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One Tragedy Averted

One Tragedy Averted

A chilling Malaysia Air Flight 370 story.


This article originally appeared on here where you can see the actual emails.

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, 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:

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 of Shabbos 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. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those still missing.

This article originally appeared on here where you can see the actual emails.

March 11, 2014

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Visitor Comments: 24

(17) Beverly Kurtin, March 23, 2014 7:08 PM

Sick and tired

THERE IS ONLY ONE NEWS STORY: THE TRAGEDY. In the meantime, here in the United States, there are thousands of unreported stories, some local, some statewide and others WORLD WIDE.

Putin is attempting to undo the breakup of the USSR and the world is silent.


Please, someone, enough already. Yes, it was a tragedy but it is old information, the plane is under the water and will more than likely will never be found.


(16) SKT, March 20, 2014 6:12 PM

Problem with this article

My problem with this article is that it doesn't address the 200 who WERE on the plane who are most likely dead. So what was their "crime" against G-d? I guess they "deserved" to die since they weren't somehow saved in the same way. As other comments have noted, it's just not that black and white.

(15) tatyana, March 14, 2014 3:06 PM

I do believe in miricles

Beverly, your respond is so beatiful and passionat that Icouldn't pass it.I saw so many miricals in my life Baruch Hashem I'm abservant now. But even before I was saved by Almighty ONLY so many times. If we only listen and watch and take actions to protect others ... Love your neigbor, really love, we all share this planet! My heart is aching for those who are not safed...

(14) Rabbi Kalman Packouz, March 13, 2014 3:28 PM

Nice story, but ....

guy learned the wrong lesson. he learned not to fly Malaysian Airlines ... not that he should keep Shabbat.

In 1970 the Palestinians hijacked 3 planes to the Jordanian desert. Rav Hutner was on one of those planes.
He spent 3 weeks in the desert before the ordeal finished and the planes were blown up.

Oh ... did I forget to mention? He flew on a Sunday, not Shabbat!

God runs the world. How He does it, He knows. I wonder what Rav Hutner's response would have been to the email story.

Anonymous, March 17, 2014 12:05 PM

G-d's reward is not always visible to us

Keeping the mitzvot is a sacrifice. Sometimes HaShem rewards someone directly and visibly by keeping the Shabbat, as illustrated in this story, and sometimes one keeps the Shabbat with no "apparent" reward. This does not mean there will be no reward, it just means that the reward was not visible at that very moment. Maybe his sacrfice of keeping the Shabbat will save one of his children later. Maybe he himself was saved from a tremendous calamaity which "apparently" had nothing to do with his keeping the Shabbat. Maybe G-d has rewarded him or one of his children with a financial bracha or health but they did not attribute it to the keeping of shabbat. The reality is that one who keeps the mitzvot creates a heavenly bank account. The reward surely will come, but the when and how is decided by G-d. It will come when you or your children need it most ... G-d reserves it for the RIGHT time. If the rewards for the mitzvot were always as apparent as the story above, then who would not observe the mitzvot? would observing the mizvot be a sacrifce if everytime you observe it you would get a tremendous blessing? wound'nt every one give Mas'ser (Tithe) if all tithers would endup as millionaires? would there be any merit in keeping mitzvot if you would automatically be rewarded? G-d in his wisdom and perfect "economy" knows how to reward at the right time and the right form. check Psalm 41. One's giving Tsedakka could later even heal one's sickness. Psalm 41 (first 3 verses) G-d rewards one who gives tsedakka to the poor practically at the end of his life on his sick bed. G-d will heal him. Apparently there is no relation between the deed and the reward, but this does not mean that there is no reward because it is not apparent to us. At the end of the day, for those who love HaShem, keeping the mitzvot will mean deriving so much pleasure from them that the very act of performing the mitzvah in itself will be the reward.

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