As we are preparing for the Purim holiday we are also glued to the TV waiting for any news of the fate of those aboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight #370 which disappeared somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and its destination of Beijing. Oftentimes when a tragedy such as a plane crash or a terrorist event occurs there are those who claim that by some miraculous turn of events they evaded the tragedy. Sometimes these stories are accurate and other times they are debunked by websites like Snopes.com.
I learned this morning of a story that has been circulated on the Web about a Jewish man who tried to book a flight on that Malasia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, however the travel agent being an ultra-Orthodox Jew refused to book him on that flight since it would require traveling on Shabbat. (According to Jewish law even arranging for another Jew to travel on the Sabbath is in violation of Jewish law.) The story, as reported in a blog by Daniel Eleff, the CEO of online travel agency DansDeals.com, claims that his friend was the Sabbath observant travel agent who refused to book the man, whom we only know as Andrew, on that flight.