RABBI SHIMON BAR YOCHAI
Did you know that, in his generation, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (RASHBY) was known by everyone as "the veteran of miracles"?
Why was he known so?
Did you know that these miracles continue in our day, as our sages have said, "The righteous are greater after their death than in their lifetimes"?
Did you know that many people without children who were already hopeless merited to be redeemed by the RASHBY?
Living testimony from those who experienced it.
The miracles of the barren being redeemed and the dead being resurrected at the gravesite of RASHBY are documented and reported by a live witness in 1923 (5683), written in his book, Hilula D'Rashby.
Recoveries, salvations, livelihood and success
in all areas in the merit of rabbi shimon
All this and more in the article below.
Rabbi shimon bar yochai
(Sources of his biography, greatness, holiness, power and intensity are from the Jewish Talmud, Medrash and holy Zohar – and from stories that took place recently.)
The holy Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was one of the great Sages of the Oral Law, one of the more famous amongst them. He lived in the second generation following the destruction of the
HIS RABBI and teacher – rabbi akiva
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai ("RASHBY")'s close teacher was Rabbi Akiva and it was from him that he learned his principle wisdom. After his twenty four thousand students had died in a plague a short while after Passover and the world was barren with the threat of Torah being forgotten, Rabbi Akiva began teaching Torah to seven new students and RASHBY was one of them.
In those days of anti-religious coercion and calamities, when every Torah student's life was endangered, Rabbi Shimon risked his life, went to the prison, and asked Rabbi Akiva to teach him Torah.
Because he valued the life of his young disciple, Rabbi Akiva refused to teach Rabbi Shimon Torah.
Rabbi Shimon said to him,
"If you do not teach me Torah, I will tell my father Yochai and he will have you turned in to the govenment."
Rabbi Akiva answered.
"My son, more than the calf wants to suck, the cow would like to nurse. I most fervently want to transfer my Torah teachings to you, but it would endanger our lives."
Rabbi Shimon answered:
"You have already been caught by the wicked Romans and the fear of danger is only upon me. As for me, I am willing to sacrifice my life just to learn more Torah from you."
"the walls have ears" – rashby's words heard by the government
When our Rabbis went to Kerem BiYavne (- a House of Learning where the Sages sat in rows like vines in a vineyard-), Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilayi, Rabbi Yossi and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai were amongst the scholars learning there. Yehuda ben Gerim (the son of two converts) was also there.
Rabbi Yehuda began:
How nice are the deeds of the Romans who rule the land. They have established markets- planned cities with roads where they designated streets for markets in an orderly nice manner. They have made bridges and bathhouses as well."
Rabbi Yossi was silent and did not react to his words.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai did respond and he said:
"Whatever the Romans established, they only did for their own sake."
They established markets – for their pleasure; bathhouses – to pamper their bodies; bridges – so that they can collect fines from those who pass."
Yehuda ben Gerim who heard the Sages' conversation went and told it to his students and family. He did not do that intentionally for the government authorities to hear about it, but his lack of cautiousness caused the rumor to spread until it reached the ears of the Roman government. Although Yehuda ben Gerim intended nothing bad, his story is considered slander because due to it Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's life was endangered.
The Romans decreed:
Yehuda who raised our honor shall be raised to greatness and amongst other things, in all matters his opinion will be heard first.
Yossi who was silent shall be exiled to his home city of
Shimon who denounced us– shall be killed!
Rashby and his son hide if fear of the enemy
Rabbi Shimon went and hid in a House of Study with his son Rabbi Elazer.
There was no decree against Rabbi Elazer and his life was not endangered, so he did not have to hide. However, his great love of his father who taught him Torah and G-d's teachings made him decide to go along with his father during the entire time he would be hiding from the Romans.
Every day Rabbi Shimon's wife would bring them bread and a jug of water and they would dip the bread in the water and satisfy their hunger. Eventually the edict was intensified and Roman battalions were sent to rigorously search for and track down Rabbi Shimon.
At that time Rabbi Shimon said to his son:
"Elazer my son, look here, women are flexible and they do not have a strong opinion. If the Romans torture your mother she may reveal our hiding place. Come, let us flee to a hiding place that no one knows about."
They went and hid in a cave in Pekiin (whose location in
Every Friday the tree would produce dates instead of carobs, so that they could thereby make the Shabbat pleasurable.
