From the Rav’s Desk: Moving a corpse outside of Israel for burial

Question: [Tuesday, 8th Sivan, 5782]

May one who passed away outside in Israel be buried by a family plot or plot that he already purchased in the Diaspora? For example, if a Diaspora resident was visiting Israel and passed away there, may he be removed to be buried in his local cemetery in the Diaspora?



A person who passed away in Eretz Yisrael, or whose body was brought to Eretz Yisrael, may not be buried in the Diaspora. This applies even if he was only visiting Israel temporarily and he has a purchased family plot in the Diaspora. This of course only applies if the person passed away in the Halachic parts of Eretz Yisrael.

Explanation: We do not find any explicit prohibition in the Talmud or Poskim against moving someone from Israel for the sake of burial in the Diaspora. Nonetheless, the age-old tradition is to be particular in this matter and not remove corpses from Israel to be buried in the Diaspora. This custom is based on the teaching in the Talmud which states that everyone goes up to Israel and no one leaves Israel.

Sources: Gesher Hachaim 2:11; Yabia Omer 6:31; Nitei Gavriel Vol. 2 94:20

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