Today, the national Transportation Security Administration (TSA) declared a special travel period for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The travel period will begin approximately on Wednesday, September 30, 2009, and end on approximately on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. This policy will allow observant Jewish travelers to carry their Lulavim and Etrogim in airports and through security checkpoints. (During the Sukkot holiday, Jews utilize four species of plants as part of their daily prayer service. See Leviticus 23:40.)
The Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, approached TSA to issue this important policy.
“TSA works closely with members of the Jewish faith to ensure our security workforce is familiar with the religious holiday Sukkot, and is familiar with the prayer items that passengers may be traveling with,” said Kimberly Walton, Special Counselor for the Transportation Security Administration”.
Nathan Diament, public policy director of the Orthodox Union stated:
“The Orthodox Union is pleased to work with TSA on this important issue. This special travel period will allow observant Jews to travel freely during Sukkot while still being able to practice the laws of Lulav and Etrog that are crucial to the holiday’s observance. We commend TSA on all of their efforts.”