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    Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

    Ish Elokim kadosh hu

    Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the legendary figure who draws close to one million visitors from all over the country and the world to his grave in Meron, lived in Eretz Yisroel about two thousand years ago, but his power continues to shower abundance on every one of us, until today!
    Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was a fifth-generation Tanna who performed miracles, who revealed the Zohar and kabbalah, and was famous for his wondrous promise regarding the future of the Jewish nation two thousand years ago: “Torah will not be forgotten from Yisrael!” The Jewish people will survive for eternity!

    All of Bnei Yisrael are princes

    Rashbi was one of Rabbi Akiva’s five disciples, who survived after the deaths of the majority of his tens of thousands of students. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s name appears many times in the Mishnah and Gemara and many halachos were taught in his name, with one of them well-known due to its explanation: “All of Bnei Yisrael are princes”.
    Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai toiled to establish intensive Torah learning during his lifetime which, according to tradition, spanned over more than 90 years and changed the Jewish nation forever, due to the secrets of Torah which he revealed to the world.

    Thirteen years hiding in the cave

    The tumultuous life of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai included a period of 13 years during which he was forced to hide with his son, Rabbi Eliezer, in a cave, out of fear of the Romans who then ruled the Land of Israel. In practice, it was precisely this period which became one of incredible devotion and spiritual progress, after which he was given the power to kill with a glance and grant yeshuos above nature.

    Revealing the Zohar and kabbalah

    Later on, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai authored the holy Zohar and studied the secrets of Torah which eventually became known as kabbalah, and which reveals deep inner meaning on life.

    The protective emissary

    During times of hardship and trouble, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai brought yeshuos for the Jewish people and even spoke with the Roman government to nullify the decrees against learning Torah and holding a bris milah. For this reason it was said that the rainbow was not seen throughout his lifetime, as a sign of Heavenly chessed.

    Rashbi’s tziyun and the Cave Entrance

    Rabbi Shimon’s passing is described in the Zohar as a lofty occasion with fire burning around the house where he was learning the secrets of Torah with his students until his last moments.
    After his passing, his students brought him to the burial cave in Meron. The cave was later blocked with rocks, with the place of his burial marked above it. Eventually, the structure we are familiar with today was built by the mekubal, Rabbi Avraham Galanti, who did so as instructed by the Arizal.
    Opposite the Cave Entrance which was blocked with stones is the Hachnasas Orchim Rashbi Meron Yeshivas Hamekubalim, where the Zohar is learned during the auspicious time of midnight to dawn, to bring merit to the Jewish people.
    Thus, Rashbi’s burial place became a permanent place of learning and prayer throughout the generations up until our own times, where people visit at any time of trouble, and which is ripe for remarkable yeshuos.