Articles by Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

Turkish Air and the Ma Nishtana

turkish airlines

Ma Nishtana halaila hazeh….? On all other nights we eat chometz or matza, but on this night we eat only matza….”

Those of us who live in Israel but have children and grandchildren living in chutz la’aretz, or vice versa, will certainly identify with my predicament. My daughter, who lives in New Jersey, was expecting right before Pesach, with the probability of a bris on erev Yom Tov or on Yom Tov itself. With Pesach coming on Sunday night, it meant that, should she have a boy, it would be impossible or at least very difficult for me to attend the bris. I admit to a lot of disappointment; up to that time, I had not missed a single bris of any of my (at the time, nine) grandsons, two of which involved my spending Shabbos in Flatbush, where my son lives with his family. But the timing of this baby’s arrival, two weeks before Pesach, complicated matters, particularly since I was scheduled to give a Shabbos Hagadol drasha in our neighborhood in Yerushalayim.

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From Haifa to Reykjavik


In the nearly 20 years since our aliyah, I have traveled to the US many times – generally combining business and pleasure by attending family simchas and fundraising in the same week. Since I now have two married children in the States, these visits have become more frequent, but they are also for the most part uneventful.

That word cannot be used to describe my most recent trip to the East Coast, scheduled for two weeks after Sukkos. The “fun” began on erev Sukkos, when my son forwarded me a news item that, due to runway repair construction at Ben Gurion Airport, all flights for 16 days in November would be flying over the Holon cemetery and thereby pose a problem for kohanim.

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