PHOTO: Orthodox Jewish Man Covers Himself In Plastic Bag On Plane
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April 11, 2013 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #608949YentaParticipant
PHOTO: Orthodox Jewish Man Covers Himself In Plastic Bag On Plane
Any good captions?April 11, 2013 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #945769
Supposedly he is following a Tshuva of Rav Elyshiv that a Cohen cannot fly over a cemetary and the only way around it is to make a personal OhelApril 11, 2013 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #945770
I believe that ZD is correct.April 11, 2013 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #945771FerdParticipant
zahavasdad makes things up once again.April 11, 2013 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #945772
Ferd are you questioning a Psak of Rav Elyshiv?April 11, 2013 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #945773
Halachically speaking, does airspace have a limit upward?April 11, 2013 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #945774FerdParticipant
First of all, please tell me where I can find this Psak from Rav Elyashiv. I have all 4 chalokim of Kovetz Teshuvos, and never saw this in my life. So let’s start with this: SHOW US THE PSAK.
Second of all, I am questioning how you can say he was “supposedly” doing something. Did you speak to this person? Were you there?
No, and No.
Once again, zahavasdad makes things up.April 11, 2013 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #945775
I know of some kohanim who do this (although I never specifically heard of this as a psak from R’ Elyashiv, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t).April 11, 2013 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #945776
Concerning the issur for a kohen to fly over a cemetary:
And Ferd, ZD wrote “supposedly”, not that he saw a teshuvah inside. I saw some website quoting Haaretz saying that R’ Elyashiv gave this eitzah. So if it was made up, it wasn’t made up by ZD.
I think it’s likely true.April 11, 2013 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #945777pou_bearMember
No matter what reason he had, in my humble opinion this is a CHILUL HASHEM and no I am not worried what the goyim think. If I was on an airplane only with religious Jews I would still very much be turned off by this mans actions.April 11, 2013 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #945778
Pou_bear, how do you define chillul Hashem? Anything which makes you feel uncomfortable?April 11, 2013 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #945779just my hapenceParticipant
Ferd – zdad isn’t making it up, my sister-in-law’s brother is the one who asked R’ Elyashiv the sheilo.April 11, 2013 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #945780
DaasYochid- Just a question then: When space travel becomes commonplace, will it be assur for Kohanim to partake because inevitably they will be over a cemetery at some point?April 11, 2013 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #945781
SF, maybe their space suits will be plastic baggies 😉 .
I don’t know the geometry of it; is it indeed likely that someone a light year away is directly above a cemetary? I would think not.April 11, 2013 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #945782iluvbeingjewishMember
completely wrong of this guy! Is he trying to put more antisemitism in this world?!?!April 11, 2013 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #945783WIYMember
“completely wrong of this guy! Is he trying to put more antisemitism in this world?!?!”
No, the person who took the picture and spread it is.April 11, 2013 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #945784
DaasYochid- Not for a long time, but passing over a cemetery for a split second is very likely.April 11, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #945785
SF: The Lashon of the Mishnah is “Ad Larakia”.
Ferd: Kovetz T’shuvos was not published by R’ Elyashiv and is far from all of his P’sakim.April 11, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #945786squeakParticipant
How is a plastic bag a tefach challal in any case? Could a cohen even get away with doing this? A proper box could do the trick but not a bag. I dont believe this picture is real anyway.April 11, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #945787ImanonovParticipant
The Israeli Yated (quoted on Kikar Hashabbat)tells the background to the story. It involved two people from Bne Brak who traveled to London shortly before Pesach to find support for their Kolel. The Thursday before Pesach they traveled back but their flight was diverted to Cyprus as the airspace over Israel was closed due to the departure of President Obama. They had to spend Shabbos in Cyprus and wanted to take the Motzoi shabbos flight back home. However that flight flies over a Jewish cemetery in Gush Dan and, as one of them is a Kohen, they contacted Rav Zilverstein shlitoh, son-in-law of Rav Eliashiv ztsl for advice.It was he who advised him to envelop himself in a plastic bag whilst the plane is over the cemetery, creating a “tzomid posil”.
As such this person is a Tzaddik for putting himself in such an embarrassing situation for the sake of Halocho. At the same time it is definitely not a Chilul HaShem, because following Halocho is never a Chilul, but rather a Kiddush, HaShem. If you feel uncomfortable with that, you are suffering from a Golus mentality and need to improve your hashkofos (and knowledge of Halocho).April 11, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm #945788
I think zahavasdad et al. are correct and the same thing is written on a kikar shabat article, that the passenger being a Cohen is the reason, the plane route was above Gush Dan cemetery, and that Rabbi Elyashiv paskened the plastic bag is OK. You can look up the article on kikarhashabat.
