher/Briskers’s LACK OF PLANNING/PREPARATION for his Chumras/Ikar d’dina for his rabbanim does not give him a right to make a ruckus and claim “religious discrimination” when he had ample opportunity to take care of it ahead of time.

As an aside I was on one Elal flight where i had an exit row seat and a secular family was driving the Stew nuts with their seating. I moved where they asked me, then a sem girl boarded for the seat next to my new seat and she complained and the stew took care of her. The entire time I was gracious and did not bother the stew at all, thinking that if after takeoff i was next to a woman i could deal with it then. When they brought the meals the stew brought me a Glatt one from Business, with a thank you.

need a boy

wow your such a nice boy
who needs a boy take him

David Pasternack

I am just the opposite. Before my flight I daven that a cute 20 year old female is seated next to me.


i think the whole thing is insane. i dont know why people make such a big deal about this, its wrong and annoying. But there is a simple solution. When making a reservation, instead of clicking to choose your seat, you can choose to be seated next to someone of your own gender. If you choose this option – you dont get to pick a seat – you can choose a preference, i.e. aisle or window, el al will have to work a bit harder to make some sort of algorithm that can make this possible. but i think thats fair


what about people who prefer to sit next to someone who has better hygiene practices than a haredi/hassidic who wears polish winter garb in the mideast summer weather? I would think that’s a more universal.
This will not ever change because the haredim fly a lot, this is economics. I doubt NICE employees fly anywhere near as much as haredim. I recall hearing that during the last war and intifadia el al would’ve gone belly up had it not been for the haredim flying. this is a money issue.
This will only change when someone finally realizes that being a mencht and recognizing that other people exist in the world outside of your 1 ama…


I remember when UAL offered men-only flights from NY to Chicago — this was back in the 70s, I think, they called it something like “The Businessman’s Special” until the FAA told them they could not do that. At the time, more than half the states had ratified the Equal Rights Amendment and even Republicans thought it was a great idea.

And I remember when planes had smoking sections in back, but sometimes there were more smokers than expected and they would still think they were entitled to smoke in a non-smoking row.

The fallacy in the minds of many commenters here is that El Al will sell only 200 tickets if the plane has 200 seats. Airlines make money by overbooking. Seat assignments, when offered, are never guaranteed. If you compartmentalize your aircraft into two sections, then you have to deal with overbooking one and having empty seats in the other. You can make money doing that if one section is Business Class, but not if one is for beards and the other for lipstick.

Planes cost, how much, $50 million? And they don’t make any money while on the ground. If you want to take them out of service for an hour while the passengers play musical chairs, just raise your fares. Your competitors might not.

Save seats in the back for men? So what if you have empty seats there, and no room in front. A woman shows up with a last-minute ticket to visit a dying relative. Turn her away? Assuming you can’t upgrade her to Business Class.

Even if the seats in the back are sold at a premium — make it clear that they are the worst seats on the plane but cost more because usually only men with certain religious beliefs buy them — a common carrier can’t discriminate if a woman wants to buy one.

And the seats in back, aren’t those where the women stand in line while waiting to use the lav? It must be an awful experience for the guys in the aisle seats.


With all due respect, you don’t seem to have an understanding of how airlines manage their inventory. Managing segregated seats is presumably a lot simpler than managing fare bucket and seat inventory. There’s absolutely no need to block off an entire section for men or women, this can be done on a seat-block by seat-block basis, and could be done for a fee for even simpler management.


el al is #הכי_בעיות_בעולם



The truth

Very simple solution:
Get rid of the middle seats. Add another aisle in the middle and make it 2-2-2-2 configuration.

m h

Hi Dan. As a big fan just a small awareness
Writing “opposite gender ” would have been a finer approach….

rephael chaim simcha

im saying what if you switched ur seat and had your kosher meal and how wuold they find you then????!!!

Miriam Cicinitzchi

My son experienced the exact same thing on an el al flight some 4 years ago. Delays due to the hard bullies and their mysogeny.


as a TA i see both sides of the issue every day ,that said my personal opinion is one shouldn’t cause a commotion ,ruckus and chilul hashem over it .
on the other hand if EL-AL wont accomodate chardeim WHY FLY ELAL
if they arent accommodating you, fly with united or delta
if charedim would boycott el-al for a week or so, EL-AL would be willing to work it out.
as suggested above by setting aside gender sections where everyone can be accomodated once that section is sold out which can be checked before a flight is booked, choose another flight or day or fly with a different airline


El AL is so stupid airline with ziro coustemer service


Have a separate seating section or seats like economy plus and charge a premium fir these seats


So they will remove the individual who refuses to sit next to a person not of his/her preference. and then delay the flight while they locate his luggage and remove that as well?


I am hoping that due to this racism all the Chasidim and overly pios stop flying el al. That will make el al a suitable airline for observant jews.


