Friday, February 11, 2011

Talmudic Airplane?

Happy Birthday Lily - may you continue to fly higher and higher!

Astonishingly, the Talmud, completed ca. 500 CE, asks questions about flying towers and flying boxes.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 106b) asks: “What is the meaning of the verse, ‘…He who counted the towers’ (Isaiah 33:18)?”

Answer: The verse refers to the many questions concerning "a tower flying in the air."

For example: Does passing over a cemetery in a flying tower cause a person to contract ritual impurity like walking though it would?

Another: Is a Cohen/priest (whose holy status means he may not enter a cemetery) permitted to fly over a cemetery in a flying box?

(Excerpted from the Amazing Jewish Fact-a-Day Calendar,

First question for your table - What do you think? Did these ancient rabbis foresee the future development of airplanes, or did they just have wild imaginations?

Second question - What's your answer? Should a Cohen be allowed to fly over a cemetery?

Shabbat Shalom

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