My parents (secular) are from Seattle and have to live with my sister (secular) in Ohio. My parents are older and are sorting out end of life issues. My father is insisting that he want to be buried in Seattle. Is it a halachic imperative to have speedy local burial, rather than transport the body to another state? Would this take precedent over respecting my father’s burial request?

Answer:

Although there is a halachic imperative to bury the deceased as soon as possible after death, this mitzvah derives from the obligation to honor the dead, and if one’s father insists that he wishes to be buried in a certain place, it is his honor that his wish be fulfilled, and it is permitted to delay the burial for the time of transportation.

This should be done as soon as possible.

Best wishes.

Sources:

See Chinuch 537; Mishnah Berurah 72:6; Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 357:1.

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