Praying by the graves of long-deceased holy men is a time-honored Jewish practice, especially on the recent holiday of Lag b’Omer, when thousands flock to the resting place of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, in Meron. But what about the Jews who are kohanim, descendants of Aharon, and are not allowed to come into contact with the dead, or even enter a cemetery?
Until now, they were forced to keep their distance. But one rebbe, the leader of the Hasidic Toldos Aharon sect, has come up with an — ahem — outside the box solution. According to the Israeli website matzav.com, the rebbe found a way around the prohibition by traveling to Meron in a wooden crate that, loaded on the back of a pickup truck, served as a barrier between him and the ritual impurity of the graves. Now that’s traveling in (kosher) style!
Ezra Glinter is the deputy culture editor of the Forward.