web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


'HOLY PLASTIC!'

‘Plastic Bag’ Airplane Passenger a Kohen Staying Pure?

Look up in the sky? Is It a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Plastic Man – the Orthodox Jew who wrapped himself in plastic on an airplane, apparently because he is a very scrupulous Kohen.
plastic-man-on-airplane

An Orthodox Jewish man, wrapped in a plastic bag in his airline seat, apparently did so because he was probably a Kohen who went to extreme lengths to make sure he would not be ritually impure if the plane flew over a Jewish cemetery.

Kohenim are prohibited from coming into contact with dead bodies, and many rabbis have taken the strict opinion that a Kohen may not ride in a plane if he knows ahead of time that it will fly directly over a Jewish cemetery. Many have ruled that if does not know of the flight plan, he may ride in the airplane.

El Al once agreed to change a fight trajectory to avoid flying over a cemetery.

The man wrapped in plastic, whose photograph first appeared on the Redditor site and later on the Gothamist site, apparently did not want to take any chances. By covering himself in plastic, he established a separation between him and impurities.

However, since he arrived at his destination safe and sound, it can be assumed there was a hole in the plastic bag so he could breathe.

Some readers of Redditor suggested that “plastic man” was making sure he would not come into contact with the woman sitting behind him, but that is doubtful since it is unlikely he carried a plastic covering “just in case.”

Or maybe he simply wanted some attention.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

27 Responses to “‘Plastic Bag’ Airplane Passenger a Kohen Staying Pure?”

  1. Lisa Liel says:

    See, and I thought it was a life-sized Hassid doll.

  2. Lisa Liel says:

    See, and I thought it was a life-sized Hassid doll.

  3. Josh Backon says:

    But these are gentile cemetaries ! See Yoreh Deah Siman 372 and Chelkat Yaakov I Siman 26 based on the Shach YD 372 s"k bet. Also Iggrot Moshe YD II 166. There is a klal: safek tumah bi'reshut ha'rabbim mutar. And here we're dealing with a POSSIBLE flight over a gentile cemetary. And even with a Jewish cemetary it's an issur d'rabbanan. The chilul hashem these idiots caused is much greater.

  4. Daniel Rosen says:

    If the insight in the article is based on a "probably" then how is this news? Does the writer know the facts of the story? The provenance of the picture? Has he interviewed those involved? Why is this a news story if it is conjecture? Is the article about religious experts who have issued rulings condoning or dondemning it? Is it an expose about the practices of El Al? I wouldn't know — I don't know what airline the guy in the picture is flying. Guess work is not journalism.

  5. Yehudis Gross says:

    How does he breathe?

  6. Raizy Fogel says:

    sorry, the picture doesn't look real, looks like a computer trick… stupid!

  7. Debbie Lee Burton says:

    I'm thinking about all those plastic bags that have warnings about keeping them away from children who might put it over their head and suffocate themselves. Now large bags will have to add warnings about adult Chasidim using them this way. I wonder how long a person can be in a bag before it is a health risk.

  8. Peter W. Singer says:

    This is what I would call a schmuck.

  9. Peter W. Singer says:

    This is what I would call a schmuck.

  10. Peter W. Singer says:

    This is what I would call a schmuck.

  11. Peter W. Singer says:

    Looks to me like a used body bag from the morgue.

  12. Kent Persson says:

    The fuselage of the aircraft ought to provide far better shielding agains Jewish cemeteries than a plastic bag with air holes.

  13. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Maybe there was a dead body on the plane. I have seen a casket put in first class and not in the bagage area. Only the family of that person sat in first class. More needs to be investigated and reported on this matter and not leave it to guess work as Daniel Rosen has stated otherwise an article like this opens people's mouths to Lashon Harah.

  14. Josh- go learn what "Hillul Hashem" is and what it is not. When it is an actual sin then it is a Hillul Hashem, when their is no sin it is not a Hillul Hashem. You also need to see how to talk about others and perhaps you need to make repentance in that regards before pointing the finger.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Has the "reporter" verified this story. The picture looks photo-shopped to me.

  16. The airplane should be adequate protection for the Kohen (i.e., the Rambam/Ramban was wrong and so are the poskim following him). The theory being followed by the poskim is that there is a form of contamination emitting from dead people that issues straight up into the sky. Apparently, one solution put forth is that concrete siding and a concrete lid can block this "contamination" from affecting the Kohen's ritual purity. When the Rambam thought of a vehicle passinf over a cemetery, he thought of something like a movable tent – a shelter over the ground, with flaps that might open and floorboards that, perhaps, have cracks. Now, apparently, this contamination goes straight up (and, according to those poskim, at least to 5000 feet). An airplane is pretty tightly built. It is a sturdy structure with a pressurized air cabin. There is an air intake, but it is indirect. So how would the contamination get in? Is the air intake at the exact bottom of the plane? More than likely, those Kohen get two or three sheets of metal, a carpet, a whole bunch of luggage, and their clothes (and airline seat) between them and this supposed contamination. Not to mention at least 5,000 feet of air (and, at cruising height, 35,000 feet). So what's the problem?

