The Gedolim trip - the facts - Updated
A lot has been made in the blogosphere about the trip by R' Steinman and the Gerrer Rebbe. I would like to clear up some the misconceptions that people have.
1. They flew first class to London on El Al. It is this flight that they requested that they not be served by female flight attendants.
2. El Al flies mostly 767's to London and therefore the number of first class seats is very limited.
3. The flight to London is relatively short about 4.5 hours.
4. Online, you can get a first class seat from Tel Aviv To London for $3100. If you buy 10 seats you get a pretty big discount and therefore the cost is nowhere near what was speculated.
5. They stopped in London to avoid problems with davening due to the trip to LA.
6. They flew British Air from London to LA. On this flight they did not request that there be no female flight attendants.
Rebbe of Gur and Rabbi Shteineman Cancel Canada Visit
A planned visit to Quebec by the Rebbe of the Gur Chassidic sect, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter, and Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteineman, both leading figures in the Hareidi-religious community in Israel, has been cancelled. The reason for the sudden cancellation is reportedly the plans by members of the Satmar Chassidic sect in Montreal to hold public demonstrations against the visiting rabbis.
Satmar Chassidim in Montreal have obtained a police permit for a protest scheduled for the day of the two Israeli rabbis' planned arrival in town. The spark for the Satmar opposition to the two Hareidi-religious rabbis is Rabbi Shteineman's support for the Tal Law and for the IDF's Nachal Hareidi unit, both of which signal formalized integration of Hareidi citizens into larger Israeli society.
The Rebbe of Gur, seeking to avoid the public disgrace of open conflict in the Jewish community, elected to cancel the visit, despite pleas from local rabbis that such a tactic would strengthen the extremist minority in the French Canadian city.
It is very sad that they had to cancel because of Satmar, what is the Jewish world coming to?