Parashat Vayechi: "Please Do Not Bury Me in Egypt" (Bereshit 47:29)

Moving the grave of Rebbe Nachman to Israel

Question: There have been many issues regarding Rebbe Nachman’s grave in Uman (in the Ukraine). Is it a good idea to bring him to Israel?
Answer: The Gemara at the end of Ketubot (111a) explicitly says that it is good to bring the deceased to Israel, and many people do so. The Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud -Kilayim 9:3) brings a criticism: “He lives outside of Israel, but is buried in Israel. “ Nonetheless, one who is buried outside of Israel is not comparable to one who is buried in Israel, because being buried in Israel is like being buried under the altar. And even better than being buried in Israel is to die in Israel, and even better still is to live in Israel. Throughout the generations, they brought people to be buried here. Many of the followers of Rebbe Nachman wrote and received approbations from great Rabbis – including Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef - that Rebbe Nachman should be brought here, because Rebbe Nachman saw himself connected to the Land of Israel and wrote about it in various places. It was his desire to be buried here. Even if he did not say anything about it, it is obvious that that all of the righteous, and even the simple, want to be buried here, and all the more so Rebbe Nachman.
Q: Is there any idea that he could help others during the Ressurection of the Dead if he is there?
A: No, he could always travel there if they need help. The Gemara at the end of Ketubot explains that those buried in Israel are resurrected with greater ease, while those buried outside of Israel experience "gigul atzamot – rolling in tunnels" to Israel. We don't find that he is needed to gather the people there. If the need did arise, he could go there.