PHOTO: Orthodox Jewish Man Covers Himself In Plastic Bag On Plane
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April 12, 2013 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #945819
Pou__bear: Good point. I’m sure there are Jews who are very close to accepting the truth of Orthodoxy and becoming complete ba’alei teshuvah, who see something like this (or some other ultra-machmir practice), and get turned off for good. How are we supposed to convince people that Orthodox Judaism is the only legitimate continuation of traditional rabbinic Judaism, if the Orthodox get progressively more stringent with time? To outsiders, such things make Orthodoxy look like a new deviant sect obsessed with stringency.April 12, 2013 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #945820
Daniela, you’re upset that I even mentioned Bat Ayin, on a thread that was obviously a joke (and not started by a 14-year old at all)? I’m sure it’s not for everyone (as I suggested in my initial post on that thread), but I have no reason to believe that Bay Ayin is so problematic that it shouldn’t ever be mentioned on the Internet. Certainly, people should thoroughly investigate an institution before they go there. I never said otherwise.April 12, 2013 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #945821pou_bearMember
hear hearApril 12, 2013 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #945822danielaParticipant
ah, so it’s a public relations issue. I wonder if you people feel embarrassed that the Torah commands us something you find absurd (“what’s with this difficult concept of tuma, anyway”). If so, please by all means do whatever you see fit, the world is wide and there’s all sort of people including the frei, the reforms etc, just please don’t mislead others by falsely suggesting it is a “stringency”.April 12, 2013 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #945823rebdonielMember
My concern exactly. I see many things done in the name of stringency that don’t have adequate backing in the Gemara, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, etc.April 12, 2013 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #945824
Why is this only a problem in Israel?
Why isnt a problem in NY
There are quite a few cemetaries in Queens near LaGaurdia Airport and the airplanes go over them
There might be others elsewhere as well.April 12, 2013 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #945825
Daniela, for sure, if it’s actually the halacha, then we shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. But if this is the basic halacha that everyone accepts, as you claim, then why don’t we see kohanim in plastic suits all the time? I’m sure there are cemeteries within a short distance of some U.S. airports.
Hmmm, so you’d advise anyone with skeptical or uncomfortable initial reactions to what you consider to be the halacha to abandon Orthodoxy altogether? Or you’d rather see someone abandon Orthodoxy than disagree with you about whether a single halachic interpretation is unnecessarily strict or not? That doesn’t strike me as a good approach.April 12, 2013 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #945826
I’m not quite sure why i’m responding here.
It’s absolutely astounding how ignorant people are to basic tumah v’tahara issues.
1- as said before Tumah goes up to the Raki’ah (why some people think it stops at the clouds , not quite sure
2- the idea that it cant have a hole is false. 2a- Mukaf Tzamid Pesil can have holes, it’s a common misconception that it cant
2b – thats not even (IMHO) the issue here
3- the issue as discussed in MANY mishnayot in Ohalot is that something which is not mekabl tumah is Chotzetz befnei Hatumah
A hole if smaller then a tefach will not transmit tumah into the bag
4-plastic since it was not around at the time of the gemara is a mechloket achronim (similar to the tevilat kelim issue) if it’s mekabel tumah. the Kohanim that are prepared get something that is made out of something that definitly isn;t mekabel tumah
regardless i’m assuming he relies on a sfek sfeka for the plasticApril 12, 2013 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #945827aryeh111Participant
This is not Rav Elyashiv’s psak. Just the opposite. In the article below from 2001 he called it a “maaseh laytzonus”!
no linksApril 12, 2013 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #945828michaelwMember
I have no doubt that this individual was doing what he was told was right. That said, I’m an observant person and seeing this makes me question whether I should be less observant. Honestly. There is no way that Hashem intends us to wrap ourselves in plastic bags when we travel on airplanes.
