The whole world’s eyes are on the far east, wondering how a Boeing 777 can just disappear without a trace. Malaysia Air Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:43am this past Saturday morning and has yet to be located. Flying is the safest mode of transportation that exists today, so the disappearance of an airplane like this is really sobering.
I heard the following story firsthand from the travel agent involved. He is an avid DansDeals follower that I’m friends with. He sent me the unedited exchange that follows and I made the necessary edits to protect the privacy of the parties involved.
The saying goes, “More than the Jews have kept the Shabbos (Sabbath), the Shabbos has kept the Jews.” When I think of that saying, I picture my life if I were constantly wired 7 days a week. As it is, I feel like a slave to my digital devices, but the knowledge that Shabbos is right around the corner keeps me going. From sundown Friday evening until when the stars come out on Saturday night it’s 25 hours spent completely offline and it’s blissful. It’s 25 hours spent praying to G-d and consuming obscene amounts of calories eating scrumptious meals with family and friends. It’s perfect. Sure anyone can always disconnect, but there’s something awesome about the forced routine that can’t be properly explained to one who hasn’t experienced it.
But the saying goes much deeper than that in this story.
On 01/13/14 Andy emailed his travel agent his desired itinerary:
The travel agent, an Orthodox Jew, proposed the following business class itinerary, slightly altering the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight from Saturday to Friday.
Andy loved the price, but again requested the Saturday morning flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing:
The travel agent responded that he would not be able to book travel for him over the Sabbath, but that he was free to book that flight by himself:
Andy agreed with that and planned to book the flight by himself:
And the travel agent noted that if he changed his mind to just let him know:
Shortly afterward Andy did just that:
And the travel agent recommended a place to get a nice kosher meal and booked him the originally proposed itinerary, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Friday early morning instead of Saturday.
Fast forward to 2 days ago. The travel agent is in Israel and reads this email once Shabbos is over. The email was sent after shabbos, at 7:15pm Beijing time/1:15pm Israel time:
And the travel agent wrote back, equally in shock at the realization ofShabbos saving his client’s life:
Indeed, due to the travel agent worrying about the religious observance of a fellow Jew, Andy was persuaded into flying on Malaysia Air 370 exactly one day prior to the ill-fated flight he wanted to take.
It’s not often we hear a story like this. It’s been 103 years since Rose was saved from the devastation of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire thanks to observing Shabbos. And now it was Andy’s turn.
Prayers go out to the families of those still missing.
7:31 PM in New Brunswick, NJ
Shabbat Ends 8:33 PM
Friday, 26 April 2019