Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Saved by a Mitzvah

Here is an unbelievable story about how one mitzvah can truly save a person's life! We never know the power of one good deed and how standing up for the right thing can impact our own lives and the lives of others.

David Miller (name changed to protect privacy), an observant Jew, was at Logan Airport getting ready to board United Flight 175. He was going to LA on an important business trip and had to make this flight. A lot depended on it.

He boarded the plane and sat down as the doors closed.

Suddenly he remembered that he had left his tefillin (phylacteries--ritual boxes with straps worn by Jewish men in prayer) in the terminal boarding area. He politely asked the stewardess if he could go back and retrieve his tefillin, which were sitting just a few feet from the gate.

She told him that once the doors closed, no one was allowed off the plane. He asked to speak to the pilot to obtain special permission, but the pilot simply restated the policy.

David was not about to lose this precious mitzvah, or let the holy tefillin get lost, so, not knowing what else to do, he started screaming at the top of his lungs, "I am going to lose my tefillin!"

The crew asked him to be quiet, but he refused. He made such a tumult that the flight crew told him that they would let him off the plane, but even though it would only take about 90 seconds to run out, grab his tefillin, and run back - they were not going to wait for him.

No matter. David was not about to lose his tefillin, even if it caused him great inconvenience or cost his business a loss.

He left the plane, never to re-board.

This was United flight #175, the second plane to reach the World Trade Center. The date was September 11 2001.

David's devotion to a mitzvah saved his life, but the consequences of his actions do not end there.

Originally, the terrorists wanted both towers struck simultaneously to maximize the explosive carnage. Later it was learned that due to David's intransigence, the takeoff was delayed, causing a space of 18 minutes between the striking of the two towers.

The delay made it possible for thousands of people to escape alive from both buildings--because one Jew would not forsake his beloved tefillin!

This story is documented in "Even in the darkest moments" by Zeev Breier.


  1. wow this is am amazing story that buisness man was probaly so upset but now he sees the hashgacha pratis. if only we all saw what our deeds lead 2

  2. What an amazing story. Hashem works in such mysterious ways.

    I wanted to thank you for writing me on my blog. You really helped to clarify the current exile so that I really have a picture of why we are still in one.

    And thank you so much for explaining Od Yishama. I grew up in a secular home and am making up for so much not learned.

    Again, thank you.

    Hasya Ya'ara

  3. WOW! this is so so so AMAZING! this is -just so amaing! i never heard of this one before!
    Hashem does such great things like this every day-all we have to do is to open our eyes! seriously this might sound a bit funny but
    10x-literally i was about to fall down today by the steps-which never happened to me before-and every single time i caught my self by the banister! its so weird come to think of falling down so many times-in one day! But i guess that was just a sighn for me to say thank you to Hashem every single time!:)

  4. I love these stories! It's so amazing. And it's a good reminder that we never know what a mitzvah is doing for us when we do it!

  5. Anon-although we do not always get to see it, when we do see a small part of the big picture it strengthens us and helps us keep in mind that there is always a good reason for everything that happens!

    HY-thanks. I'm so happy I found your blog! It's amazing to see how much you want to still learn and Hashem will help you get there. May you have an easy time finding answers to all the questions you have and may you feel enriched and enlightened with every answer you get!

    liat-wow! You took that so well!!

    Rivki-that's right!

  6. wowowo... this is some story.. got some chills down my spine... amazing!!! our dear father works in such mysterious ways and we get upset and think 'Why did it have to be like this?" but really our dear father does everything for the good and in the end all works out fine! i luv hashem!!

  7. It never happened. check out flight 175 tefillin delay. Just another religious fairy tale.


You made it to the end of this post! What do you think about it?