I heard that problems with cemeteries depend on the height and I recall being told it is a possible problem only with hot-air balloons and other low altitude sports, or, for commercial flights, only close to takeoff and landing, which looks like was the case here.April 11, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #945789locaMember
I wonder if he got hot under there…April 12, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am #945790
Imanonov: How do you know it’s really halacha and not a chumra or an unnecessarily strict interpretation of halacha rejected by most poskim? Just because something is super machmir doesn’t mean it’s actually correct.April 12, 2013 12:18 am at 12:18 am #945791ImaofthreeParticipant
Isn’t it dangerous to be in a plastic bag on an airplane? What if chas v’shalom there is some mishap, an accident or plane malfunction and you need to follow the instructions quickly?
I don’t know who took the picture of him but it wasn’t nice because now people are making fun.April 12, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am #945792shmulik1Member
you sound quite interesting, Imanonov is not selling some halacha taken out of his stomach, he quoted a well known psak of rav eliashiv zt”l that is going on for years already so what’s your problem?
since when do you have to prove on a psak that it’s not a chumrah i should hope that when you hear a chumrah you should then check if it’s not much more then a chumrah but a clear psak haloche.April 12, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am #945793SpiderJerusalemParticipant
The plastic offers a degree of halachic protection that the airtight metal tube doesn’t. How does that work? Who decided that metal is an improper barrier? A wooden wall is ok, a cement wall is ok, but a steel wall isn’t? Do the Gedolim have a degree in chemistry?April 12, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am #945794rebdonielMember
The airplane is an ohel zaruk, which makes it highly problematic to travel for kohanim. I see no grounds for leniency here.April 12, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am #945795Torah613TorahParticipant
Ferd: Did you read all four volumes? If so, I’m very impressed.April 12, 2013 12:57 am at 12:57 am #945796
Spider Jerusalem, you don’t understand the dinim of tum’ah, so you are making up your own distinctions and then pointing out how silly they sound, and then blaming it on the gedolim’s lack of a degree in chemistry.April 12, 2013 1:06 am at 1:06 am #945797
SJ: Learn Mishnayos Taharos (to start) and then ask questions.
Imanonov: Before telling others to expand their knowledge of Halachah, you might want to expand your own. Tzamid Pasil is only Shayach by a Kli Cheres.
I agree with Rebdoniel, though. I don’t see how this plastic bag helps. It’s also an Ohel Zaruk. And if you claim that it’s not Zaruk/Zaruk is Muttar in such a case, the plane itself should count. (Okay, so there’s one Tzad gained by using the plastic, but I highly doubt that gaining this Tzad according to some Shittos is worth the fact that it makes Halachah look like Kucha V’hitula.)
Edit: I just looked at the picture. There’s no Poseach Tefach in that bag. It cannot be to avoid any Tumah because being in that bag does absolutely nothing. There’s nothing Halachic about what he did. Either it was a mistake on this guy’s part in thinking that it helped or he’s just a nut.April 12, 2013 2:18 am at 2:18 am #945798
Sam, don’t blame Imanonov, he merely translated from kikarshabbat.April 12, 2013 2:22 am at 2:22 am #945799
Rd, are you saying there are no grounds for leniency even with the bag?April 12, 2013 2:32 am at 2:32 am #945800
There has to be a hole in that bag otherwise someone could die
I am sure it has to be a decent hole otherwise there isnt enough air
Perhaps that hole would make the Plastic bag not work anywayApril 12, 2013 2:32 am at 2:32 am #945801
Shmulik: Not everyone holds by rumors of what Rav Elyashiv paskened. Did he actually write down this psak? Or do we hear it second or third hand? Maybe one of his relatives expressed this opinion, but he has at least 1000 living descendents at this point, and they can’t all be gedolim.April 12, 2013 2:39 am at 2:39 am #945802
Does everyone hold that tumah ascends for thousands of feet? Even if they do, I find it hard to believe no major poskim would find grounds for leniency when we’re talking about a kohen flying through a spiral of tumah for a split second thousands of feet above the surface of the earth. Think of the 1/60th bitul rule in kashrus.April 12, 2013 2:43 am at 2:43 am #945803
Yytz, you are making up your own halachos.April 12, 2013 2:45 am at 2:45 am #945804
DY: I’m saying that. The bag is irrelevant and nonsensical. Reread my last post.
Yytz: Bitul has nothing to do with this, and Tumah is Tumah. I know Rav Schachter quotes a random T’shuvah that above the clouds is Muttar because Tumah only goes until the Rakia, and not above. But no one (not even Rav Schachter) actually holds like that.
Just to be clear, there are ways and reasons to be Meikil by an airplane (especially over a non-Jewish cemetery). This plastic bag cannot be one of them.April 12, 2013 3:04 am at 3:04 am #945805
DY: I’m saying that. The bag is irrelevant and nonsensical. Reread my last post.
