Who should strive to be buried in Eretz Yisroel?
And the answer is anybody who strives to be buried in Eretz Yisroel is worthy of being buried there. If a Jew understands that, then even though he might have lived a wicked life, but since he would like his remains to be interred in Eretz Yisroel, that’s a form of atonement for him. וכיפר אדמתו עמו – “The earth will be an atonement for him” (D’varim 32:43).
Of course, it’s a pity, it’s a tragedy. If only he had come to Eretz Yisroel, even in his last days, and had lived there piously! He would have walked the streets of Yerushalayim like a humble, pious Jew, serving Hashem. That would have been a million times better than sending his unclean remains, the dead body, to be metameh the land. But if it’s his wish to do that, then his wish is also a form of teshuva.
However, if a man dies a rasha – if he remained a rasha till his last day, and he didn’t desire it; just that his children want to send him to Eretz Yisroel, I don’t approve of that. No, I don’t approve of that at all. I think that they should just dump him some place on Long Island. Of course, in a Jewish cemetery. And that’s good enough for him. But to send his remains to Eretz Yisroel when he didn’t ask for it, I don’t know what the gedolim would say, but personally I don’t approve of it.
TAPE # 200 (January 1977)