When Rabbi Shimon and his son sat in the cave they made sure to take off their clothes so that they would not wear away and they sat within ditches in the cave, their bodies covered up to their necks with sand, to be modest and not let their bodies be uncovered.
They used to learn the entire day and for prayers only would they put on their clothes, to "prepare themselves before the G-d of
The jewish sages preferred sending rashby who was used to miracles happening
The wicked Roman government once decreed upon the Jews that they mustn't keep the Shabbat, not circumcise their sons and not maintain family purity.
In the city of
Rabbi Reuven went dressed completely as a gentile and he sat with the important figures of the Roman government. Amidst the conversation he asked them,:
"If a person has an enemy, does he want the enemy to become rich or to stay poor?"
They answered him: "Certainly, to be poor."
He said to them: If so, it's not worth our while for the Jews to work on their Sabbath, because each day they work they earn more and more money. It's better if they don't work and thereby they'll get poorer."
They liked what he said and said to one another:
"Yes, it's worthwhile to cancel the decree about their guarding their Sabbath."
Consequently Rabbi Reuven asked them:
"If a person has an enemy would he help him be healthy or would he want to weaken his strength?"
They told him: "One must do everything to keep his enemy weak and feeble."
He argued with them: "If so, why don't you let the Jews circumcise their sons on the eighth day? The circumcision only weakens them."
They agreed with him and canceled this decree as well.
Rabbi Reuven asked them a third question:
"If a person has an enemy, what would he want – for his enemy to increase in number or decrease?"
They answered him: "Certainly he should make sure to decrease his numbers."
He told them: "If so, for your own sake you should make sure the Jews keep to the laws of family purity; thereby they will lessen in number."
His words found favor in their eyes and they cancelled the three decrees.
Eventually the Romans found out that the advisor who seemed to have given advice for their good, was really a representative of the Jews. They then renewed the decrees with even greater vigor.
The Sages of Israel deliberated together about whom they should send to
They said: Let Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai go. He is used to having miracles happen. Until today many great miracles have happened for him – a spring and carob tree were created when he was in the cave. And let Rabbi Elazer, Rabbi Yossi's son go along with him.
As they were leaving the boat on the way to the home of the Roman Caesar a spirit called Ben Tamlion appeared before them, and asked:
"Would you like me to come along with you?"
Rabbi Shimon cried and said:
"Hagar, the maidservant of our Patriarch Avraham had three angels coming to her, one after the other. And I haven't had even one? Nu, the miracle will occur in any case. Come with us."
Ben Tamlion told them: I will go first and I will enter the body of the Caeser's daughter; she will go mad and the doctors will give up trying to cure her. Then you come and tell me "Leave." I will give you a sign. When I leave her I will break all the glassware in the Caesar's home."
Rabbi Shimon agreed and within a short time a rumor was circulating in Rome that the Caesar's daughter had gone mad and she was asking that they the Jewish sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai be brought to her. The Caesar's servants spread throughout the city of
Rabbi Shimon made sure to whisper his words so that others would not hear and they would think that by his prayers he was able to save the Caesar's daughter.
The spirit immediately left the Caesar's daughter's body and she became normal.
The Caesar, who was thrilled at his daughter's recovery, turned to Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar the son of Rabbi Yossi and said:
"Ask for whatever you want!"
They were brought to the Caesar's hidden treasures and were given permission to take whatever their hearts desired.
However, Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Elazar did not look at the precious treasures that glimmered in the light; they looked for the anti-religious decrees. When they found the signed letter about the three decrees they took it and ripped it to pieces.
Rashby's will is fulfilled
One day Rabbi Shimon went out and saw that the world was dark and gloomy, its light blocked. Rabbi Elazar said to him:
"Come let us see what G-d wants."
They went and found an angel that looked like a large mountain with thirty flames spewing out of it.
Rabbi Shimon asked him: "What do you want to do?"
The angel answered him: I would like to destroy the world because there aren't thirty righteous people in this generation. G-d told to Avraham our Patriarch, "And Avraham will be" and the numerology of the words "will be" comes to thirty."
Rabbi Shimon told him: "Please, go to G-d and tell him that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is in the world."
The angel went to the Creator and said:
"You know what bar Yochai told me."
G-d answered him." Go destroy the world and don't pay attention to bar Yochai."
