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?



  1. Yes, Jewish Law does allow for such a thing. More than that, in this particular situation, not only is it permissible, but it would actually be an extremely praiseworthy thing to do. The first thing you would need to do is to be in contact with a local Orthodox Rabbi and/or a local Orthodox burial society, and to discuss the various possibilities that exist for burial in Israel. Hopefully, they will be able to connect you to a burial society in Israel and assist you in beginning the process of bringing your father’s coffin to burial in the Holy Land.

    Best wishes from the Team