Aside from causing us to be the object of ridicule amongst the nations to whom we are meant to be light, wrapping yourself tightly in plastic needlessly endangers your own life and also those of others around you, in the event of an air emergency. This itself is against halacha and should remove the plastic as a viable solution to the problem this man was trying to solve.
I am not as learned in our texts as many of the other posters…and while that is nothing to brag about, in this case it gives me enough distance to suggest we step back from the legalistic minutiae to realize what even we moderately learned individuals can see. That a cohen sealing himself in plastic during a flight is a bad idea all around.
P.S. Been on many flights out of NYC with haredeim flying over the many Jewish cemeteries near JFK and never once saw something like this.April 12, 2013 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #945829zaidy78Participant
Just to make clear, I don’t know the halochos of tuma, I just have a question for those who do.
Lets say that the actual airplane is not an ohel by itself because it is an Ohel Zaruk (as noted above, I don’t begin to know the sugya), and the plastic bag stops the tuma because of “tzomid posil” (as noted above). When one is sitting in the airplane there are many different layers between the aircraft outer metal wall and the plastic interior. Why can’t the platic (or fiberglass or whatever it is) also make the “tzomid posil”? There are layes and layers of insulation, wiring, airducts, etc, in those walls, that are (IMHO) not part of the Ohel Zaruk.
Again, I maybe wrong. I never learned the sugya. Maybe someone who did, can enlighten us all.April 12, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #945830
Zaidy: That’s why this is a joke. Any moving Ohel is an Ohel Zaruk. If the bag works, then the plane works. And if the plane doesn’t work, then the bag doesn’t work. Also, the concept of Tzamid Pasil doesn’t apply here at all. Whoever mentioned that doesn’t know much about Tumah and Taharah.April 12, 2013 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #945831
Read what i wrote, Tzomid Posil doesn;t apply here
what does is that something that CAN NOT be mekabel tumah is chotzetz befnei hatuma
something that is mekabel tumah is NOT chotzetz no matter how many layers
Metal isn;t chotzetz (now if they were flying the new planes made of out of the composite material maybe it would be different)April 12, 2013 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #945832midwesternerParticipant
I have only one word to say on this entire debate.
PHOTOSHOP!!!!April 12, 2013 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #945833
So why is it a problem in Israel , but not a problem at LaGaurdia Airport, Plenty of Charedim use LaGauadia Airport (It might be a problem at JFK too, but im not sure) . The Flight patterns over LGA go right over several jewish cemetariesApril 12, 2013 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #945834TheGoqParticipant
Midwesterner no one could dream up such a thing to photoshop its so weird that it has to be real.April 12, 2013 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #945835FerdParticipant
Torah613Torah – I read most of all 4 volumes, but I checked the list index before I posted my comment, and there is no such Teshuva.
And for the record to Sam2 who said that Rav Elyashiv did not write Kovetz Teshuvos, YES HE DID.
Please check things before you make a fool out of yourself.
Now back to zahavasdad: Besides for some ani-semitic, self-hating Jewish website (Haaretz) who said this in the name of Rav Elyashiv, PROVE THAT HE PASKENED THIS.
No-one has any proof of this.
So once again, you made things up.April 12, 2013 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #945836
Definition of I Made things up
I created a work of fiction and passed it to Haaretz, the Gothimist , All the “anti-Semeic ” Blogs and the many other posters who who also seemed to think it was based on a Tshuva by Rav Elyshiv (or maybe his son as suggested)
I am so amazing, Its amazing all the falsehoods one anonymous poster can come up with on a blogApril 12, 2013 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #945837
Limey: I don’t think being Chotzetz Bifnei Hatumah helps here. Because he’s still in an Ohel. The bag isn’t Mevatel the Ohel Zaruk that’s Meivi Es Hatumah on him.
