Change in Handling Invalidates Long Standing Heter for Kohanim on El Alís JFK Flights
Date: December 16, 2020

A long standing heter that allowed kohanim to fly El Al from JFK to Tel Aviv, even when niftarim are present, has been retracted, effective immediately.

The heter had been given by the Karlsburger Rov, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, and relied on the airline placing the aron into an outer box, creating an ohel that afforded kohanim some leniency on flights that were carrying niftarim.

But after being alerted that El Al was placing aronos directly into the cargo hold with no outer covering, the heter is no longer relevant and Rabbi Roth has announced that kohanim should not fly to Israel on any El Al flight out of JFK until further notice.

Kohanim flying to Israel on United, which never had the policy of placing aronos into an outer box, should contact the airline directly to determine whether any niftarim are being transported on their flights.


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