Israeli Airline Puts Jewish Prayer Scare to Use in Ad

By Matt Van Hoven 

Remember when a Jewish teenager flying Chautauqua Airlines flight 3079 from LaGuardia to Louisville caused the plane to land in Philadelphia when he donned his Tefillin, a “set of small leather boxes that are black in color and contain scrolls of parchment inscribed with Bible verses, and are worn by Jewish men during weekday morning prayers” because everyone thought he was a suicide bomber?

Israeli airline, El Al, had a sense of humor about the incident and used it in a recent campaign piece. See above, where there’s a pic of a Tefillin kit, and accompanying copy: “Fly with us! Our cabin crew will know how to ‘defuse’ them…”

Though this feels fake, it remains awesome. Can someone please tell us the origin of this advertisement (last we checked, Goldsmith/Jeffrey had this account, but that was in 1988).

If it’s really from El Al, it proves the long-standing belief that the Jewish faith is the source of all things awesome in the world, most notably, humor. Some would say the key to salvation, too, but the jury seems to be out on that for now. h/t RW.

More:Steve Biegel’s Judaic Scarlet Letter