While golfing, I took a quick turn to avoid hitting a chuck hole, and accidentally overturned my golf cart.
A very beautiful and attractive golfer, who lived right there on the edge of the golf course, heard the noise, came running out of her villa and shouted, "Are you okay?"
As I looked up I noticed she was wearing only a silky see through bath robe which was partially open, revealing what appeared to be a VERY nice figure.
"I'm okay I think," I replied as I pulled myself out from under the twisted cart.
She said, " Please follow me to my villa so I can clean and bandage that nasty scrape on your head, then you can rest a while, and I'll help you upright the cart later."
"That's mighty nice of you," I answered, but I don't think my wife will like me doing that!
"Oh, come on now," she insisted. " We need to see if you have any more scrapes and treat them if so". Well, after all, she was really pretty, and very, very persuasive.
Being sort of shaken and weak, I finally agreed, but repeated,
"I'm sure my wife won't like this."
We walked to her place just a 100 yards away, and after a couple of Scotch and waters and the bandaging, I thanked her and said, "I feel a lot better now, but I know my wife is going to be really upset, so I'd better go now."
"Don't be silly!" she said with a smile, letting her robe fall even more open. "Stay for a while. She won't know anything, and by the way, where is she?"
I replied, "Still under the cart, I guess."
Baruch C. Cohen on the El Al emergency landing in Canada-His mother was on the plane with him to be buried in Israel. Rabbi Wein's wife.
It was a typical El Al flight from JFK to Tel aviv. In fact it was anything but a typical El Al flight As is customary, the flight was delayed by more than an hour . Boarding at Terminal 4 was chaotic but that was expected for an El Al flight. If boarding and take off would be seamless, then it wouldn't be an El Al flight. But who cared. We were on our way for an. Uplifting trip to Yerushalayim for the Agudath Israel 18th Yarchei Kallah This one was special since the program was devoted to the Inyanim of Pekuach Nefesh and the Halachos of Refuah. This event was to be the largest Yarchei Kallah ever. We were looking forward to begin this week of Torah by greeting HaRav Chaim Kaniefsky and HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein at the Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital in Benei Barak Sunday evening. Our flight was scheduled to land at 5:15 PM and we were confident that we would ample time to join the kick-off session of the Yarchei Kallah. Indeed, ElAl flight 008 did not land in Israel on Sunday evening. truth be told flight 008 never landed in Israel Monday ever. flight 008 was diverted after two hours in flight to Goose Bay Canada. For the uninformed, Goose Bay is a former military airfield in a desolate area in northern Canada with, I'm told, has a pulsation of some 8,000 residents. without casting any dispersions on this plot of ice, snow and cold I'm unsure whether that number includes people, Eskimos, Polar Bears and Penguins.
That an emergency was at hand was self evident. Flight attendants quickly instructed that everyone immediately get into their seats and buckle up. A senior member of the crew emerged from the cockpit and distributed what was clearly an emergency manual of several pages to all El Al personnel. Each one read their instructions with serious intent, fear was apparent in their faces. All lights on the plane were put on and everyone was told to raise their window shades. My gues was that the pilot wanted all planes, and ships in the vicinity to have a clear view of a plane in distress. We were told quite candidly that a sensor gave indication that there was a fire in the hydronic system of the landing gears. We heard grinding sounds that may have been an attempt to lower the landing gears mid- flight hoping that the thrashing winds would extinguish any fire. The pilot then informed us that we were flying to the closet location with a runway, an army base in Canada. The crew was calm, the passengers (women in particular) began reciting Tehilim. We all feared the worst but we're confident in Yeshuas Hashem. We needed 50 minutes to reach this nearest airport at Goose Bay.
Goose Bay is so isolated that it's more than a 27 hour drive from Toronto It is so isolated that it doesn't even have a Chabad presence. The few inhabitants of Goose Bay quickly ran to open their non-existent gift shop. I'm told we were their first visitors since the last century.
