It’s still an Irish holiday.

You may recall that TSA people in San Diego in November inquired about my tzitzit by asking an odd question.

Flying back to New York from my winter vacation, I went through security in Austin with no problems. I gathered all my stuff up and went to sit down on a bench to put myself back together–shoes and belt back on, phone back in pocket, etc.

On my way to said bench, one guy, on his way to the checkpoint to start shift, asked, “What’s with the strings?”

“It’s a Jew thing,” I said.

He immediately looked really embarrassed and muttered something apologetic.

But I immediately regretted my answer and wished I had said, “It’s an Irish holiday.”

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2 responses to “It’s still an Irish holiday.

  1. While your response might have been a little on the flippant side, I wouldn’t feel too bad- they probably don’t see a ton of tzitzit at that airport, and now that guy at least has a vague understanding that they’re something Jewish people wear and might not stop someone else he sees wearing them. Or maybe he went home later and looked them up on Google. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (although the idea of a sudden rash of people thinking that anyone wearing tzitzit is Irish would be entertaining).

    Incidentally, I was at a mall here in Northern Virginia a few weeks back and saw a guy rocking a pair of tzitzit… with no kippah. I immediately thought of you- would’ve stopped to talk to him, but he looked like he was in a rush.

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