Ferd: I said he didn’t publish it. He didn’t. Look at the first few pages. Someone else had access to his letters and published those that he thought were useful (he didn’t publish all of them; in fact, some of them he only published parts of). I have heard that R’ Elyashiv reviewed the first 3 Chalakim after they were published but I don’t think I saw that written anywhere. The fourth Chelek, the one that came out shortly after R’ Elyashiv passed away, probably could not have been reviewed by him. Also, look at the first Shailah (from the Steipler) in the fourth Chelek. The publisher clearly had a sense of humor.April 12, 2013 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #945838
Sam, a Tzamid Passil is with any substance that is Chotzetz from Tuma. Plastic is not a Keli, it might be Pshutei Keili, if it was a sheet and not a bag, and it might not be Mekabel Tuma at all, like Limey said.
The question I have is that an Ohel Zaruk is not an Ohel. We know this by a bird carrying Tuma, that it is not Maahil. Why don’t we apply the same to the Kohen himself, that he is not being Maahil on the Tuma.
As far as other places, this problem is only where we know for a fact that he is flying directly over Jewish graves.
Ad Larakiya is a good theorhetical discussion, sofar. There isn’t much to go by so we can’t really be Meikel with Dimyonos (???? ???? ????? ???? ????). But we can have fun speculating if the planet has a planetary Techum, perhaps a Mehalech of 500 years. This is 10 Parsa a day multiplied by 365*500. That’s 7,300,000 Mil, whatever that comes out to.
Another possibility is as long as you feel the pull of Earth’s gravity. Or perhaps from when you start to see the world as a Kadur. Maybe we can draw the line at the level where the rocket has to come at the critical angle, since that is like a layer, the Kipa.April 12, 2013 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #945839
HaLeiVi: Are you sure? I’m 99% positive that the Gemara says a Tzamid Passil is only Matzil a Kli Cheres, but I guess I could be wrong. You have a source?April 13, 2013 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #945840The Kanoi Next DoorMember
“There is little that justifies this kind of insanity.”
See, us crazy ultra-Orthodox Jews believe in this thing called “halacha”, which we follow no matter what. However, there are other streams of so-called-Judaism may deviate from the halacha if they deside it looks “insane”; try Reform.
“I don’t buy Kanievsky’s psak at all, it’s stringent for the sake of being stringent.”
Mods, don’t you think that accusing “Kanievsky” of completely making up halachos is well over the line of an acceptable comment?
“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)”
So according to your definition of Chillul Hashem (which I’d love to see a source for, by the way), why isn’t bris mila and davening indeed a Chillul Hashem?
“but in this case , it goes both ways and is obviously not halacha.”
Says you. Apparently, R’ Elyashiv disagrees.
“I’m sure there are Jews who are very close to accepting the truth of Orthodoxy and becoming complete ba’alei teshuvah, who see something like this (or some other ultra-machmir practice), and get turned off for good.”
First of all, basing your opinion entirely on something that you merely assume is true does not make for a very convincing argument. (The same goes for your previous statement “I find it hard to believe no major poskim would find grounds for leniency”.)
Secondly, we do not believe in whitewashing Judaism for the sake of PR. Our job is to keep the Halacha as best as we can, not to change it to make it palatable to the world.
“I have no doubt that this individual was doing what he was told was right. That said, I’m an observant person and seeing this makes me question whether I should be less observant. Honestly. There is no way that Hashem intends us to wrap ourselves in plastic bags when we travel on airplanes.”
If you’ll excuse me for being so blunt, when did Hashem tell you exactly what He does and doesn’t want?
“Aside from causing us to be the object of ridicule amongst the nations to whom we are meant to be light”
Would you similarly advocate that we drop our objections to homosexuality, abortion, etc. due to the nations’ ridicule?
“So why is it a problem in Israel , but not a problem at LaGaurdia Airport, Plenty of Charedim use LaGauadia Airport (It might be a problem at JFK too, but im not sure) .”
