Transferring a Coffin to Israel
Dear Rabbi: When I was a kid, my father was not much of a religious man, but he often stated to my family his wish to be buried in Israel. He expected to live to an old age like his parents and grandparents did. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and despite the appearance of good health, he died of a sudden heart attack in his forties when I was just 15. My mother, my siblings, and I could not afford to bury him in Israel and instead interred him locally at a ‘Jewish’ cemetery operated by a Reformed temple where many people who were not actually Jewish are buried.
Now many years have passed. I am married with children, as are my siblings, and even my mother has remarried, and I have a close relationship with my stepdad and step siblings. Family life is great. But it still nags me to this day that my father didn’t get buried in Israel like he wanted.
Today we have the money to transfer his coffin if that is possible. We don’t know if that’s a thing one can do. Does Jewish law allow this?