Ask The Rabbi

Burial Rite Direction

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Topic: Burial, Direction

Jonathan Lyons from Edgware, Middlesex, UK wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Is it true that, in countries other than Israel, graves in a cemetery should be arranged in a certain way - i.e., heads facing Jerusalem?

Dear Jonathan Lyons,

There are two main customs:

  • Burial with feet facing the gate of the cemetery, to indicate belief in resurrection
  • Burial with feet facing Israel, indicating belief in resurrection and also the primacy of the Land of Israel.

Ideally, both customs can be fulfilled by having the entrance to the cemetery in the direction of the Land of Israel.


  • Pitchei Teshuva 262:2 and Gesher Hachaim

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