This past Tuesday, Delta Airlines announced that customers traveling throughout the continental United States will soon be offered the added convenience of broadband Wi-Fi access onboard the airline's fleet. This service will be available to customers for a minimal flat fee, and will enable travelers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops and PDAs, to access the internet, e-mail accounts, as well as SMS texting and instant messaging services.

In times past, communication was relegated to areas equipped with a landline. Time spent traveling – whether by land or air – was personal time. I remember when cell-phones first became popular, my father – a community rabbi who's on the phone all day and night – absolutely refused to consider getting one. "My time in the car," he would say, "is the only time when I get to think undisturbed by everyone and everything!" But the wheels of progress cannot be stopped, and eventually my father succumbed and joined the rest of civilization. Before long, the only plan that met his needs was one that included unlimited minutes... I'm not sure when he gets to think these days...

As network coverage areas slowly expanded, and as cell-phones – and then laptops, BlackBerrys and Palms – became standard personal accessories, it became increasingly difficult to ignore household and business responsibilities, no matter where a person found him or herself. But airplanes remained a peaceful oasis, the final holdout. Hours spent on a plane constituted a complete break with home and work (unless you happened to be on a plane equipped with a phone, and were willing to pay $36 per minute plus a $29.99 connection fee).

Well, looks like this will be coming to an end too. There will be no escape. You will be cruising at 40,000 feet and IMing your spouse, texting your secretary, and shooting off emails to your stockbroker—all while keeping track of your favorite team's score. The heavens will no longer be a haven.

We are currently in the Hebrew month of Av, when we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temples – both set ablaze on the 9th of this month – and our nation's nearly 2,000 year-long exile. Thousands of books wouldn't suffice to chronicle the suffering our people have endured during this time. As Jeremiah says (Lamentations 1:12), "Behold and see, is there any pain like my pain which has been dealt to me, with which G‑d saddened me on the day of His fierce anger?" Indeed, there is no need to burrow into our distant past. I need only speak to my grandmother – may she live and be well – who spent two years in Auschwitz; the stories she alone can recount would fill a library.

Indeed, I have vivid memories of Tisha b'Av in my father's synagogue; Holocaust survivors weeping as they read the Book of Lamentations and the elegies. They were mourning the loss of their parents and siblings, their friends and teachers.

But today many of us lead relatively happy lives. What is the meaning of Tisha b'Av for those of us lucky enough to be content with our jobs, have stable marriages, and lead relatively trouble-free lives? What if we don't feel the pain of exile? What if we happen to be on a proverbial plane soaring in a cloudless sky?

Well, now we have an answer. No matter how high we may be flying, we have no excuse to cut ourselves off from what's going on miles below. We must always maintain contact with those who aren't flying, those whose wings have been clipped by illness, a bad economy, or another misfortune—those who aren't as fortunate as we are. We must commiserate with them and, most importantly, we must always be ready to lend a helping ear and hand.

We are one nation. We mourn together. And one day very soon we will all celebrate together.

Note: Aside for commiserating with those less fortunate, in a spiritual sense, we are all equally exiled—and as such we need not look to others for a reason to lament our exiled state. For more on this idea, see Why We Mourn.