Moscow, April 4, Interfax - Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his help in returning remnants of the Israeli soldier killed during the First Lebanon war in 1982.
"Thank you very much for help and cooperation in returning remnants of Israeli soldier Zachary Baumel and opportunity to bury him in his Motherland in presence of his relatives. Our people consider their holy duty to bury the dead in compliance with the religious law," the rabbi wrote in his letter conveyed to Interfax on Thursday.
Sgt. First Class Zachary Baumel was considered missing since the battle of Sultan Yacoub held on June 11, 1982. For 37 years Israel tried to find its soldier, and recently it was cleared out that the Russian Special Forces found his burial place during their actions in Syria.
The rabbi noted that he more than once talked to Russian authorities about returning soldier's remnants to Israel.
"Today, thanks to the Lord, I can express you my gratitude not only from myself and Russian Jews, but from the entire Jewish nation, wherever we live. I understand that it was not easy to achieve it, which makes even greater your merit before God!" Lazar wrote to the Russian President.
Earlier, the Defense Ministry reported that Baumel's remnants were taken to Russia and then after genetic expertise would be transferred to his Motherland. Baumel's funeral was scheduled for 7 p.m. at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, according to the Israel Defense Forces.