This week, Chazan Zvi Greenheim was flying back from Miami to Tel Aviv on a direct flight in his capacity as chazan of the Beit Knesset Hagadol (Great Shul) in Tel Aviv. Greenheim had a conversation with a flight attendant throughout the trip that resulted in a unique Bar Mitzva celebration taking place in the skies.
“A nice cabin attendant came over and asked me to pray for a specific medical issue,” Greenheim recalled. When I questioned him about his ethnicity, he claimed to be a gentile.
When I questioned him about whether his mother was Jewish, he said no, but his mother’s mother was. In reality, a new Jew was discovered on the aircraft.
Greenheim asked him if he wanted to put on tefillin after explaining to him that he was halachically Jewish and obligated to observe mitzvot. Greenheim organized a simple Bar Mitzvah celebration for the man once he gave his consent.
In his closing remarks, he said, “Happy are we that we merited making a bar mitzvah for this dear Jew.”
במטוס בדרך חזרה ממימאי לתל אביב הדייל הנחמד הזה ניגש אליי וביקש שאני יתפלל עליו באיזה עניין רפואי.
ישר שאלתי אותו אם הוא יהודי ואמר שהוא נוצרי.
שאלתי אותו אם אמא שלו יהודיה ואמר שלא אבל אמא של אמא של אמא שלו יהודיה, בקיצור גילינו יהודי חדש.
פשוט מרגש!!! pic.twitter.com/HnIHRGs8iC
— שלמה פולק (@shlomopolak580) September 27, 2023