Man wraps his entire body in plastic in order to protect against religious impurity while flying aboard commercial airline

// April 15th, 2013 // News

Ultra Orthodox Jewish man wrapped in a life-size plastic bag aboard an airplane

We don’t much like making fun of anyone’s religion but this must have been some sight to see for passengers of a recent commercial airline flight.  A photo of an Ultra Orthodox Jewish man wrapped in a life-size plastic bag aboard an airplane has been posted online and is quickly going viral.  According to Oddity Central:

“It is believed the man dressed entirely in black and wearing a Jewish skullcap or “kippah” may belong to the Kohen sect of Judaism, whose members believe they are descended from the priests of ancient Israel and cannot come in close contact with dead in order to protect their higher-than-average holiness. Apparently, the strict religious code prohibits visiting cemeteries except for the funerals of close relatives, and even flying over burial grounds. However, the Haaretz newspaper reports that Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, leader of the Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, has recently ”found a solution to this issue, ruling that wrapping oneself in thick plastic bags while the plane crossed over the cemetery is permissible”, which would explain the man’s bizarre protective travel gear.”

Strict adherents to the Kohen code of conduct fear they will become contaminated should their plane fly over one of the many cemeteries located on land so they wrap themselves hermetically in plastic bags.  The practice is becoming more and more common.  In fact, El Al airlines has introduced a new policy stating that “flight safety considerations do not allow for passengers to board while covered in plastic bags.”

Sources: Wikipedia, Oddity Central

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