Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Dead Woman Shipped From Russia to Israel in Cardboard Box

Giving a new meaning to “next year in Jerusalem,” the body of a 80-year-old deceased woman who wished to be buried in Israel was packed and shipped from Moscow to Tel Aviv. In a cardboard box.

The Foreign Ministry said the woman had been dead for 11 days when her body arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on October 27 wrapped in plastic inside a plain box with no documentation, reported. It only took the volunteer community organization ZAKA a few hours to trace the link back to the woman’s family in Moscow who identified her as Esti Zizuva.

Zizuva asked in her will to be buried in Israel and, unaware of the protocol behind transporting a dead body, her family shipped her as baggage.

“This a family in which the mother died 11 days ago, and they innocently decided to send her for burial in Israel,” the ZAKA spokesman said to Israel’s Channel 2. “Since they didn’t know the procedures, they decided to send her as baggage.”

Upon completion of all her documentation, Zizuva will be buried in Ashdod.

Surprisingly — or not — this is not the first time a dead body has traveled this way. A ZAKA spokesperson said due to high transport fees a man bought a regular plane ticket and shipped his mother’s body in a suitcase two years ago. And families ignorant of the procedure regularly ship loved one’s body parts to be buried in Israel.

Next time you’re on a plane and your seat mate is sleeping the whole flight, try nudging them. Just to make sure they’re just sleep.

View post on


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.