Keeping Us Safe, Part 2: A Jewish Perspective on X-Rays, Privacy and Safety

Keeping Us Safe, Part 2: A Jewish Perspective on X-Rays, Privacy and Safety

Travel has always been a site of potential danger, but modern air travel presents particular challenges with its incredibly complex machinery and the huge volumes of people and cargo airplanes convey. Particularly in the past 20 or so years, airline security has been the site of controversy, as travelers have agreed to make certain sacrifices in privacy to have peace of mind that nothing dangerous is being brought onto the plane. The machinery used to inspect bags and passengers has been continually evolving, but at the end of the day, the imaging technology needs to penetrate in some way to reveal contraband within. What can Jewish discussions around privacy and safety bring to bear on our handling of this technology?

Part 1 of this discussion, with Rabbi Linda Joseph, addressed guidelines in Deuteronomy for building safe houses; this second part explores the critical role x-ray technology plays in maintaining these principles today.

(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. “Keeping Us Safe” was a discussion at Bet Aviv in Columbia, MD with member Howard Feldmesser, Darla Strouse and Rabbi Linda Joseph on January 6, 2024.)

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