When an Israeli man living in Germany passed away in a hospital in Bremen, doctors reached out to Chabad-Lubavitch of Hamburg co-director Rabbi Shlomo Bistritzky, who had been visiting friends in the area, to make arrangements for the body.

Working with the deceased's Israeli family, the rabbi convinced the man's non-Jewish wife in Germany to decide against cremation, considered by Jewish law to be a desecration of the body, and relent to the body's burial in Israel.

Bistritzky, reached last week in Hamburg, said that had he not decided at the last minute to visit the man, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, the Haifa burial might have never happened.

The man's doctors decided to speak to the rabbi because he was one of the man's last visitors. ...