Here are 4 eyewitness testimonies:
What Really Happened on Flight 002
Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz is an Israeli hero.
While I’m not one of his voters (he’s in the religious Zionist camp while I’m in the charedi one), I have profound respect for the kind of Jew who, as he’s lying wounded on the battleground and almost completely split in two, cares only for his secular comrade’s spiritual progress.
(Please see HERE for that whole story.)
That’s my kind of Jew!
And I’ll certainly believe him over El Al’s Facebook page any day.
A Few Thoughts From a Passenger on El Al Flight 002
A very level-headed & convincing account of events.
FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT: El Al Fiasco Ends in Display of Achdus, Kiddush Hashem on Shabbos in Athens
I think his point about it all maybe being Hashem's way of getting funding for a mikveh is a good one.
El-Al Sponsered Shabbos of Unity (also an eyewitness report)
Omigosh, you mean it was some secular people yelling at some of the shomrei Shabbat, and not the other way around?
Could it be? But secular Israelis NEVER raise their voice to one another. Hmm…I’ll have to get back to you on this one. (Just kidding.)
No, but seriously. It seems that regardless of the passenger’s religious observance, nearly all the Jews on the plane were behaving with achdut and helpfulness.
And as many others pointed out, it wasn’t a secular-religious issue as portrayed in the media.
I totally agree with Ben Chafetz, that the fiasco could’ve been reported in a very positive way -- to El-Al's benefit.
From a religious point of view, it was more of a success than a failure (although I'm very sorry for the inconvenience & stress everyone experienced before & after this amazing Shabbat):
- Dozens of different types of Jews being mosser nefesh for Shabbat.
- Wonderful achdus and achvah.
- Monstrous penguins—oops! I mean charedim—and other types of religious Jews sharing their mehadrin meals with their secular brothers and sisters who didn’t receive any food at all.
- Chabad does it again! With only a few hours to prepare for hundreds of people in all different situations (mothers with small children, Chassidic businessmen, rabbis, people with medical issues, etc.), the Hendels merited enormous success & blessing.
- All culminating in an unforgettable Shabbat and a particularly stunning kiddush Hashem.
After reading this, I actually felt bad for the committed Sabbath-transgressors who went on to catch another flight on a different airline for Shabbat.
For sure, the frum Jews enjoyed their weekend much more on both the physical and the spiritual levels.
May we all merit to join together in such achdut & chessed around a mitzvah.