Q. 1) Shalom Aleichem Rebbe: I was calling about a question someone asked me about re- internment of their father from F. to Toronto.
She and her brother are not frum, but they want to have their parents buried (their ailing mother is planning on being buried here) in Toronto so they can visit the graves.
I know that there is a shailah about reburial for this reason, but they will probably go ahead anyway.
(If this is not permitted, should one help? See next question)
A. The removal of the remains requires the supervision of members of a reliable Chevra Kadisha. This is due to the need of the proper removal, not only of the body remains, but also of the earth they may have become mixed with when decomposition began. Additionally, experienced care is essential on order to honor those remains, when being extracted and transported. It is unlikely that a reliable Chevra Kadisha will engage in a prohibited disinterment act.
Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a suggested that if the F. Beis Olam is in danger to become in the future abandoned or neglected since the Jewish Community there today is rather small, that may be a valid reason for re- internment.
The Rov also suggested, that the children and the ailing mother buy their kevarim already now in Toronto, thus creating a Kever Avos plot, to which reburial is permitted.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a
Q. 2) (See re-interment question above, of a father buried in another city and being moved to Toronto.)
So they basically wanted to know:
(a) Does there have to be a shomer after the body is exhumed in F. until it is reintered here in Toronto?
(b) Is the reburial done just as a normal burial would be in terms of all the prayers, etc?
Thank you
A. Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 403: 9-10) indeed maintains that proper shemira and honorable handling and transportation should be given to those remains.
Shiva is limited in re-interment cases to one single but complete day. We don’t rule that part of the day counts as the whole day, as we do at the last day of a shiva. Keria or rending of the clothing is necessary as in the original burial (ibid. 403: 1).
There are different traditions in regard to if and which Tehilim should be recited and if any praises should be said at the re-interment act. The common minhag is that the Avelim are not required to attend the removal and re-interment of the remains.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a