That is simple hate!!!


it may be hate – but its true. they behave like they are the only ones that matter


The main problem that causes this whole awkwardness is that there is a big misconception by the non-frum, secular world on the reason why Orthodox men will prefer not to be seated next to a not related female. They think that’s because we discriminate against women, but that’s totally not true. The real reason is that we have higher principles and guidelines to keep a distance between men and women.
I think if we would clarify this, not only will non-frum people understand and be cooperative, they will respect us even more. This will save everyone so many difficulties and austerity.


You are 100% right, the problem is that this was explained many times in the past especially a few years ago when the whole issue with the mehadrin busses was hot, but the Mainstream media in israel is Anti Religious and they do their best to block any positive coverage of coming through, and instead do all they could to spread the hate “Rachmana Litzlan”

y id

some should make an court issue out of it (in the us not in Israel because you will lose to begin with because you are an chridi) will finish up with some $ out of the whole issue


The problem arises when Personal Religion trumps Society. There’s no Halacha discussed anywhere that says a man cannot sit next to a woman. Zero. Halacha, not hashkafa or hadracha or Ha. Strictly Muttar Assur Halacha. And if there is no halacha then whatever it is is part of your Personal Religion. And your Personal Religion falls to the wayside when you go out into the real world and there’s a conflict. Everyone should respect everyone else’s religious beliefs but if your religion says to drive on the left and you’re not in England you better move over. its not our world. Deal with it. i promise you and i can get a thousand rabbonim to back me up on this one, God is wayyyy more pissed off at you creating a scene and making religious jews look like nutcases then if you would just sit your a** down next to a woman.


False. A man sitting between 2 women, or a woman between 2 men, is an Halacha issue.


Wrong! Problem is only walking between them when they are facing each other and conversing.

Just Ask

I think that if you should turn to the lady in the next row and ask her to switch in exchange for a hundred or two hundred dollars, she’ll probably have no problem with it.
The people that are respected are the people who are willing to SACRIFICE for their standards.
Don’t make a scene. No threats. No complaints.
Derech Eretz, Derech Eretz, and compensate.

My middle school principal didn’t like the sweatshirts we all bought for are senior sweaters with words splashed across. You know what she did? She herself paid for more tzniusdig ones. What a lesson it taught us. And we weren’t even upset.

This entire thread itself is a massive chilul Hashem…:(


I am an Orthodox Jew and am ashamed of the inconsiderate behavior of some of my co-religionists and the public chilul hashem they create. As many of the commentators noted, the issue of not sitting next to a woman is a personal chumrah which someone is certainly free to accept upon himself but you can’t force it on others. Keeping a chumrah doesn’t rise to the level of keeping a Halacha and takes a back seat when the chumrah negatively affects others. Characterizing the seating issue as one of religious accommodation is chutzpah and the rabbis should have put a stop to it years ago. Do those delaying a flight know what the repercussions are for others? Are there people on board who need to make a connecting flight, attend a simcha, see a very sick relative, attend a levaya (R”L), or are otherwise negatively affected by a lengthy delay? Where is the consideration for the agmas nefesh caused by a lengthy delay? What happened to Bein Adam LeChavero? Although they may try hard to accommodate people, no airline guarantees that families will sit together or that someone will not sit next to a passenger of the opposite gender. That’s an unreasonable expectation (some airlines actually sell seats explicitly stating that families won’t sit together). If someone feels their personal chumrah is so important, they should put their money where their mouth is and buy a second seat to be kept empty. Why is it OK to ride a crowded rush hour subway from Boro Park to Manhattan but not OK to sit next to a woman on a plane? This is not an El Al issue and they are 100% right that anyone refusing to take their assigned seat should be removed from the plane immediately.

The Rosenblum family

As a frum woman, I think they behaved very badly. I fly ELAL exclusively because of the security they have. I have seen this on almost every flight inbound or outbound. I find it disgusting. Can you imagine trying this on another airline???? What a chilul Hashem. Sit down and be quiet. It’s not enough that the Chareidim and Chilonim are fighting each other like cats and dogs–this will not bring Moshiach–it will push him away. The principal of the high school I went to wanted achdus from everyone. Too bad he died too soon to teach it to the world. געניק שוין


Two comments: 1) El Al security is no better than that on any other airlines, despite what they claim.
2) Most of the frum women my wife has spoken with also do not want to sit next to a strange man. It would be much better if they requested a seat change rather than relying on the men to do the work. Sara also agrees with this.


It must be hashem that sat them together so what’s the problem!


I can’t with religious fanatics! I feel so bad for all the women that were born in those Jewish or Arabes countries. What a sad life they have because of the religions. Hoe many people still have to die because of religios? Earth Planet is still so primitive, our evolution is so primitive


Jewish Orthodox women are statistically the most happy and satisfied women on the globe. They’re the most respected by their men, and the only ones to have the honor to be the only women in their husband’s life. I feel so bad for your First , second & third ex-wives, and for your current wife too, when you’ll drop her to marry your current girlfriend…Planet earth was a good place until the evolutionists started to live their lives like their ancestors (apes..)

