A burial cave beneath the Knesset was covered with wood to
allow kohanim to continue entering the building after
the Knesset Secretary and activists involved in burial issues
held a meeting to solve a tumah problem.
When the new wing of the Knesset was built, a burial cave,
determined to be Jewish, was found at the site. Following
efforts by MK Rabbi Meir Porush a decision was reached to
preserve the cave by sealing it off and not to destroy it
with a "rescue" dig. The buildings plans were altered
slightly so that today the burial cave lies in a courtyard
between some MK offices.
Recently MK Yitzchak Cohen (Shas) stepped into his office in
the new wing and was surprised to see that a large cornice
had been built and it extended over the burial cave. Via this
cornice, the tumah rising up skyward entered the
building. Since the entire Knesset building — both the
new and old sections — is connected, the entire
building became off-limits for kohanim. MK Cohen
rushed out of the building and proceeded to notify other
kohanim to leave the building, both MKs and Knesset
The Knesset administration began to seek a solution to the
problem that same day. Following the meeting attended by
burial askonim and a tour of the site, the Knesset
Secretary issued instructions to prevent tumah from
entering the building and by afternoon workers were already
covering the cave with wood.
A considerable number of kohanim hold posts at the
Knesset, including observant MKs.