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There is a decree which says that all the land outside of Israel is Tamei (as there is a ch'shash that the non-Jews bury their dead outside of official cemeteries).

If so, how are Kohanim allowed to travel outside (or stay outside) Israel for any reason?

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Per the Shach in Yorah Deah Siman 369:2 and the Taz in 369:4 since in current times there is no Tahara in Eretz Yisroel therefore there is no additional prohibition for a Kohain to leave Eretz Yisroel over a non Kohain.

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“Taharas HaKohanim Kehilchoso” 12 (2) (recently published by Moshe Gross, Beit Shemesh) mentions that there is a machlokes about the rabbinic issur of kohanim to be metamei themselves in “Eretz HoAmim”. He quotes a number of sources including many Acharonim that are lenient (including those quoted in the first answer).

He then quotes sources that forbid a kohen resident in Israel to leave the country. He quotes “stimas Tur Shulchan Oruch”, Shu”t “Shevus Yaakov” 1 (85) and 2(98) and says that Shu”t Chasam Sofer YD 337 D.H. “Vehinei Beshulchan Oruch” is inclined to be strict.

Those already living outside of Israel are already tomei and considered as anusim.

  • Is the last sentence yours or the authors? I do not follow its logic. Those in Israel (or who came to Israel from Chul) are also already tomei. The heter to remain doesn't seem to be related to Oneis as much as Tumah BiChibburin. – Double AA Sep 3 '14 at 15:42

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