The description of a comforting and positive encounter on a recent flight from Europe to the United States has gone viral. On a flight back from Israel after chaperoning a Mayanot Taglit-Birthright trip, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rochel Groner found herself in a unique position to help a fellow passenger. An hour into an eight-hour connecting flight from Europe—and after a three-hour delay before takeoff—a young boy with autism had a meltdown.

One hour into the 8 hour connecting flight from Europe, a young boy with autism had an absolute meltdown that showed no signs of slowing. Plane passengers kept quiet as the little guy continued his tirade… but it was clear that everyone was on edge.

It just so happens that the Groner’s run an organization called ZABS Place, an upscale thrift boutique shop and employment-training center for young adults with disabilities. After about 15 minutes of of the tantrum, Rochel walked over to the parents and asked if she could help.

Rochel reached out her hand, which the boy grabbed, and then took him to the bulkhead where she spent the next few hours comforting and playing with him.


The Groner’s believe that the recipe for a miracle is very simple indeed. All you need is a heart full of love and a helping hand for any wonderful thing to happen. And that certainly proved true on this day.


According to their Facebook post, most passengers on the flight watched in awe while Rochel effortlessly calmed the young child who seemed inconsolable.

“This is the most beautiful story I have heard about in a very long time. We need more Rochels in this world,” wrote another.

“While most of the passers-by looked on with awe,” wrote Bentzi Groner, “little did they know that for Rochel, this is her life. At Friendship Circle, we’re taught that if we just offer our hand in love and acceptance, miracles will follow.”

Her example just goes to show, you never know how far the ripples of your kindness will go.

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