According to this shita, it very well might be. However, Chareidim are not made in molds and are not necessarily in lockstep on every issue; some follow other shittos.April 14, 2013 1:01 am at 1:01 am #945841
Sam, the reason why the passuk of tzamid pasil is only said to refer to cheres is because it is mekabel tum’ah on the inside, not the outside. To be matzil, though, something which is not mekabel tum’ah at all would also be effective. An example of something not mekabel tum’ah would be a plastic bag larger than 40 sa’ah.April 14, 2013 3:30 am at 3:30 am #945842Dont get me wrongMember
ISRAEL: El Al tells Gothamist a viral pic showing Kohen
wrapped in plastic on a plane is 10 yrs old & El Al no
longer flies over cemeteries.April 14, 2013 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm #945843NaftushMember
Kanoi next door remarks: “See, us crazy ultra-Orthodox Jews believe in this thing called ‘halacha’, which we follow no matter what.” Is this so? Halacha generally comes with reams of fine print for situations in which “no matter what” creates more problems than it solves. An example is the principle of bending rules when not doing so puts Torah to ridicule. This aside, as a hediot, I doubt the possibility of maintaining a cohen’s purity when all cohanim today are only behezkat cohanim and are presumed to be tameh to begin with.April 14, 2013 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #945844
An example is the principle of bending rules when not doing so puts Torah to ridicule.
You’re assuming that there exists a legitimate loophole for Kohanim to fly over a cemetary. As a hedyot, you shouldn’t be doing that.
Kohanim (even those without a shtar yichus) are proscribed from entering or passing over a cemetary even if they are previously tamei.April 14, 2013 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm #945845
Is it possible the man is simply a Chassid Shoteh and misunderstood what Rav Elyshiv said.
Its certainly possible that Rav Elyshiv said the plane is not good enough to avoid tumah and some sort of personal ohel is needed. Its also possible that he did not mean covering oneself in a plastic bag and that was this individuals “solution”.April 14, 2013 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #945846
It’s also possible that this is a legitimate solution.April 14, 2013 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #945847
So, it’s possible that the plane is a problem for the Cohen, and a bag might help, but no way is that the solution?
Remember, the guy didn’t ask for his picture to be taken, and he wasn’t holding by travelling by boat, and this helps.
The only thing that I still don’t understand is what I asked earlier, if a bird carrying a Kezayis Mes is not Maahil, bacause it is an Ohel Zaruk, why is the Cohen, when he is Zaruk, considered Maahil?April 14, 2013 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #945848
why is the Cohen, when he is Zaruk, considered Maahil?
Who says he is? He just needs something to be matzil him from the tum’ah of the beis hakvoros.April 14, 2013 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #945849
Are you even willing to consider the idea of Chassid Shoteh.
What would someone have to do to be a Chassid Shoteh?April 14, 2013 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #945850shmoolik 1Participant
The Kohen who flew in a bag was instructed by his Rav Rav Yosef Bruk – Rosh Yeshiva Netivot Olam
he is a former IDF Air Force officer and a B TApril 14, 2013 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm #945851
Are you even willing to consider the idea of Chassid Shoteh.
Not in this case.
What would someone have to do to be a Chassid Shoteh?
Not save a drowning woman for “tznius” reasons.
Wait until after removing his tefillin before jumping in the water to save a drowning child.
Fast every day, weakening himself so that he can’t properly daven and learn and do other mitzvos.April 14, 2013 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #945852
When one sits in a Succah when its Pouring, Its considered to be a Chassid Shoteh. So one doesnt have to go to such extremities to be a Chassid Shoteh
Many here do think this is a Chilul hashem are saying this man is a Chassid Shoteh. Its certainly within Halacha to say someone is a Chassid Shoteh especially in a case where most agree this was a little extremeApril 14, 2013 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #945853MammeleParticipant
el al is saying that this photo may be 10 years old, yet the whole world is up with this. Maybe we are the fools?