David Pasternack

Deport all of the draft-dodging Haredim and don’t let them back into Israel. This will drastically reduce the number of Haredim flying on El Al.


Although I flew till now with El Al, it’s time to wake up to their anti-chareidi policies and fly with others who due respect religion

Alex perlstrin

Well if the charedim boycott ElAl I will be the first one to join. It might cost them more than a boycott of some arrogant tech start up. Nothing wrong for companies and people to try to accommodate people’s religion


Refusing to sit next to a person based on their sex is ridiculous. A human being is a human being.


Whereas I agree fully that these men should be booted off the plane , I wish to remind everyone that charedi women can be just as adamant about not sitting next to a male passenger. I am very Interested in seeing if El Al will follow through on their new policy. Also as has been stated maybe they should give you a choice of special charedi seating whether it is does or sections. Just as they give passengers a choice between kosher and glatt kosher meals.


I have a very large friend and he “mistakenly” spills a bottle of water on the seat next to him before seatmate shows up. Flight attendant finds seatmate a different seat and he has “legroom” (width not length). Totally wrong but funny anyway!


Speaking as a large individual myself, my mere presence is enough to dissuade seatmates from sitting down next to me, no water/garlic needed.


Here’s what I do- (I’m a lady) Get to the airport early, as soon as you get to the check in counter you ask for an aisle seat next to a lady. If check in says no more aisle seats I say give me a seat between two ladies. They have no problem accommodating. Just let everyone know, whoever has a problem with this- get it sorted out right away when you get to the check in counter and then no need to make a ruckus on boar


I fly El Al all the time.
I have asked a few times to change seats and the stewardess’ were very accomodating it was never a problem.


till the new rules


But now the CEO of ELAL announced that you will be thrown down of the flight if you dear to ask the flight attended a thing like this. BE CAREFUL ON YOUR NEXT FLIGHT.

Judy Fulda

Is there a way to create a computer program that shows gender on the seating chart (pink/blue boxes)? That way you could pick your seat based on relevant information.

Joel Weinberger

Pakistan Airlines, Emirates etc have no problem accommodating Frum Moslem requests, never heard of people being ejected. Its a respect thing, quite lacking in Israeli Society. Pretty funny, a company called nice has no idea what that means!


i have bought two seats on elal only to be filled by a standby female, so i tried a 50$ tip and it did work , but never got refunded for my extra seat till i disputed the charge with amex


Reminds me of the joke of a heavyset guy who purchased himself two seats on his upcoming flight so he can sit comfortably, upon boarding the plane he discovered that he was assigned one in the front and one in the back of the plane.


Chareidi Men have to realize that they are not in the Beit Midrash. If they want to be sure that they will get the seating that they want — they should reserve ENOUGH SEATS in advance. If they do not do that, then they can stop making a Chillul HaShem and just sit where they are. It is horribly disgusting that “religious men” create this sort of disturbance. If they do not like their seat, then they can exit the plane and [try to] fly with someone else.


what i just dont get is why all the hate against ppl who want to do whats most prob REQUIRED of them, at the very least a very good churruh to take on to avoid inappropriate talking or mistakenly touching a member of the other gender!!

David Pasternack

I wonder if these Haredim are also machpid on paying taxes and not cheating the government.


1. NICE is not so nice. They’re conscience doesn’t prevent them from selling spying equipment to regimes who use it for KILLING opponents but they can’t tolerate a Jewish religious request.
2. If ElAl thinks they found a solution by forcing people off the plane they should call United and ask how that worked out for them. And do they really think this will be accomplished in less than a 75 minute delay?
3. It is a collosal management failure on the part of ElAl to not have solved this issue for all the decades they are flying.
4. Oy meh haya lanu…


what do they care if you feel uncomfortable due to leg space or because ure next to a lady?
you dont have to say the reason for your discomfort. Be smart and dont make a chilul hashem.


since elal could not care less about their rep nor their pr for various reasons they’ll never be as accommodating as other airlines. fact.
think about it; i’ve received survey questions from almost every airline i’ve flown asking me what needs improvement, etc. not with elal.


I don’t understand why this is just about men who don’t want to sit next to women
As a woman I don’t enjoy sitting next to random men and having to share elbow space and passing room with them in very close quarters. It’s not specifically a Halacha thing (I’ll leave the debates elsewhere) it can just be uncomfortable.
I flew Turkish Air for a family emergency sandwiched between a huge old man and a smelly young one and it was beyond awful.
I agree that refusing to fly is extreme but why should requesting to be accommodated be such a no no?


The main problem is that it is generally only the men who request a seat change. If more women would request not to sit next to a man there might be less problems.

a religius jew

the jewish orthdox community will not accept this discriminating policy !!!a ban against elal from the chareidy community will probably make them recalculate there policy

a religius jew

a ban from the torah jewish community will probably make them rethink there position


They should have an option by buying the ticket to request a seat not next to a woman, just as you can request kosher meal, vegeterian etc.