When he came, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai saw the angel and told him:
"If you do not go back to your place, I will decree that you cannot enter the heavens and your place will be Aza and Azel. When you come before G-d tell him: "If there aren't thirty righteous people in the world, there may be twenty, and it says, "I will not destroy for the sake of the twenty." And if there aren't twenty, there may be ten, and it says, "I will not destroy for the ten." And if there aren't ten, there are two – my son and I, and it says, "By two witnesses the word will exist" – and "word" refers to the world as it says, "With G-d's word the Heavens were created." And if there aren't two, there is one and I am he, as it says, "And the righteous man is the foundation of the world."
At that point a voice came out of the Heavens and said:
"Fortunate is your lot, Rabbi Shimon because G-d decrees above and you cancel below. It is written about you, "The will of those who fear Him He fulfills."
RASHBY STOPS PLAGUES
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai arrived at the city of
"Rabbi, what should we do about this calamity?"
Rabbi Shimon walked around the city and saw people dying. He said, "All this is happening in the city even though I am here? I decree that the decree be canceled!"
A voice immediately announced from Heaven:
"Harmful agents, leave the city! Because Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is in the city and even though G-d decrees, Rabbi Shimon cancels decrees!"
The decree was immediately canceled and the plague stopped.
Rabbi Chanina was there and was amazed by the greatness of Rabbi Shimon. He went and told Rabbi Meir about it.
Rabbi Meir told him:
The greatness of Rabbi Shimon – who can measure – except to say that he is like Moshe, of blessed memory..
Rabbi Meir explained:
After the dispute of Korach and his flock a plague broke out within the Jewish Nation. Moshe ordered Aharon to take a pan, put fire from the altar on it, add incense and walk amongst the people to atone for their sins. Aharon the Priest did what he was told; he ran amongst the congregation with the incense and stood between the living and the dead – and the plague stopped. Moshe had to bother with all this, while Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai with just one sentence cancels decrees. G-d decrees and he cancels the decree of a plague."
RASHBY PROVES THAT HE WHO GIVES AWAY MONEY TO CHARITY WILL NOT LOOSE OUT
On Rosh Hashanah Eve Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai saw in his dream that his sister's sons will be demanded to pay six hundred dinars to the royal government.
Rabbi Shimon went to them and appointed them as mangers of charity money. They asked him:
"Who will finance the money to be distributed to the poor?"
He told them: "Pay everything from your own money and write down every expense in detail in a special notebook. At the end of the year we will check the accouint and if you have lost from your own money I will reimburse everything."
They listened to Rabbi Shimon and during that year they gave out money to the poor generously.
At the end of the year people informed the government that they were trading in silk, which was forbidden by the authorities. As a result of the report they were arrested and imprisoned.
One of the government officials came to them with an offer.
"If you want to be saved from a punishment, you have two possibilities: to make a dignified garment for the king or to pay a fine of six hundred dinars!"
Rabbi Shimon heard what happened and came to visit them in jail. He asked them: "My dear nephews, how much money did you spend this year for the poor people?"
They answered: "Here is the notebook…"
Rabbi Shimon checked their calculations and found that they had given out six hundred less six dinars to the poor. He told them:
"Give me six dinars and I will have you freed from your imprisonment."
They asked him: The king's messenger demanded six hundred dinars from us, how can six dinars be enough for you?"
He answered them:" What do you care to give me six dinars?"
They stood up and inconspicuously gave him six dinars. Rabbi Shimon went and bribed the messenger not to tell the king about what happened.
When they were freed, they asked Rabbi Shimon:
"Did you know that this misfortune would befall us?"
He told them: You should know that on Rosh Hashanah I already knew that you would have to pay this amount to the government. I therefore appointed you as managers of the charity money. I said, it's better that you give your money to the destitute than to the government. And now that six dinars were missing from the amount, you had to pay that amount to the regime."
They asked him in wonder: "Why didn't you tell us about it – and we would have given those six dinars to the poor as well?"
Rabbi Shimon explained:
"I knew that you would have happily given your money to the poor and despite that I did not reveal this decree to you, because I wanted you to have the merit of giving charity for Heaven's sake, and not for other reasons."
RASHBY redeems the barren
In the city of
He told them:
I have one request from you and do not refuse me. Just as you were married with food and drink, so separate from one another amidst food and drink!"
