Why buy a Burial Plot in Israel?
Ans: Its significance is rooted in our history as a Jewish people.
We find in the Torah (Bible) that Jacob had his son, Joseph, swear that he would not bury his father in Egypt, but rather, be taken up to Israel for burial. Abraham had already secured the holiest burial plots for his family. Further on in Jewish history, Moses would exhume Joseph’s bones from Egypt’s Nile river, so that Joseph could be buried in his burial plot alongsideour nation’s other patriarchs in God’s chosen land.
Throughout Jewish history, Diaspora Jews have sought out ways to secure a burial plot for their loved ones in the holy land, leading up to today’s State of Israel. What is the reason behind this? What is the significance of a burial plot in the Land of Israel?
From the last of the 13 Principals of Faith (see: www.aish.com) we are told about the Resurrection of the Dead. From our daily prayers, we confirm our solid belief that God will resurrect the dead. The Talmud in tractate Ketubot 111a describes that at this time, the resurrection of those who are buried in the Land of Israel will merit resurrection first. Those who are interned in the Diaspora will join their bretheren in the Land of Israel, but via special tunnels that G-d will facilitate for this purpose. This means, however, that Diaspora resurrections will experience a more arduous journey to our home land. Looking into the future, then, buying one or more Burial Plots in Israel can also be viewed as an act of great kindness to our loved ones.
Last but not least, the Medrash tells us that the moment that a Jewish body is buried in the Land of Israel, that Jewish soul merits atonement from his sins as the verse says: And the land will atone for the nation.
May we all merit burial in our holy land, so that we may see and experience the final redemption and resurrection, may it be soon and in our days.
Dovid has been working the the field of Jewish Burial Plots for the past 24 years. He served as director of the largest Jewish cemetery in Johannesburg, South Africa, Westpark Cemetery for 8 years.