Where to Be Buried

Yes, it does make a difference.

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Comments (28)

(23) Anonymous, March 9, 2014 4:48 PM

living in te diaspora but being buried in israel

According to the scriptures [Zohar and more] someone who didn't live in Israel may not be buried there!!
All those who really love Israel, come join us while you can!

(22) Anonymous, March 6, 2014 5:30 AM

A gift unwanted; Now with meaning

My husband & I were given plots by his mother. At a cemetery where his family is buried. We rarely visit his, but go where my family is buried. I didn't appreciate the gesture or the meaning. I went on a JWRP trip. Many things go through my mind on such a special trip. You see, a very famous Rebbi is buried adjacent to my gifted plot. There is always someone praying near by. When we do go to visit his family's area, we are usually joined by those praying for the Rebbi to help us say the prayers. It has taken on a whole new level of meaning for me. One that I now appreciate.

(21) Anonymous, March 6, 2014 2:04 AM

information regarding buying plots in Israel

We are interested in buying plots in Israel but have been told that both Har Hamenuchot and Mount of Olives are sold out.
All our family members in Israel live in or near Jerusalem.
Could you suggest whom to call for information?
Thank you so much

Anonymous, March 6, 2014 9:27 PM

Burial in Israel

My dream has always been to live in Israel. Life didn't work out that way but I do have two sons and grandchildren who live there. A few years back my husband and I bought burial plots in a cemetery in Bet Shemesh. The name of the cemetery is Eretz Hachaim. I'm a Chicagoan and there a many Chicagoans and, unfortunately, friends who are buried there. I remember that we had trouble finding out about this place so I have the following information for you. The address is POBox 41136, Jerusalem, Israel and the phone is 2991146. If you should need it, the fax is 29997527. There might be a website but I'm not sure. Hope this is helpful and you shouldn't need it for many, many years.

Anonymous, March 9, 2014 2:16 AM

Burial in Israel

Thank you so much for passing on the information.
I heard that buying burial plots in advance is a segula for long life.
All the best

(20) Aviel, March 5, 2014 12:58 PM

Seems a shame if one cares enough to be buried in Israel and does not live there

I agree that for most Jews being buried in the holy land would be a positive individual choice,but that seems not to be a challenge facing the Jewish people today. I believe Israel's enemies would allow for Jewish cemeteries as part of a comprehensive peace.It seems sad that those who identify strongly enough to want to be buried in Israel don't choose to live there. There are I'm sure valid reasons why some lovers of Zion don't come,but for the majority I would guess it's not enough of a priority and while maybe mistaken some of the deeper sources claim that mind set is delaying the redemption. It seems to me despite the real challenge adapting to a different culture the Almighty has made it that throughout all of recorded history it's never been easier for Jews to make aliyah. Examples are health care and Jewish education costing a fraction of what they cost in the USA, and for seniors on a fixed income it's at least as affordable to live as it is in the USA If it doesn't work out nobody is saying there is no return option but before you decide to be buried here please give living a try.In addition if you die in Israel you'll save the expense of a grave site as burial is at the State expense provided you are flexible re your plot's location

(19) Hanna, March 5, 2014 9:42 AM

May it be His will.

Jacob and Joseph asked to have their bones brought to Israel so that they could be buried with the forefathers.

As for me, I am praying that I will merit to go to Israel whle I am still alive.

(18) Anonymous, March 5, 2014 2:15 AM

You make it sound a lot easier then it is. Firstly it requires a lot of money and secondly it's hard to even find available plots. It is also hard on family members, who said they will travel to Israel and its hard to have the family take the body to Israel for burial. It's not as simple as you make it sound at all, there's a lot more to the equation.

Anonymous, March 6, 2014 9:31 PM

Cost of burial

My husband and I bought plots in Eretz Hachaim which is located in Bet Shemesh. There are payment plans. I can't remember if we paid out the cost in 2 or 3 years but it was without interest.

(17) Hpela, March 5, 2014 12:00 AM

His will.

When the time comes for me to pass from this life to the next, b''H; then I pray to be buried precisely where He wills.

(16) Sam, March 4, 2014 11:30 PM

Mitzvah or not

There is a greater aliyah of the dead to Israel than the living. The posuk says: Vatavo u vatetemei et artzi...(Yirmiyahu 2:7) This posuk is often used to refer to those who didn't live in Eretz Yisroel while alive and arranged for their burial there. It's better to live there than to take up space as a guf. Bottom line - ask a shaila.

(15) chevy, March 4, 2014 9:52 PM

I need to thank Lori

she just made me feel better about my decision. My husband & I bought plots in Israel 14 years ago, but I always felt conflicted. If my children can't afford to come, or if they just need to visit me,It's not as easy for them if I'm there. But now, after listening to Lori, I feel validated. Thank You, Lori

(14) Janet Berg, March 4, 2014 9:49 PM

Body only a vehicle

My understanding was that the neshama hovers around the grave for the period of mourning, but then 'returns' to Jerusalem forever after thus leaving behind the body from which it totally separates. And that the physical body really is nothing more than a vehicle (klee) for the neshama during its time on earth.

(13) JB Destiny, March 4, 2014 8:36 PM


I thought this was going to be more thoughtful than "If you're buried there, they will come." Israel or Illinois: there's no guarantee that anyone will visit either place.

(12) Sora, March 4, 2014 8:17 PM

depends on the children

My husband is buried in america and I want to be beside him. My children who live here will not go to Israel on my Yahrzeit. The son who lives in Israel will come here and see that his brothers go with him to visit their parents' graves.

(11) Rachel, March 4, 2014 8:04 PM

If you are not affluent, how can you make arrangements in advance?

