Another important use for plastic bags – they can help a bloke keep faith and avoid cemeteries

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Dunno what they will make of this it an airline like Somoa Air, which (see here) says it is keeping airfares fair, by charging its passengers only for what they weigh.

Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.

But weight isn’t the issue with this bloke.

The issue is that if the air crew have to make an emergency landing and bundle off all their passengers in a hurry, the poor bugger who sat on the inside of the tosser in the plastic bag is going to be somewhat impeded rushing to the exits.

So what’s up?

According to the Daily Mail, travelling under the cover of a plastic bag is a matter of belief, and as all good Kiwis know, we must be awfully tolerant of some very curious beliefs. Accordingly the right-thinking ones among us will leap to the defence of our indigenous people when they upset visitors by dancing and prancing half naked at welcoming ceremonies, and stick their tongues out, and generally look far from civilized, because it is a vital part of their belief system.

In this case, apparently the airline passenger has covered himself in a plastic bag for the whole of his journey because his religion forbids him to fly over cemeteries.

This was the bizarre sight that greeted plane passengers when an Orthodox Jewish man covered himself under a plastic sheet.

It was believed the man is a Kohein, a religious descendant of the priests of ancient Israel, who are banned from flying over cemeteries.

Many wrap themselves in plastic bags as a compromise measure.

Alf is curious to know why the priests of ancient Israel would ban anyone from flying over cemeteries. Or over anything.

Back in those days, as he understands the state of the aviation industry then, and the laws of physics, aerodynamics, and what-have-you, it was difficult for your typical Jewish person, or anyone else, to get airborne.

And if they did manage to get airborne, it was very momentary – certainly not long enough to fly over a cemetery, even if it was a very small one.

But the bloke in this picture no doubt has a good explanation for doing what he is doing.

According to the Daily Mail, the startling photograph of him has gone viral after being posted on Reddit.

Beneath his plastic wrapping, the man is dressed entirely in black, and appears to be wearing a Jewish skullcap or ‘kippah’.

As a controversial solution – not entirely allowed by those in the Jewish Orthodox – the plastic bag creates a kind of barrier between the Kohein and the surrounding tumah, or impurity.

Rabbi Jeffrey W. Goldwasser, of Temple Beit HaYam in Israel, explained: ‘In orthodox and Conservative communities, Kohanim are expected to abstain from coming in contact with the dead, which includes a prohibition on visiting cemeteries except for the funerals of close relatives.’

This raises a different set of issues.

Presumably, it means Kohanim must leave the undertaking business to peoples of a different faith, and the same would go for ambulance, hospital, police and any other work where you just might have to examine a corpse, or help prepare a corpse for burial, and so on?

But the picture here raises other questions.

What happens to a plastic-wrapped passenger if he has to reach for his oxygen mask in a hurry – or quickly escape the plane in the event of an emergency.

The Daily Mail says there is also the question of how they can breathe.

Pre-punched holes in the plastic are said to invalidate the barrier, according to Jewish newspaper YatedNe’eman.

‘Kohanim have a duty to protect their taharah, purity,’ according to the article.

‘They have been bestowed with extra kedushah which makes them worth of being meshorsei Hashem. At times, there may be extra demands made upon them in order to maintain that standard of kedushah and taharah.’

Dunno if there’s a case for asking the pilot to take a route that avoids cemeteries.

Mind you, in this country we sometimes don’t get to know about the existence of a cemetery until someone proposes putting a road through somewhere.

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