The couple listened faithfully to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's words and arranged a dignified meal to which they invited poor Torah scholars. During the course of the meal the guests ate and drank well and the wife gave her husband plenty to drink.
When the husband was cheerful from drinking he said to his wife:
"My dear wife, look for any good item that I have in the house. Take it and bring it to your father's house."
The wife waited and when she saw that he had fallen asleep she told her servants to carry him in his bed to her father's house.
In the middle of the night he woke up and since the effect of the wine had worn off he looked around and found himself in some place.
He asked his wife: My dear, where am I?"
"In my father's house," she answered.
"What do I have to do with your father's house?" he argued.
She answered him:
"Didn't you tell me last night that I should take anything good from your house and bring it to my father's house? Well, there's nothing better for me than you!"
The two of them went back to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and told him what happened.
When Rabbi Shimon saw the love that existed between the two he stood and asked for mercy and they were redeemed from their barrenness.
The Medrash ends: This teaches us the virtue of the righteous. Just as G-d redeems the barren, so do the righteous redeem the barren.
This is a fortiori: If a person (the wife) who said to another person (the husband) "I have nothing better than you" was thereby redeemed- the Jewish people who are waiting for G-d's salvation daily and say "We have nothing better in the world than You, for You are our Father" – how much more so will they be redeemed; as it says in the verse, "We will rejoice and be happy with You."
TORAH secrets WERE REVEALED TO RASHBY THAT HAD NOT EVEN BEEN REVEALED TO ANGELS
When Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai left the cave he was given permission to reveal Torah secrets to selected pupils. He would sit with his disciples amidst nature and they would explain verses in the holy Torah through the Kabala and the secret parts of Torah. In the merit of Rabbi Shimon, his students also ascended spiritually and none of the Heavenly secrets were hidden from them. They understood them clearly as if they had now been given on
Rabbi Shimon revealed Torah secrets to his disciples and they would praise him and say, "Fortunate is the man whose Master agrees with him and reveals hidden secrets to him, that had not even been revealed to the holy angels."
On another occasion they expressed themselves: "Permission is not given to people in this world to interpret secret things, except for Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai for whom G-d does consent."
Nevertheless Rabbi Shimon was not haughty about his accomplishments and before he passed away he told his disciples:
"G-d well knows that I did not reveal Torah secrets for the sake of my honor or my family's honor, it was rather so that I do not enter His palace (after death) in shame. Likewise, I saw that G-d and all the truly righteous that are here agreed that I could reveal the secrets – for I saw that they were all happy in my joy."
Rashby's promise for future generations
The Jewish sages, RASHBY's friends decided that Torah was bound to be forgotten from the Jews because of their wandering and misfortunes in exile. RASHBY disagreed with them and forcefully said that Torah would not be forgotten from
RASHBY'S TORAH IN THE HOLY ZOHAR brings about salvation
The Zohar is the culmination of RASHBY's Torah. He composed it with ten of his disciples and it contains Heavenly secrets about the Creation of the world and Uniqueness of G-d. In the holy Zohar it says that Eliyahu the Prophet told RASHBY that in the merit of learning this book in holiness Israel will leave the exile (and if this book studied in holiness can take Israel out of its exile in general, how much more so that it can redeem every individual from his private exile and troubles when learned properly). And the words of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzato that "There is nothing like the Zohar to quiet down (Heavenly) accusations against the Jewish Nation" are well known.
Lag baomer, the dayof rahsby's passing- at rashby's grave
The fact has been retold from one generation to the next that on the 33rd day of the Omer counting, RASHBY'S soul ascended to Heaven In the holy Zohar his day of passing is described. The holy Zohar writes that fire surrounded RASHBY and his disciples before his passing, because of the great holiness of the revelation of Heavenly secrets. Therefore, the day of his passing has been set as a holiday in the Jewish nation – for on that day Torah secrets were revealed that had previously never been revealed. On that day hundreds of thousands of people from
RASHBY TESTIFIED ABOUT HIMSELF – "I CAN free the whole world from the dimension of judgment."
By right of this saying and in light of the miracles and salvations that he brought about in his lifetime, we connect to RASHBY and we are redeemed by G-d – as our Sages ob"m have said, "The righteous are greater in their death than in their lifetime."