Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?

  • I guess your question is because you saw this?
    – Ariel
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 5:23
  • 2
    This seems complete: yated.com/…
    – Ariel
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 5:24
  • @Ariel. Yes, I saw that, but I was under the impression that there was no problem. Hence my question. (BTW, the links on that article are to things that have nothing to do with the content of the article)
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 5:43
  • @Ariel, that Yated article basically says that nobody knows the answer.
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 16:58
  • google.com/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


There are a number of issues:

  1. A flying object/tent is not considered a tent to separate.
  2. Something that is Mekabel Tum'ah cannot separate.
  3. A Kohen may not put himself in a circumstance of Tum'ah upon which a Nazir would have to shave and start over Nezirus.

The fact that the airplane MAY fly over Jewish Graves would probably be because it's like flying over a Beis Haperas (which most Achronim permit nowadays [see Taz 4 & Shach 2 on Yore Dai'ah Siman 369]).

There is also a Sofek Sfeka:

  1. Most Aronos have a Chlal Tefach
  2. Even if there is no Tefach in a specific Kever, maybe that body turned into Rekev
  3. Today we don't have Kohanim Meyuchasim (see Teshuvas Yaavetz 155).
  • Beis Haperas is a much weaker safek. With many of these flights you can be quite sure that you'll fly over a cemetery. Also, Rekev is still metamei, no? Note also that in Israel many cemeteries don't use Aronos so that safek may not be applicable, certainly it's hard to imagine rov graves are built that way.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 4:49
  • @DoubleAA See the Yated article why it could (or not) work Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 5:26
  • @Shmuel Brin At this point in history when everyone does it and will continue doing it we have to look for a Limud Zechus and if we can't find one we're better off not saying anything then to come to a conclusion that everyone is sinning. Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 6:43
  • I don't know why Beis Haperas is a weaker Safek when it includes everywhere out of Israel. As far as being quite sure about flying over cemetery (besides the fact that it only applies to Jewish cemeteries - because Tumas Ohel of a non-Jews body is only Drabanan and a Nazir wouldn't have to start again) there is the Din that a pregnant wife of a Kohain may go into Ohel Hameis because of SS maybe the baby the baby is a Neifel and even if not maybe it's a girl, now can't we be quite sure that it's not a Neifel? We actually say Rov women give birth to a Ben Kayama. Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 6:49
  • Rekev is only Metamei if the body was buried naked and in marble (basically if a particle of anything else would make it not Metamei).The Rov graves are Tefach etc. is brought about the Kevarim in Israel as well (albeit I'm time of Tanayim) but I don't know what they do there nowadays. Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 6:50

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