14.4.13

The Jew Wears Plastic

"When the movie Jurassic Park was shown in Israel, it was condemned by some Orthodox rabbis because it accepted evolution and because it taught that dinosaurs lived a hundred million years ago--when, as is plainly stated at every Rosh Hashonhan and every Jewish wedding ceremony, the Universe is less than 6,000 years old."

- Carl Sagan

How come no one is disturbed, frightened, alerted by a man on an aircraft all wrapped up in plastic?

In an increasingly xenophobic world, one can only marvel that the gentleman in the picture managed to travel without incident. From reports, it emerges that he belongs to the Israeli priestly class:

According to Haaretz: “Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, the leader of the Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, published a halakhic ruling in the past stipulating that Cohens mustn’t fly... because they are prohibited from flying over a cemetery.“

Later, Rabbi Eliashiv found a solution to this issue, ruling that wrapping oneself in thick plastic bags while the plane crossed over the cemetery is permissible.”Indeed, there seems to be some precedent for holy men attempting to travel in plastic bags to and from Israel.

- Aren't there security concerns?

- What if there is air turbulence and he is asked to take off his new garment?

- How does one identify his status and motives?

- Will this leniency be extended to other religious considerations?

The report says that since he made it to his destination, it is likely there was a hole in the plastic for him to breathe.

Now, would that hole not be adequate enough to permit defilement? I also wonder how plastic, the defiler of Nature, is seen as a protector. Besides, should not people of god who are marketing the Maker on earth be accepting of death, which will finally give them an audience with her/him?

While one respects people's beliefs, where does one draw the line in terms of social space?

7 comments:

  1. FV ,

    QUOTE: "While one respects people's beliefs, where does one draw the line in terms of social space?"

    Exactly where it becomes a nuisance at best and a faultline at worst.

    Like collective prayers in the streets with no regard for fellow citizens!

    Did that hurt??

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  2. F&F:

    Why was I expecting this? Why should I be hurt? Were you trying hard to have that effect? Wasted!

    For, I have written against the public nuisance of namaaz.

    I feel your pain also when I think about how many little corners are taken over to install idols and become mini temples....then there are pandals during festivals that mess up with traffic and movement of all citizens, and of course firecrackers in residential places and even near hospitals. You might have read about these in newspaper reports.

    We are on the same page. Aren't we?


    ReplyDelete
  3. FV,

    Of course we agree. Except that sekulaars are ever ready to point out the corner temples, the Ganpati pandals, the Kawariya processions etc. Based on these they also conclude with admirable confidence that Hindu society is getting increasingly communalised.

    Minorities, in their view, are inherently loving creatures incapable of communalism. The Jihadis probably came from Mars!

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  4. A strong case can be made (but not by me, nor here) that there is much similarity between this gentleman wrapped in plastic and a lady in full Hizab gear - the main difference being the gentleman is partially visible. :)

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  5. This guy is clearly nuts. Him and his followers belong to the nut house. Having said that, it should be clear by now that western media gives a free pass to religious weirdos of the caucasian variety. They are viewed with benign indifference because well they are one of them, so how dangerous can they be? Of course some of them turned dangerous but it is truly an internal affair (nijhi mamla) for them, outsiders need not bother commenting on it or point out the obvious hypocrisy.

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  6. Sai:

    Am not sure if Jews can be called Caucasian, although they are certainly considered a superior race in the US. This is only one example of many that orthodox Jews follow, and the never are any sniggers about these.

    As you can gauge from Anon's comment above, the standards are different for others, even if making disingenuous comparisons.

    I'm too tired to even explain it.

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  7. The comparison is not disingenuous. A hizab-enclosed woman is just as much at risk of suffocating/swooning as the gentleman shown here. But the gentleman is at least partially visible, which is different from the hizab lady -- so she is at a greater risk! Plus, in case of the gentleman, there is little doubt that he dons that outfit willingly, in case of the hizab lady, who knows!!

    ReplyDelete

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