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Is a Kohain allowed to enter the Mearas HaMachpela?

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http://www.ravaviner.com/2009/02/cohanim-and-kivrei-tzaddikim-graves-of.html

In Iturei Cohanim (Sivan 5766 #261), Rav Aviner was asked, is it permissible for a cohain to enter Ma’arat Ha-Machpelah? He answered that there is a dispute, but Maran Ha-Rav Kook did not enter. Similarly, in the weekly parashah sheet "Olam Katan" (#169), Rav Aviner was asked, is it permissible for a cohain to enter Ma’arat Ha-Machpelah to recite Selichot? He answered that there is a dispute, but Maran Ha-Rav Kook did not enter. In Shut She’eilat Shlomo (vol. 3 #329), Rav Aviner also writes that although there are authorities who permit cohanim to enter "Kivrei Tzaddikim," since the righteous are called "living even in their death," the accepted halachah is that it is forbidden. There are also authorities who allow cohanim to visit Maarat Ha-Machpelah and Kever Rachel, because they were built in a way that the cohanim would not become impure; but the acceptable halachah for this is also that it is forbidden. Therefore, we say that cohanim should not enter "Kivrei Tzaddikim," but we can defend the practice of those who act in this way, especially entering Maarat Ha-Machpelah and Kever Rachel.

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    Is "Maran Ha-Rav Kook" referring to the father (R' Avraham Yitzchak) or the son (R' Tzvi Yehudah)? If it's the former, then frankly that's not much proof - the Arabs didn't allow Jews into the Me'arah in his days.
    – Alex
    Oct 12 '10 at 15:00
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Rav Ovadia (Yechaveh Daat 4:58) was opposed, but Rav Mordechai Eliyahu and Rav Dov Lior argued the structure obstructs any Tuma from going up. See Rav Dov Lior's Devar Chevron Yoreh Deah 210, Taharat Sdeh HaMachpelah, Rav Shlomo Dichovsky in HaMaayan 235 (Tishri 5781), Otzar Forums, and this shiur for more details.

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As I remember there is part they are allowed, but not near the tombs.


EDIT: here are some links on the topic: first, second

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  • Is it clearly marked? Oct 6 '10 at 22:41

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