Yes, I know you’re saying that, and you implied the RD was saying that as well, but I don’t think he was.
(especially over a non-Jewish cemetery)
The cemetery in this story was Jewish.April 12, 2013 3:26 am at 3:26 am #945806rebdonielMember
I don’t see what this bag would accomplish al pi halakha.
Ironically, the issue came up recently in the daf on Berachos 19 and Eruvin 31.
A proposal to have kohanim hermetically seal themselves was proposed in the past, but rejected, IIRC.
I don’t see how a bag can eliminate the issues with tuma involved.April 12, 2013 3:33 am at 3:33 am #945807147Participant
Boruch Shelo Ossani Kohen.
Meanwhile I am Don this man leChaf Zechus that he is doing it for medical reasons because he has an immune defficiency. ….. But how does he lay Tefillin on the aeroplane with this plastic covering?April 12, 2013 3:39 am at 3:39 am #945808
147, he’s in the bag for a very short amount of time.April 12, 2013 5:45 am at 5:45 am #945809
I think the bag had no hole. Also, flight attendants can help witn hermetically sealing (they have those devices that melt plastic and that some of us have in the kitchen). One can stay in such a sealed bag without much discomfort, let alone danger, for a good amount of minutes, well over the 2-3 minutes I am told they do. Someone I know saw that about ten years ago. I wonder if it’s unusual that Israeli air traffic routes a plane over the cemetery.
yytz is that what they teach in the organic macrobiotic community? That tumah is nullified in 60? Please, share with us the name of the person who suggested such a “brilliant” solution, is he the one you have already repeatedly mentioned here?April 12, 2013 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #945811
Daniela: Eh, I don’t eat macrobiotic, but nice attempt at a personal attack. If you read what I wrote carefully, you’ll see that I didn’t say that bitul applies to tumah.
I just meant to observe that there are ways to be lenient in various areas of halacha — and I’d be very surprised if most poskim side with the notion that accidentally being for a split second thousands of feet above a cemetery is absolutely forbidden for kohanim.
In fact, if this were really an accepted ruling, we’d see kohanim in plastic bags (or refusing to fly at all) all the time! Yet there are only a handful of kohanim who have ever done this.April 12, 2013 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #945812
Yytz, it was a big problem, but the routes were changed to accommodate kohanim. This was an unusual situation.April 12, 2013 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #945813
At one point does someone become a Chassid Shoteh?April 12, 2013 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #945814
DaasYochid, I’m sure that’s not the only cemetery near an airport frequently used by frum Jews. Also, are you saying the photograph is from before the situation was resolved? How do you know? Why would the photograph be coming out now, then?April 12, 2013 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #945815SpiderJerusalemParticipant
There is little that justifies this kind of insanity. If tumah is only up, how far up? The stratosphere? The ionosphere? The magnetosphere? Do Kohanim astronauts have to be sure they don’t orbit over a cemetary? What if a Kohein lands on the moon, does it travel there, or does he just have to worry about lunar cemetaries?
I get that driving a car through a cemetary isn’t okay because it’s not a fixed vessel but the airplane is tens of thousands of feet up. That’s miles away. On the ground, that kind of distance might put you outside of city limits, never mind outside cemetary grounds. I don’t buy Kanievsky’s psak at all, it’s stringent for the sake of being stringent. Not being a Kohein, I’ll never have to worry about it personally but it’s just insane.April 12, 2013 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #945816pou_bearMember
DaasYochid – I said turned off. The issur of creating a chillul Hashem is not only amongst non-Jews , its amongst your fellow brethren as well. The reason why I am saying this is because many times we have to do things that non-jews think are completely absurd and look down at us for(i.e.bris mila, davening in public) but in this case , it goes both ways and is obviously not halacha.If one wants to be machmir – let them do it in their own dalid amos.April 12, 2013 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #945817
YYtz you seem oblivious to the fact that this IS the leniency a genial posek came up with. A huge leniency that not everyone accepts, and which incidentally I believe to be valid only for pressurized aircrafts. On top of that you and other posters are trying to paint us as fools via reductio ad absurdum. Tumah is definitely a problem for cohanim at “thousands of feets” or a few hundred meters. It is not a problem at jets’ cruise altitude, on spacecrafts, or with the moon.
True, I take everything you write with many grains of salt. I don’t mind if you eat macrobiotic, this is a personal preference. I have issues about people advising (a very young person) before thinking twice. Some speak very well about that place and some others did not enjoy it (to use an euphemism); it is a controversial place for a girl or woman to be, and one should at least recommend to hear many opinions.April 12, 2013 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #945818
It is not about being machmir. It is a leniency and a big one.
To those who make jokes about the moon: perhaps you are unaware there are already lunar cemeteries, and a Jew is there. His name is Gene Shoemaker. You can look it up.
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