Moshe asks:

Hello Kollel Hadaf.

Something has been bothering me for many years, and I think that the best time to ask it is now, with Daf 22.

We learned in the Daf cycle, and I don't know where, that Hash-m comments on the practice of burying people in Eretz Yisrael, ... those people who have spent their entire lives in Chutz L'Aretz.

Hash-m's words are, ... "Are you coming to be Metamei my Land?"

However we see at the top of Daf 22A, that Rava told the people of Bnei Mechuza, that if the relatives are not accompanying the Mes to Eretz Yisrael, then their Shiva begins when they turn around from the procession. Artscroll on this Gemora, note 7 says ,... "The practice was to take the bodies from Bavel to the land of Israel for burial"

And even if we say that the Gemora is not condoning the practice of Bnei Mechuza, but merely telling us a Halachah as to when the Shiva of these relatives begins, ... it is still hard to understand how the practice was, and still is, acceptable.

Thank You

The Kollel replies:

Let's start with the Psak of the Shulchan Aruch (363:1) that it is Mutar to unearth a body buried in in Chutz l'Aretz and move it to Eretz Yisrael. The GR"A there explains that it permissible because it is a Kaparah for the Meis. The Pischei Teshuvah there brings a Psak of the Maharlba"ch that the children of a Meis are allowed to have his body moved to Eretz Yisrael even if he expressed his opinion, when he was alive, that it is not appropriate to move a dead body to E"Y.

How does this square with the Gemara Yerushalmi (Kila'im 9:3) that says it is Asur to bring people who died in Chutz l'Aretz to E"Y for burial because of the Pasuk "v'Tavo'u v'Tetamu Es Artzi"? The Maharlba"ch (sited above) says that this Yerushalmi is a Da'as Yachid and the Halacha is as stated in the Shulchan Aruch (sited above). The Shevet haLevi (2:207) says that even this Yerushalmi agrees that one can be brought to E"Y for Kevurah and that it was only protesting against the wealthy Jews of Chutz l'Aretz who had the resources to move to E"Y and didn't. For them it is a Kitrug to be brought to E"Y for burial. Rav Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos v'Hanhagos I:707) says something similar, that the Isur to bring a body to E"Y is only when the Niftar could have moved to E"Y when he was alive without difficulty and danger to life (which, says Rav Sternbuch, is the case for all Jews today).

Therefore, there is no difficulty in understanding the Minhag mentioned in Moed Katan of bringing the dead of Mechuza to E"Y for burial. Either they did not hold of the Yerushalmi's prohibition (Maharlba"ch) or they did not consider the Yerushalmi applicable to them because they would have moved to E"Y when they were alive if they had had the chance.

Kol Tuv,

Yonasan Sigler

This is not a Psak Halachah