  17. The impurity goes straight up, like a laser, and bangs into the side of the plane. It stops there, so there's no need for plastic. The frumma are being silly.

  18. Junior Bear says:

    So, did he have his own air tank too. Wouldn't a breathing hole in the plastic still allow contamination under his thinking?

  19. Grace Acosta says:

    Considering how many times I get a cold or flu when flying, he may actually have the right idea! Still, taking Airborne during the flight is a bit less attention grabbing.

  20. It baffles me that no one seems to think this may possibly shed a very negative light on Jews…. Hello! Hillul Hashem much!?

  21. Gary Bennell says:

    The human condom… is this bloke for real?

  22. Angelina Ross says:

    um…I'm assuming he poked air holes in the bag so wouldn't that be letting in the impurities he's trying to protect himself from? I'm trying to apply logic to crazy again my bad!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Damn.. these fundamentalist Muslims… err wait…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Damn.. these fundamentalist Muslims… err wait…

  25. Anonymous says:

    What does he breathe ?!!

  26. bobbomo says:

    Monty Python could not have done better.

  27. Batsheva Bat-Avraham says:

    I also figured the airplane would be sufficient protection for the Kohen. What do I know?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest News Stories
Actor Leonard Nimoy in 1967, who was best known for his role as Mr. Spock in the iconic 1960s television series "Star Trek," passed away at age 83 on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, 83, “lived long and prospered” but on Friday moved on to explore the Next World.

18,000 Iranian Centrifuges

Iran already has enough centrifuges for a nuclear weapon.

Underground tunnel found near the Egyptian border. Archive photo.

Learning lessons from Protective Edge, Israel is building an underground training field, and will train special units in tunnel warfare.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority Director-General Saul Goldstein at the inauguration of the new Israel Bike Trail's southern segment this week.

The unique desert landscape that covers large parts of Israel allow for its positioning as a leading destination for cyclists, with a comfortable climate year-round and spectacular desert scenery.

Once again al Quds’ Said Arikat used the State Dept. Briefing room to slander Israel with false “facts.”

“If no one is infallible, how is it possible that Netanyahu in his opposition to a potential Iran deal is wrong and you guys are all right?”

US Intelligence Chief Says ISIS ‘low priority’ for Turkey.

Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews attend the wedding of the granddaughter of the rabbi of the ultra orthodox Jewish Kretchnif dynasty in Kiryat Tsanz, Netanya.

Kerry not only is evading Netanyahu but also is trying to upstage him.

House Speaker John Boehner asserts next week’s speech to Congress by Israeli PM Netanyahu won’t hurt US-Israel relations.

Jordan and Israel signed an historic agreement Thursday to implement the Red Sea-Dead Sea rescue pipeline project.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power will represent the Obama administration at AIPAC next week.

A NYC jury has convicted Al Qaeda’s ‘minister of communications’ on charges connected to the 1998 bombing of a US embassy in East Africa.

Netanyahu to meet with bipartisan congressional leadership before he addresses the joint session of Congress on March 3.

Jihadi John, the British beheader in Daesh-land (Islamic State) has been tentatively identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a Brit, born in Kuwait, who grew up in West London and has a degree in computer programming. His former friends who have identified him, and are positive its him.

An Arab tried to stab an IDF soldier at the Gush Etzion junction on Thursday evening.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges

Iran already has enough centrifuges for a nuclear weapon.

President Barack Obama.

“If no one is infallible, how is it possible that Netanyahu in his opposition to a potential Iran deal is wrong and you guys are all right?”

US Intelligence Chief Says ISIS ‘low priority’ for Turkey.

Kerry not only is evading Netanyahu but also is trying to upstage him.

The survey also revealed that 52 percent of the respondents have an unfavorable view of the president.

The PA says the New York court decision is “a tragic disservice to the millions of Palestinians who have invested in the democratic process and the rule of law.

No one was injured, and anti-Christian graffiti was sprayed painted on walls.

NYC Councilman Greenfield stood his ground and walked into the consulate with his kippa on his head.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/plastic-bag-airplane-passenger-a-kohen-staying-pure/2013/04/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: