Here’s a Good Reason to Allow Internet Access on Airplanes

Maybe a flight attendant or passenger could have looked up what “tefillin” is, and saved the passengers on this flight a lot of inconvenience, and the airline a lot of embarrassment. (A flight was diverted when flight attendants became concerned that a teenager’s Jewish ritual object, tefillin was actually some sort of a bomb).

Aside: The English word for tefillin is “phylacteries,” though I don’t think any English speaker actually uses this word.  When I was in high school, one of my classmates lost his tefillin (which are expensive) on the subway.  He went up and down the aisle asking if anyone had seen his “phylacteries.”  Not surprisingly, he didn’t get any “yeses.”  Even if there were no other Jews on that subway car, I think he’d have been more likely to succeed by asking about his tefillin.