As soon as the bad news of Mr. Mikhailov’s murder was received from Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, the Chief Rabbi of Almaty Rabbi Elchonon Cohen started working on transferring his body to Israel. This proved to be a rather complicated undertaking that included securing various permits from local authorities as well as the Israeli embassy, which is located in far off Astana.
The arrangements were halted on erev Shabbat and renewed again on Saturday night, when most European airlines were not working and the foreign embassies were all closed.
At the request of Rabbi Cohen, Israeli consul Emil Ben Naftali opened the embassy building as a special favor and produced a visa so that the deceased could be flown to Israel. The problem of finding an appropriate flight was solved when it was decided to fly to Moscow first, where the local members of the Chevra Kaddisha (burial society) were able to put the coffin on the earliest flight to Israel.
The Chevra Kaddisha of Akko in Israel, which is led by Rabbi Bitton, then transferred the deceased from Ben Gurion Airport to the cemetery in Akko, where he was laid to rest.
Mr. Mikhailov had been a supporter of Chabad and had generously provided assistance to the activities of the shluchim. The Jews of Bishkek and Almaty honored his memory by giving tzedakah and putting on tefillin during the week after his death.
May he find eternal rest.