# 3072 What a Place!

Q. Dear Rabbi I’m a Shaliach that collects for an important Torah institution and I visit Mexico City usually once a year. I read recently and also checked it out, that the downtown of that city is full of buried corpses. I’m a Cohen and I do visit businesses on that section of town. Is that allowed?
A. In principle, you are right in your concern. I remember as a youngster, when they were excavating the downtown area to build the Metro subway train, they indeed found almost continuously human remains all over that area.
Aztecs were known to sacrifice their conquered enemies. See: Feeding the gods: (Science June 2018); “That sacrifice, one among thousands performed in the sacred city of Tenochtitlan, (downtown Mexico City). would feed the gods and ensure the continued existence of the world. Death, however, was just the start of the victim’s role in the sacrificial ritual, key to the spiritual world of the Mexica people in the 14th to the 16th centuries.” See also; Tumas Hatehom on Talmud Pesachim 81.
However, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that in practice a Cohen may walk on those streets, since the tumah or impurity conveyed by Gentile bodies is in Halacha disputed and there is also no certainty that in every single space one steps on, there are still human remains extant. On that doubt, a Cohen does not need to abstain.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a

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