The Breslov Hasidic camp is currently promoting the importation of the bones of their founding leader, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and one of the senior rabbis of the Religious-Zionist movement has joined the struggle.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, who has previously opposed the Jewish New Year's Eve trend of massive prostration on the Rebbe's grave in the Ukrainian town of Breslov, has expressed his support for a petition being circulated by the Hasidic community, which calls on the government to bring the holy site to Israel.
In an article published by the 'Maayanei Hayeshua' organization Aviner writes: "Is Rabbi Nachman a lesser (man) than many leaders of Israel whose bones have been transferred to Israel? Of course not! He is more so, because many times he said that his true place was in Israel."
The rabbi claimed that Nachman had desired to be buried in Israel, "and if the will of Rabbi Nachman was that people would come to visit his grave, of course his will could be carried out with more enthusiasm in the Land of Israel."
Regarding the issue of the transfer of graves, which carries many halachic limitations, the rabbi determined that if the graves are transferred to Israel the move is considered a mitzvah.
He explains that according to Rabbi Moses Maimonides, burial in Israel accomplishes atonement for the sins of the deceased, and thus "Rabbi Nachman will benefit from this".
In conclusion, Aviner recommends that the reader sign the Hasidic petition, and explains that the move "will also save one from leaving Israel for an impure land, which is known as a halachic problem."
He adds, "It will also save the wealth of Israel, which can be given to charity, which saves lives. Therefore it is a doubled mitzvah to bring Rabbi Nachman's bones to Israel, as was the process with many great and holy (people)."
The "Petition of Millions" calls on the government to import the grave to Jerusalem as part of the "fulfillment of the prophecy of world peace and to assist the arrival of salvation."
According to the petition, the importation of the grave will bring salvation to the world in the fields of security and economics, and will prevent the occurrence of a third world war.