The 11th Floor

A Perpsective Overlooking Jerusalem, Israeli Life, and Talmud Torah

Saturday, September 15, 2007

“Go. Bye.”

Greetings 11thfloor readers! Wishing you all a sweet new year and a chatimah tovah, this will be a post-a-day week, we hope.

Our journey back to jerusalem finally began with a Jet Blue flight , which was fun and half an hour early into JFK. I recommend flying with them when you can.
Now the line at JFK had taken us two full hours to finally get to check-in counter- and we were there early. The line had formed at shortly after 7pm --for a flight due to leave at 12:20am. The airline recommends getting there 3 hours early, so naturally people were lined up 5 hours beforehand. Now the line stretched so far away from the check-in desks it seemed hard to believe that there were only 260 passengers on the plane. It doubled back upon itself so many times it cut off access to three other airlines including Kuwaiti Air, who welcome their first class and business passengers with fine rugs in the waiting area.

So after the interview by Israeli security staff, lifting, tagging, retagging, waiting in line and shuffling bags for two hours, we finally had our boarding passes, finished screening, and got ready to have the bags passed through the x-ray. This required standing in another line for 45 minutes. We finally got to the front of the line, and got ready to hoist the bags onto the conveyor for the X-ray. One look at us, and the Israeli security guy (certainly not TSA) takes the bags, gives them a swipe with a magic wand, and just says “Go. Bye.” No interviews, no searches, no question on the bag’s contents. No X-ray. It was almost comical. Other students were quizzed aggressively: “Yeshiva? But you are done with university! You are too old for yeshiva!” or to a young woman: “Girls don’t go to yeshiva!” But for us? “Go. Bye.” It made us wonder if we should have just skipped to the head of the line. Maybe next time…

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