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article imagePlastic wrapped Ultra-Orthodox man remains pure on plane flight

By Lesley Lanir     Apr 12, 2013 in World
News is buzzing about a photo that was taken of an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who had wrapped himself in plastic so he could remain in a state of purity whilst travelling on a plane flight.
The picture creating the buzz seems to be that of an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who has wrapped himself in plastic. The reason for this action say YourJewishNews is that the flight may cross above a cemetery and the man may be one of the descendants of Aharon, the great priest of ancient Israel, who are banned from flying over cemeteries; are not to have contact with the dead, and may only enter cemeteries if a close relative dies.
This type of occurrence is not new to Israel's airline ELAL which has in the past avoided flying over cemeteries or announces if it will do so.
According to Haaretz, in 2002, a flight crew had to prevent an Ultra-Orthodox passenger, flying from Israel to Britain, from wrapping himself in plastic bags. In the end, the pilot turned back to Israel's Ben Gurion International airport so the passenger could be removed from the plane. The passenger, a Cohen, had wrapped himself in plastic bags because he thought that the plane would pass over a cemetery close to the airport and he was afraid this would make him impure.
El Al Israel s national carrier
El Al Israel's national carrier
Haaretz also state that Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, the leader of the Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, had published a halakhic ruling stating that Cohens could not take this flight because they are prohibited from flying over a cemetery. Later, Rabbi Eliashiv solved the problem of flying by ruling that Cohens could wrap themselves in plastic bags whilst in the flight cabin to avoid any impurity issues.
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