Sometimes it’s good to ponder the meanings of life. This story was posted on Mystical Paths, a blog site in Israel by Orthodox Jews. It told of an “unconfirmed” story, translated from Hebrew that was told by a rabbi (Rav) called the Satmar Rebbe, well esteemed in the United States and respected also by Lazer Brody on the Lazer Beams typepad. As reported:
Mystical Paths – “This story came without any means of conformation and was told by the Satmar Rebbe. As is said about stories and Midrashim, anyone who believes every such story and detail is a fool, anyone who doesn't believe is a heretic...
David Miller (a pseudonym) was a young ultra-Orthodox businessman who from time to time had to fly around the U.S. on business. As an experienced traveler, he traveled with only an overnight bag that could be carried-on, and a large briefcase. Of course, he always made sure to bring his tefillin, which he kept in a blue velvet bag embroidered with the gold letters D.M. David was careful not to miss a prayer quorum whenever possible, and never to miss the time for saying Shema with tefillin.
That day David's had an important trip for a major business transaction - a 6 hour flight across the country, United flight 175. He anxiously waited by the gate to board the early morning flight. The signal came, and David was armed with his briefcase, suitcase, and reviewing the papers for the deal after having just finished donning his tefillin. David stood to head to the gate, documents in his left hand, suitcase and briefcase in his right with his tefillin under his arm.
As he entered the boarding ramp, his cell phone rang. He stopped and stood to the side, seeing his wife's name on the phone..."Yes Rivkah?" Trying to balance the phone to his ear with his cases was impossible, he put them down. Everyone had passed, while still talking he grabbed his suitcase and quickly headed to the plane. He was the last to enter and they closed the door behind him.
"Fasten your seat belts" was announced. As David settled into his seat and put away his cases, David suddenly noticed his tefillin bag was not resting on his knees. Where were they??? He thought and suddenly realized he'd put them down as he answered the phone and failed to pick them up! The tefillin were just a few steps on the other side of the plane door!
Very distraught David rushed to the front of the plane and asked the stewardess to open the door. "Please ask the pilot to wait a minute. My tefillin are on the boarding ramp, just a few steps up the tunnel!" The stewardess replied politely "I'm sorry sir, we have a precise timetable. The door is closed."
David did not give up, he raised his voice "I wish to talk to the pilot. It's just not fair, I need 30 seconds only. A Jew can't be without tefillin!" The passengers joined in, "What's the big deal, give him 30 seconds to get his thing." The pilot came out. "I'm sorry sir, you're not in charge here. With all due respect, we have to stay on schedule. Our airline has rules. Everyone runs to a precise schedule, all the airports depend on everyone operating by schedule." David did not give up. The argument became louder, just to the edge of respectful. It lasted many minutes. "I have to go back, I don't care if I can stay on the plane", cried David, "what do I have to do???". Finally, being badgered by David and by the supporting passengers the pilot gave in. "I'll have the Jetway brought back. The stewardess Ann will open the door for you. You'll have literally 30 seconds before we close the door and go."
David sprinted out the door down the Jetway. He reached the end, saw his tefillin and grabbed them. He turned and ran back to the plane...the door was closed and the Jetway already starting to pull back. He'd missed the flight, missed his business deal. David slumped away very disappointed. His flight missed, his transaction probably lost...United flight 175 never reached its original destination. Flight 175 was the hijacked plane that hit Tower II of the Twin Towers on 9/11. According to the carefully laid plans and evil genius of Bin Laden, two planes were strike the Twin Towers simultaneously. Experts say that in such a situation, the disaster would have been many times worse. Imagine the scale!
David's debate with the pilot lasted 18 minutes. 18 minutes of stubbornness for a mitzvah. 18 minutes exactly. In those 18 minutes thousands, tens of thousands, of people evacuated from Tower II because of the strike on Tower I and the extra time given before the strike on Tower II. Here is a story of Divine Providence. A young Jew stands by his mitzvah of tefillin, even at an embarrassing moment and even at the risk of losing a large sum of money. Myriads of people, Jewish and non-Jewish, were given their lives by the commitment to the mitzvah of tefillin of David Miller. The main thing is to do the will of G-d, without concern for personal desire.
As stated at the beginning, this story is not confirmed”…
but it came from respected Jewish rabbinic sources.