On another note there was a photo circulating of a woman shopping chol hamoad, talking on her cell phone, wrapped in what else – a plastic bag. (I have no clue how it remained useful, perhaps she poked some holes.) At which point do we care more about others may think – and nowadays publish – versus what we believe to be right?April 14, 2013 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #945854twistedParticipant
There are cases in halahcha where we are don plastic as k’ma she’eino, and the case of Eruvin 31 for the cemetery itself is mukaf mehitzot, lav davka a top or a bottom, and not hermetically sealed. Could be that is so he is not maahil to the sides, and it would not work in a bais hapras. Whether this chaver was right or wrong, he was mezake the oilam to do some iyyun on the daf. Close to BGA there is the Givat shaul cemetery, which is big, and Yarkon which is tremendous. We can also count on some bodies in the Hiriya dump, as we have here, mobsters that anyone could be proud of, nusach Meyer Lansky. In NY, I am nearly positive that some flight paths of JFK pass over Beth David and Montefiore. This is not a new issue, and this ‘psak apparently is. Why?April 14, 2013 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #945855
When one sits in a Succah when its Pouring, Its considered to be a Chassid Shoteh.
I’ve seen him called a hedyot.
Many here do think this is a Chilul hashem are saying this man is a Chassid Shoteh.
So what? They’re mistaken.
Its certainly within Halacha to say someone is a Chassid Shoteh especially in a case where most agree this was a little extreme
It’s odd looking, yes, but extreme? Do you have a better eitzah?April 14, 2013 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #945856
This is not a new issue, and this ‘psak apparently is. Why?
The issue is supposed to be taken care of, as El Al now avoids cemetaries in their flight plans. It’s not a new p’sak or eitzah. I know about this for years; I know someone who did it.April 14, 2013 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #945857
The reason i heard why LGA and JFK aren;t problems is because it’s a safek if they ever fly over Jewish cemeteries
in Israel it was a Vadai (that the flight path was over the cemetery rather then populated area;s because of noise pollution)
by the way that would throw out the argument that its higher then the rekia because on landing approach they are much lower then the cloudsApril 14, 2013 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #945858
DY, The Cohen becomes Taamei through being Maahil, which is a kind of Magga. If he is not being Maahil on the Kever how does he become Tamei through it?
Zdad, Chosid mean someone doing something that is not the Din. Chosid Shotte is someone doing more than the Din requires while losing out what he is required. Yarei Shamayim is someone who follows Halacha, to the T. There is no such title as Yarei Shamayim Shotte, but there is a title as Boor Yerei Chet, which is someone who doesn’t know the Halacha.
Calling something extreme doesn’t make it unnecessary. Besides, if you think about it, many Halachos are extreme, it’s just that you are used to them. Isn’t it extreme to build a Succah and eat (and sleep) there for seven days? You wouldn’t refrain from putting on Tefillin if you are on a 24 hour flight — which can make headlines. Hilchos Nida are really exreme stuff and so is Shabbos.
Those jokes about him having some highly contagious disease, what if they were true? Would it also be extreme or I’m sure you can find some undergraduate doctor that theorized that the low pressure of the cabin will inhibit the bacteria from flowing about.
It’s not like there’s a mitzva to wear a bag. A situation came up where this was the only viable solution. Funny situations bring funnier solutions. What if you were invited to a dinner with the queen and they change seats for every course, so that you get to meat as many peole as possible, but since you keep Kosher and you had to bring along your own dishes you land up walking around the hall carrying dishes? Chillel Hashem or Kiddush Hashem?
There is no Mitzva to carry dishes, but a funny situation came up and tested you. Even though it is embarrassing, you gotta do what you gotta do.April 14, 2013 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #945859
He is over a kever, and needs an ohel to not become tamei, but an ohel zaruk doesn’t work. Eruvin 30b.April 14, 2013 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #945860
I wear a kipa on this head of mine.
