A horrible act alleged to be Jewish


Outrageously, a supposedly pious Orthodox Jewish man mistreated the wife of my deceased partner, my co-author on many Targum Onkelos books, Rabbi Dr. Stanley Wagner.

On December 4, 2015, his wife Renee Rabinowitz boarded an El Al plane in Newark, New Jersey, for a flight bound for Tel Aviv where she lives. She sat down and got comfortable in her assigned seat in business class. Then a bigoted man, who considers himself religious, mistreated her by demanding that she move because he does not want to sit next to a woman – God forbid! You can read the story in the article that was just published in the New York Times. The flight attendant agreed with the “religious man” and forced Renee to move.

Is this religion? Is this what the Torah teaches? Is this what God wants this pious man to do? Is this why the translator of Targum Onkelos spent years to render the Torah into Aramaic, the language spoken by Jews in the first millennium?

The Israel Religious Action Center will file a lawsuit against El Al next week. This will be 81 year-old Renee’s opportunity to tell the judge what it was like for her to be escorted from her seat, cane and all, for no other reason than the whim of a bigoted ultra-Orthodox passenger and a complicit flight attendant.