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Praying passenger removed from flight

The Associated Press reported Thursday a man was removed from a plane after he went to the back of the plane to pray, while the plane was at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a witness and United Airlines said.

An Orthodox Jewish man, who had a black hat, long black hair and a long beard moved to the back of the plane where he began to pray. The Wednesday Night flight was being boarded and the flight attendants told the man to sit down, fellow passenger Ori Brafman said.

Two friends of the man said that he could not be interrupted because he was in the middle of praying, Brafman said.

By the time the man stopped praying guards had come to take him off the flight. The man said he wasn’t being rude and only wanted to finish his ritual, Brafman added.

Robin Urbanski, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, said the man was taken off the plane, but later put on a flight for San Francisco the following morning.

The New York Times reported Urbanski said that flights cannot depart until all passengers are in their seats and that passengers must follow the flight crew’s orders.

“Even when the doors of the plane are not closed, if the crew says you should take your seat, you have to, so they can proceed with preparing the flight for takeoff.? Urbanski said. (New York Times)

Ephraim Sherman, a Torah student at the Chabad at New York University, a Hasidic group, said that the man was probably saying the pray of the Amidah. Sherman said that it is an all-encompassing prayer that religious Jews say three times a day. He went on to add that the prayer lasts usually around three to four minutes and is not to be interrupted.