Know Your Place

The Burial Conversation

What type of decision you make depends on your situation.

If you are young and healthy, it may be inappropriate to buy a grave. After all, at 120, you might be living in a different city, or even a different country.

But you should have—and communicate—some guidance about what you want, in case of emergency.

Does your family own a plot? If so, is it somewhere you would actually want to be buried? There are many considerations, practical and halachic, regarding cemeteries. If your family does have karka, it is worth looking at these issues now.

Does your shul have a section in a local cemetery? Find out a few details about it, such as price and location, so there is less new information to sort through in a moment of crisis.

Do you long for Eretz Yisroel? Whether or not you have other options, have you always wanted to find your eternal resting place in Eretz Yisroel. If so, you may want to consider price and location to see if this decision is realistic. If Eretz Yisroel is what you want, you need to make that clear to those around you.

If you are older or in poor health, it is time to take action. You do not want to burden those you will leave behind. Making decisions now will ensure you have what you want.

Have a conversation about burial options with whoever will be making the decisions on your behalf.

I Am Interested In Being Buried In Eretz Yisroel

Whether because of the Land’s inherent holiness, which provides atonement, the haste with which those buried in Israel will experience techias hameisim, or the demonstration that regardless of where an individual lives, their ultimate home is in the Land that Hashem promised our forefathers, Jews throughout our history made great sacrifices to be buried in Eretz Yisrael.

from Burial in the Land of Israel, a publication of the Eretz Hachaim Kollel

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Rav Dovid Sharfman on the advantages of burial in Eretz Yisroel, and the factors to be weighed when considering it.

Rav Dovid Sharfman was the mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes of Miami.


  • Whether a person who lived in chutz la’aretz is permitted to be buried in Eretz Yisroel
  • Whether a person who lived in chutz la’aretz should be buried in Eretz Yisroel
  • Whether reinterment is is permitted for the sake of burial in Eretz Yisroel

Hanan Balk is the rabbi emeritus of Congregation Agudas Israel/Golf Manor Synagogue in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Torah Sources
Know Your Place

discusses the halachic literature about purchasing a burial plot while you are alive.

in his sefer Oznaim LaTorah

Burial In E"y

The value of being buried in Eretz Yisroel

The manner in which those buried outside Eretz Yisroel will travel to Eretz Yisroel for techias hameisim.

in his Divrei Yatziv

discusses the mitzvah of being buried in Eretz Yisroel

in his sefer Oznaim LaTorah

explains how we learn from Yaakov Avinu that kevurah in Eretz Yisroel is a kapparah for the niftar.

in his sefer B’tzel Hachochma discusses the value of burial in Eretz Yisroel.

Take Action to Secure a Place in Eretz Yisroel