We know a Kohen can not be in the same ohel as a dead person. From what I learned, a moving vehicle does not block the tumah from coming into the car/van/plane etc. So, if one is traveling in a vehicle, he is technically sitting in one spot each time he moves (only for a millisecond, but he is stationary). The same is true for a dead body in a hearse, car or plane.

My question is, if a Kohen is about to enter a tunnel and he sees a hearse with a dead body (AND YOU KNOW THE NIFTER IS A JEW), can he enter the tunnel?

  • 1
    d a, I added two of the three tags you asked for, but I didn't see a need for a "tunnel" tag here. When you get 250 reputation points, you'll be able to make new tags. Until then, if you need a new tag, please do what you did, with a note at the bottom of your question.
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 3, 2010 at 3:40
  • Thanks! There was no real need for tunnel. Thanks for your help!
    – d a
    Oct 3, 2010 at 3:51
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    In theory the same would apply to the lower level of a multi-level bridge (such as the George Washington Bridge, near Yeshiva University). While at YU, there were two kohanim with whom I regularly commuted. One asked that we avoid the lower level in case there was a hearse and the other did not care. Dec 24, 2012 at 5:30

1 Answer 1


No he may NOT enter the cave. A cave is considered a roof and if you apply the logic that a tree is considered a roof so a cohen may not enter a cemetery, then kal veChomer he may not enter a cave.

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    A source would be nice. Also, an analysis of all the relevant aspects of the question (the fact that the corpse is in a hearse, for example).
    – msh210
    Jun 7, 2011 at 4:20
  • i don't have a source except saying "gemara class"- but as for the hearse. there is actually a machlokes about planes flying over jewish cemeteries. does the bottom of the plane make the roof or does that top, making everyone in the plane tameh leMes. So using that logic, it most likely is best that he does not go into the cave, but I will ask my rabbi. Jun 7, 2011 at 13:20
  • he gave a source - its a roof
    – user1040
    Jan 16, 2012 at 11:25

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