Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #321

Davening on an Airplane
Q:  Is it permissible to Daven with a Minyan on an airplane, or should each person Daven on their own in order not to disturb others?
A: It is permissible to Daven with a Minyan on condition that one coordinates it with the head of the airplane crew (Many Poskim write that it is forbidden to Daven with a Minyan if it disturbs others.  Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach [Halichot Shlomo p. 95.  Shut She'eirit Yosef of Ha-Rav Shlomo Wahrman 7:3], Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein [Shut Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:20] and Ha-Rav Ovadiah would Daven on his own and not together with a group so as not to disturb others, for fear of robbing another person's sleep. [Halachic Guide for the Passengers of El Al 9:1].  However, when Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg was asked about Davening with a Minyan on an airplane, he said one should, adding that he does it all the time.  While strictly speaking it might be permitted to pray at your seat, Rav Scheinberg prefers that one pray with a Minyan, but quietly in a way that doesn't disturb others).
Q: If I Daven in my seat, am I obligated to wear a Talit?  It is difficult to wrap it.
A: Yes, you are obligated to wear it.  Be careful, however, not to smack other passengers with your Tzitzit when putting it on.
Q: If I am Davening on my own, is it preferable to Daven Shemoneh Esrei while sitting or standing?
A: Standing, under three conditions: 1. It does not ruin your concentration.  2. Your eyes are not facing something which is immodest.  3. The "Fasten Your Seat Belt" sign is not on.
Q: If one is in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei and the "Fasten Your Seat Belt" sign lights up what should one do?

A: He should sit down and continue to Daven the Shemoneh Esrei in his seat. This is based on two reasons: 1. It is a case of a life-threatening situation. 2. Walking in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei without speaking is not considered an interruption. For example, if one is Davening the Shemoneh Esrei and a child is bothering him and he cannot concentrate, he can move to another place. Or if he is Davening by heart on Rosh Chodesh and cannot remember "Ya'ale Ve-Yavo," he can go and get a Siddur. Speaking is forbidden, but there is no problem of moving if there is a need (see Mishneh Berurah 104:2.  Piskei Teshuvot ibid. Shut Be'er Moshe 3:13.  Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein answers similarly since if one does not obey, there is a fear of perform a Mitzvah through a transgression and as a result, one does not fulfill his obligation.  Furthermore, it causes contempt for the Torah as well as a desecaration of Hashem's name.  The booklet of El Al regarding Halachot of air travel).