El Al Decides Against Body Bags for Kohanim

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz

Contrary to a previous understanding, El Al has decided not to allow ultra-Orthodox Jews of priestly descent (kohanim) to seal themselves in plastic bags - normally used to transport cadavers - when flying over the Holon cemetery after take-off.

A family of ultra-Orthodox kohanim from Jerusalem consulted Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv following a report in Ha'aretz last week that Swissair had modified its flight route to avoid the cemetery. Swissair agreed to make the route revision in order to allow a prominent ultra-Orthodox leader, Rabbi David Kahan, to maintain strict observance of the Jewish laws regarding ritual purity for kohanim.

Rabbi Elyashiv and two other rabbis worked out an arrangement under which the family of Jerusalem kohanim would hermetically seal themselves in plastic bags when flying over the Holon cemetery in order to avoid ritual impurity.

El Al was initially willing to allow this arrangement, in which the kohanim would board the plane in the bags and tie them closed when flying over the cemetery. But the airline subsequently decided not to permit this due to safety considerations.

El Al confirmed yesterday that "flight safety considerations do not allow for passengers to board while covered in sealed plastic bags."



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott