A haredi man who died eight years ago was exhumed from his grave last Thursday and reburied on the Mount of Olives, because his children felt the people buried next to him had not been sufficiently observant of Jewish law to allow their father to be buried alongside them.
According to the haredi news website Be’hadrei Haredim, the family received permission from several leading rabbis to rebury the man – including the late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, a week before he was hospitalized in February this year.
A video the website published shows Elyashiv’s aide Benzion Hacohen Kook relating the details of the issue to the rabbi. “There are two hassidic men whose father wrote in his will that he wished to be buried in the Sanhedria cemetery,” Kook tells Elyashiv.
The men related that upon visiting their father’s grave in the Sanhedria cemetery “they suddenly saw that next to their father were buried people [who were] possibly Sabbath- observant but certainly not strict in [observing religious] commandments.”
Elyashiv responded that they should rebury him in a different plot, apparently basing his decision on the laws of burial as codified in the Shulhan Aruch – which rules that a righteous man should not be buried next to an evil man, nor even a man of average righteousness.
According to the family, their father, who died at a young age, was renowned for his acts of charity and modesty.
They exhumed and reburied him late last Thursday night on the Mount of Olives next to his own father, who died last year.