The Land of Israel Burial – קבורת ארץ ישראל is an alternative to traditional burial options currently available in Israel that, if instituted and widely used, will save enormous amounts of land, money, and physical resources. It is a new and old concept that the Talmud and halakhic literature discuss. Today’s ecological problem, in a nutshell, is that with Israel’s growing population traditional burial options are using too much land- and resource-consumptive, costly, and aesthetically unattractive.
The Land of Israel Burial’s ecological method, in brief, involves temporary burial in the ground. After the body has decomposed (generally one year) the bones are gathered and placed in a special box known as an ossuary which can then be put in a family burial vault. This method saves resources and money.
The Land of Israel Burial Association headed by Rabbi Rafi Ostroff, head of the Gush Etzion religious council, is leading the initiative. The Association is working on many fronts towards getting approval for method by the Ministry of Religious Services and associated agencies.
The Association’s website https://kvurat-eretz-isr.org.il/ has a wealth of detail and research related to the initiative. On the site you can also register to be buried by this option.
The site is in Hebrew but a growing number resources are in English including:
September 2020 article in Hadassah Magazine – click here
February 2020 article in Haaretz – click here
October 2022 article in Jerusalem Post – click here