We landed successfully on the iced runway with no other planes in sight, actually with no other signs of life. With the freezing weather outside, 25 degrees below zero, the pilot reassured us that we will remain in the heated airplane. They were now unsure whether it was a faulty sensor, but we weren't taking any chances. After several hours we were told that El Al had chartered a plan and on board were mechanics who would attend to the plane. After a few more hours we were told that El Al was sending a new 747 to which we would be transferred. Soon another rumor circulated that we the rescue plan was going to take us to Vancouver and then another plan was going to fly us to Israel. This rumor was soon discounted, fortunately.
On board in the cargo area was a nifteres of a famous and we'll known American Rav who now lives in Eretz Yisroel. His daughter sat right behind me on the plane. When I realized who she was and the reasons why she was on this flight I spoke with her and related my thanks and Hakoris HaTov to her father who just last year gave me his Haskama for my book ( a Mirrer in Manila) that will be published in a few weeks.
We remained on the iced grounds of Goose Bay for almost 13 hours before El Al's rescue plane arrived. Base on the time it took it seemed to me that this plane came from Tel Aviv rather than New York. Someone (me) reported that a dozen hungry Polar Bears were circling our plane. Food was never an issue although I understand that Canadian Jewry was mobilizing a food campaign for their American bretheran stranded on their continent. Even though El Al said there was no request on our reservation ( we did make the request and even had it confirmed ) for super kosher Glatt meals, my wife and I did not despair. I was comforted knowing that on any El Al flight with frum Jews you can be assured that there was ample bagels and cream cheese (cholov YIsroel ) to last us until Pesach.
After more than 13 hours on the ground we were finally told to bundle up, take our luggage so that 2 mini buses ( I assume the extent of all automotive vehicles in all of Goose Bay) were mobilized and would transfer us to the new plane. By then night fell and so did the temperature which was now far lower than the 25 degrees bellow zero from the day time. Since w just experienced a cold front in New York last week (10 degrees ) we all felt prepared. little did we know. It was no joke, many passengers, knowing that their destination was in Israel either left their winter coats at home or checked them in with their luggage. El Al blankets were requisitioned as everyone tried to get some protection. The 2 minibuses had to make dozens of trips between the 2 planes
At first we were going to disembark through the front and back exits of the plane Evidently the rear steps did not reach the ground and we all had to leave from the front doors further delaying our evacuation. Without gloves our hands stuck to the freezing steel rail bars . One elderly and disabled woman had to be carried and suffer frost bite. Many individuals exposed themselves for extended periods to the freezing cold as they helped the elderly and mothers with babies. Ultimately, we all reassembled on the rescue plane. It took another several hours ( we were never told why) before we finally left Goose Bay. I never really got to buy any souvenirs ( I'm sure there aren't any to be found) from Goose Bay. The only save and grave was that the flight time from Goose Bay to Tel Aviv was only another 7 and a half hours.
Most evident was the Kiddush Hashem exhibited by all the passengers. On any other flight, on any other airlines, passengers would certainly have become opposional and caused a major revolt after being held captive for so many hours on a disabled plane. All passengers displayed comaradie, dignity, patience and Hakores HaTov to the staff and crew of El Al Airlines. A group of 12th grade bochurim from HALB held an impromptu kumsitz which gave us all chisel.
A miracle on the Hudson it wasn't . But it was a miracle over Goose Bay for which we are all grateful. With Chasdei Hasem we were truly saved from a potentially devastating tradegy. Some say that the Zechus of the Nifteres provided us with divine protection and was instrumental in our yeshua. perhaps the 42 men ( and particularly their Noshim Tzidkonios) who were on board traveling to the Agudas Israel's Yarchei Kallah provided us with added z'chusim. Whatever the z'chus, Hashem protected us from a most frightening travel experience
The only question my son asked me when we finally reached Ben Gurian Airport was whether I bought each of them a case of Grey Goose. Well maybe next time around