Religion Magazine

Interesting Psak: Chilul Shabbos for Sick Passenger on El Al

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
There were a couple of newsworthy El Al flights from New York to Israel this past Friday, but this post will only deal with one of them. The other might be the topic of another post.
Kikar is reporting that flight 008, due to be diverted on Friday afternoon to Rome due to late departure (because of the snowstorm in New York) that would have caused them to have to land in Israel on Shabbos, changed its flight plan again and decided to land in Israel after sunset on Friday night - with the permission of Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef.
One of the passengers on this flight was someone sick with cancer. While everything had been planned for Rome - hotel accommodations, kosher food and whatever else was needed - shortly before the flight was due to land in Rome the patients condition worsened significantly. The sick passenger's accompanying doctor contacted El Al medical staff and it was decided that the patient required complex medical care that could not wait until after Shabbos.
Upon consultation with the rav of El Al and the Chief Rabbi, Rav Yitzchak Yosef, it was decided that the plane could continue on its way to Israel despite the schedule having them landing after Shabbos. The chilul shabbos was permitted, for the entire planeload of passengers, due to the pikuach nefesh situation of this sick passenger. El Al arranged an ambulance to greet them at the airport and immediately whisk the sick passenger away to the needed medical care.
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