Haredi man photographed inside plastic bag puzzles foreign media

Websites & media outlets post photo of Haredi man inside a large plastic bag during his flight to Israel, sparked  speculation as to his motives.

By Ynet

A photo posted on Facebook showing a Ben-Gurion Airport flight has caught the attention of international media. In the picture, a haredi man can be seen sitting in his seat on a commercial flight wrapped in a large plastic bag.

(צילום: מתוך ניו יורק דיילי ניוז)

Haredi in plastic bag. – Photo from: New York Daily News

The New York Daily News offered an explanation. The man is said to be a Kohen, and as the aircraft flew over a cemetery, he covered himself in a plastic bag so he could remain pure. Under the Jewish law, Kohanim are banned from going near cemeteries.

Initially, however it was thought the man was distancing himself from women as haredi men maintain strict rules of gender segregation in public.

Religious newspaper Kikar Hashabat reported that Orthodox paper Yated Ne’eman claimed that the man is resident of Bnei Brak, who was visiting England to raise funds for his community.

When he and his group were returning to Israel they found out that they had missed their flight and were forced to take an alternative one.

However, because US President Barak Obama was just concluding his visit to Israel, Israeli skies were closed to commercial traffic, and their flight was redirected to Cyprus, where the men spent Shabbat.

Upon returning to Israel they learnt that the route the plane was intended to take passes over a cemetery. Hence, at the rabbi’s advice they wrapped the man in a big plastic bag.


View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4367481,00.html