Most people I know pay for funerals out of the proceeds of their life insurance -- which doesn't become available until after the death of the insured. So for those of us who don't have extra thousands lying around to buy a plot in Israel in advance, how can you expect us to make those arrangements?

(10) Anonymous, March 4, 2014 7:55 PM

What do you think of this?

I always concurred with Lori on this. Which is why, when a prominent East Coast Rabbi died recently, despite the fact that he had lived the last few years of his life IN ISRAEL, he was buried in the sacred soil of Stamford, Connecticut. Not only that, but contrary to halacha, because the transfer of the body was technically difficult, the burial was THREE DAYS after death. Odd, at the very least.

(9) Toby Klein Greenwald, March 4, 2014 7:51 PM

Nice try, but misses the mark of what it's all about

I appreciate that your sentiment is sincere but this is the place to live for kiddush Hashem, not just be buried.

(8) Devorah Caplan, March 4, 2014 7:30 PM

Love of Eretz HaKodesh

I enjoy immensely Mrs. Palatnik's insights but I disagree with her on this point. There are commentaries about sages who lived in Israel, who traveled outside Israel and died outside the land. Even Moshe Rabbeinu died and was buried outside the land.

Those who live in the land should be buried in the land. But I don't believe Israel should be the burial ground or that burial in Israel should become a "status symbol" for those of us who live outside the land. Maybe if all one's children/family live in Israel, it would be appropriate. I had a dear friend whose children all made aliyah, married and are rearing their families in Israel, and when she passed, they brought her "home" to Israel. Israel is a small nation. It needs the youth and vitality of those who can build and restore and contribute their energies and hearts to Israel, the only Jewish state among all the nations of the world! And think of all the mitzvot that could be done with the cost of a burial in Israel compared to burial in our own communities in Golus.

We can show love of Israel in so many other ways than wanting to be buried there. How many generations dreamed of being able to return to Israel, and were not able to even visit? Now we can go there, visit, learn, and live there. And for those who have been there, a part of Israel stays with us even when we are not there.

It is not necessary for us to be buried there. The zehut is in our love of Israel, not in our burial there.

(7) Anonymous, March 4, 2014 6:31 PM

shouldn't you live in israel?

My father-in-law, may he rest in peace, left Israel for parnassa. When he got older he hesitated about asking to be buried in Israel because he no longer lived there. He didn't think it was right. He wanted very much to be buried and the family made sure he was. It has been 15 years and at least one of the children go to Israel on the yortzeit.

(6) Anonymous, March 4, 2014 6:16 PM

There are issues with whast you said. First of all, there are at least 2 parents with presumably different death dates. Means more travel?
Your logicc ties Israel to the dead and not to the living.
Lastly, the burial conditions are anything but inspiring. in fact, it is not burial bur a piling on of one body on top of another. Certianly, one visit may discourage another one.
Sentimentality (judging by yourt voice) should not be the basis for the decision.

(5) Elaine Pollack, March 4, 2014 5:54 PM


Agree w u completely...bought my plots on the Mt. Of Olives in
1974! Best purchase ,ever mad

(4) Anonymous, March 4, 2014 5:32 PM

We asked our rabbi this very question. There is no simple answer. There is definitely something to the "location, location, location" of Israel. There is a very strong opinion that one should be buried next to one's relatives. It is also unfair to burden your children with the extra expense of burial in Israel including flights, cemetery, etc etc. That said, it was important for me to to be buried in Israel. So I took out a very inexpensive $25,000 life insurance policy which will pay for my children's flights to Israel at the time of my death. My husband and I bought plots in Israel (but not Jerusalem, which was 2x the cost!) that are now paid in full. So it's a win-win, because we will be buried in Israel without overly burdening my family. I would also like to point out that it is never too early to think about buying a cemetery plot. If you wait tilll someone is ill it is very very stressful. Do so when you are very much alive and healthy - it is a tremendous comfort to have this necessary deed done, and your children will thank you in 120 years!

(3) Sidney, March 3, 2014 2:35 AM

What about where grandparents?

Who says they will come annually to Israel? Maybe the Yahrzeit will be in the middle of a semester and some of one's children are teachers.

Besides if one is going to be buried near the same place as his/her ancestors don't you think that it is much more likely that one's children will visit the graves of grandparents and great-grandparents?

(2) Tova Braunstein, March 3, 2014 1:38 AM

Israel-land of the living

Israel is not, nor should it become, a cemetary for dead bodies. Israel needs live, vibrant, enthusiastic Jews to increase the Jewish population and to contribute to it's growth in all fields. If you want to ensure that you will be buried in Israel, there is one easy way to arrange it: LIVE IN ISRAEL.

G.. Berry, March 4, 2014 5:35 PM

I used to think, "if I can't live in Israel, at least I can be buried there" but I agree with your statement: we all have the incredible privilege to live in Israel - a reality that most of our ancestors could only dream about - - truly, Israel is for the land of the living - may it be so for Jews everywhere!

Anonymous, March 4, 2014 11:05 PM

Better yet---pls make an aliyah video!!!

I certainly hope that Lori Palatnik has used this platform to promote aliyah for LIVE Jews!! She has the opportunity to encourage people to enjoy the gift of actually living in Eretz Yisrael----not just arriving in a box!

(1) Mordy, March 2, 2014 3:08 PM

Where is the mitzvah?

Great rabbis of this generation such as Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky, of blessed memory, Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, of blessed memory and Rabbi Pinchus Hirschprung, of blessed memory were buried near their communities in America. If such great rabbis felt it more important to be near their family, who are we to say they were wrong? Obviously, there is no mitzvah to be buried in Israel. These rabbis didn't want to financially burden their loved ones. Of course, those buried in the land of Israel will be the first to be resurrected, but in time, all the righteous will be resurrected.


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