I daven Mincha at the proper time.
and by Havdalah in my pockets I put wine
I shake a lulav, which my neighbors think insane
I like to bury my gefilte fish in chrein
because the Torah tells me to I do that too,
I do the strangest things a man could ever do,
Oh there are times when I where sneakers with my suit
and I must confess that it looks rather cute
‘Cause I am a Jew I do that too.
Oh once a year I twirl a chicken over my head
because the Torah tells me to I do that too,
I do the strangest things a man could ever do,
Oh, once a month I go outside and bless the moon
and once a year I have to eat all afternoon
and then eat matzah till I have no strength to chew
then I eat horseradish until I am turning blue
because the Torah tells me to I do that too,
I do the strangest things a man could ever do.
by Country YossiApril 14, 2013 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #945861The Kanoi Next DoorMember
“Halacha generally comes with reams of fine print for situations in which “no matter what” creates more problems than it solves. An example is the principle of bending rules when not doing so puts Torah to ridicule.”
If you have a source for that, I’ll take it seriously. Otherwise, I’m gonna assume you made it up.
“Many here do think this is a Chilul hashem are saying this man is a Chassid Shoteh.”
Many people, but no sources. Halacha is not decided by popular vote. Stop making up Halachos.April 14, 2013 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #945862danielaParticipant
It is interesting that the photo is about 10 years old, in those days there was the 2nd intifada and disruption to air traffic. Cyprus air space and Larnaca airport were highly overcrowded as well (stopover and refueling for foreign airlines that still flied to TLV were moved there) which had a domino effect in addition to the route modifications for security reasons.
My guess is that there is no problem elsewhere, because there are not that many Jewish cemeteries which are close to approach corridors, El Al probably avoids them as policy, and in the very rare case an observant Cohen is flying another airline at an airport where this is a concern (some mentioned La Guardia, which sounds possible) he will ask before check-in. Personnel are helpful with these issues, why shouldn’t they be helpful to a paying customer? Ground desk is there to help passengers give away more money to the airline, why should they not assist him and if requested, reschedule him, no matter how wierd his reasons?
I would think possibly this passenger did not think of the problem (a problem likely connected to disruption in Israeli airspace which was a constant of 2002-2003) and boarded the flight, realizing the problem after takeoff, maybe while looking at the flight route on the entertainment screen. At that point perhaps he did not know what to do and may have asked staff in the cabin, and the cockpit called the ground on his behalf, relayed the answer to the passenger, and bagged himself he got.
Those of us who fly regularly see all sort of wierd people doing wierd things, so many of them that wierdness hardly gets noticed. What I deduce from this fact, is that the world is huge and populated by many different people with different outlooks. What others deduce is that everyone has a right to be themselves, except for the “ghetto jews” who give a bad name to (insert here whatever you prefer). I can’t accept this. Did he made himself ridiculous? I don’t think he did, but – whatever – people are welcome to think so, if they must. Did he make someone else ridiculous? Someone else! Seems to me that statement is ridiculous, actually, too ridiculous to be debated.April 14, 2013 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #945863mewhoParticipant
on VIN today it says the picture is 10 years oldApril 14, 2013 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #945864
TKND: There are several times in Gemara and Poskim where Chumros are to be avoided because it looks like Kucha V’hitula. (The first one that comes to mind is a Sha’ar Hatziyun that says that one should keep all 5 Inuyim on a minor fast if it’s not a Sha’as Shalom in the world, but to still wear shoes because that looks like a mockery.)April 14, 2013 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #945865WIYMember
Who’s psak is this person relying on by plastic bagging it?April 14, 2013 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #945866
Sam, why is this a chumra?April 14, 2013 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #945867
DY: I think because it doesn’t do anything. I’m not holding more in Taharos so I’ll have to look into it more.
WIY: I have no idea. A poster here gave a name earlier, for whatever that’s worth.April 14, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #945868
Sam2, then it’s a kula!
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