Dec 16, 2010

Interesting Psak: Kohanim and The Carmel Tunnels

Ancient graves have been discovered in the southern entrance to the Carmel Tunnels (the tunnels are part of a toll road that crosses the Carmel are and Haifa).

The Asra Kadisha brought the information to Rav Nissim Karelitz, Rav Wosner and Rav Elyashiv who have supposedly signed a letter, not yet for public consumption, stating unequivocally that the site in question is a real problem and it is an issur d'oraisa for kohanim to travel on this road in the tunnels.

According to Kikar, this letter is not yet for public consumption, but is another one of these letters that is being kept in a safe and is being used as a threat to be taken out in the future if they refuse to comply with the demands.

If it is so serious that they even called it an issur d'oraisa, I am not sure why they are leaving it as not yet for public consumption. How are kohanim going to know not to drive there, if it is such a serious issur?

According to Kikar, the Asra Kadisha is assuming, or maybe hoping, that because the road is a toll road and managed by a private company, they will be more prone to threats and will be willing to cooperate and make the necessary changes.

According to Kikar, the managing company has responded that when they first built the road and invited the Asra Kadisha to check things out, when it would have been reasonably cheap to implement any halachic solution required, the Asra Kadisha was not interested. now that the costs are going to be enormous they are putting pressure on with threats of publicizing issurim and hafganot.

The Asra Kadisha denies this claim and adds that even now the solution will not be so expensive to implement.


  1. Is it just my computer or did you reduce the font size, rafi?

  2. I didnt make any changes and it looks the same to me as always

  3. Kohanim will probably find out through the Va'ad HaKohanim and their anouncements.

  4. I am not sure why they are leaving it as not yet for public consumption.

    Maybe they are waiting for an opportune time? You know, like around election time.

  5. meubal - that site does not look overly maintained and updated..

    regardless, my point wasnt how will they know.. they can read it on my blog or any of the news sites that carried the item, or word of mouth or whatever. My point was that if it is really an issur d'oraisa, they should not be holding it as a threat for later, but should be warning people actively now.

    The fact that they are holding it indicates, I think, that it is not such a clear issur d'oraisa..

  6. That's a misleading headline -- it should say "Interesting non-psak".

  7. I know a Kohen who already used the tunnels.

    I hope for his sake that AK isn't being "Lifnei Iver" for political gain.

    Does assuming that they're planning to hype up some issur out of scratch constitute "Dan L'kaf Zchut"??


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