Wondrous stories and obvious miracles at the gravesite of rashby
Miracles and wonders that occurred in the city of
A tourist from Candia once described his visit in Israel, including the prayers that were held by the gravesite and House of Study near Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meiron: "There is no fresh water there and people couldn't live there for lack of water. However when Jews come during the Festivals to see the gravesites of the well-known and distinguished graves, especially the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and they pray and beg with penitential prayers and pleas to G-d for water so that they can be there for a few days, it rains immediately and the Arabs fill up their pits and buckets with water and give the Jews to eat and drink all delicacies."
Rabbi Moshe Basulla, who came to
"They also say that a miracle used to happen there. The Jews used to come in a long caravan and each one would light candles in the cave; and if a non-pure woman would enter, the lights would blow out. Everyone testified and swore to it that it was true, but I didn't see it."
In the days of the Beit Yosef they used to go to the gravesite of RASHBY and his son whenever there was a year of drought. The Magid Meisharim used to say that in merit of people encircling the gravesite of RASHBY and his son, it would rain.
Once when it rained on Succot and Maran the Beit Yosef felt bad about it, the "Magid" appeared to him on the evening of the 20th of Tishrei in the middle of the Succos holiday, and told him: "The rains that fell were not comparable to a pitcher of water that the master poured out in his servant's face, G-d forbid. On the contrary, your words were accepted and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son were pleased with you; you caused their cave and the nearby village to glow. Because you encircled Rabbi Elazar (the son of RASHBY) with the Four Species that come to appease for the receipt of water, the waters were aroused and they came. If you encircle a different time, great rains will fall, as in the days of Choni Ha'ma'agel. This principle should remain with you. Whenever the world is in great need of rain, go and encircle the gravesite of the aforementioned RASHBY and his son, and you will be answered. And for any calamity that befalls the public, encircle them seven times and you will be answered."1
The tradition of praying by the gravesite of the RASHBY for any foreseeable trouble has continued to successive generations:
1 Magid Shiurim, Portion of Emor
"…And when there is, unfortunately, no rain, people go to pray; and one time when they went, I was also amongst them and we prayed publicly and we read in the Sefer Torah that was there, and, thank G-d, we were made very happy – and thus by every calamity, one prays there for our salvation, for the redemption of our souls, speedily in our days."
In previous generations the gravesite of RASHBY stood at the center of the graves of the righteous and our Jewish brethren used to spend time there and pray profusely to G-d. Great is the merit of that righteous man for many people were redeemed and their prayers were answered for the good after having prayed at this holy site.
Over the years the rumor of salvations and wonders that occurred to people after praying there spread widely and nowadays people from near and far have begun thronging to pray in Meiron. Even gentiles have recognized the holiness of the place.
THE GRAVESITE OF THE RASHBY, A refuge during an earthquake
Rabbi Yosef, the author of Aidut BiYosef told of wondrous events that took place in his days in this holy place. In his days there was a great earthquake in Tsfat: "…and when the earthquake erupted (in October 1762) all the Arabs and gentiles came to that place, to the building of the RASHBY ob"m and the door was closed and they all opened their mouths and yelled: 'Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Shimon, because you are a great, important person in the world, we heard from our forefathers about your importance, and in our eyes you are also important – open your door.' The door immediately opened by itself and they all went in. And they and their wives and their homes were all saved and no damage was done to those people. And now, he – Rabbi Shimon – is truly important in their eyes."
Later on in the epistle he returns to this topic. Several months later there was an additional earthquake. "When the second earthquake occurred (in December) everyone – the Jews, gentiles and Arabs ran to the building of the RASHBY ob'm as they had done the first time and when they came closer they all saw that the entire building had risen up high and was jumping in the air, like a person, up and down, and the dome on top of the building was divided into two open halves. When they saw that they became terribly frightened and shaken. They all began yelling, 'Rabbi Shimon, Rabbi Shimon, if your building is destroyed, what will be our end?' More than half an hour elapsed and then the earth was still, the earthquake ended and the building stood in its place. The two parts of the split dome joined together as before and it was not damaged at all. The people who came there saw the great miracle in that building from the outside and within. They looked for some mark or crack in the building, but there was no sign or crack in the walls – it looked like it always had."2
Rabbi Chaim Halevy Horowitz, author of Chibat Yerushalayim, also relates: "I will call praises to G-d, who granted me the right to be in Meiron on Lag Ba'omer in the year 1839 (5199)…"
2 ibid, pp. 305. The author of the Ahavat Tzion also related: "The gentiles also pledge oil for the gravesite of RASHBY and his son Rabbi Elazar and they swear to one another in the name of Rabbi Shimon in Meiron and several times they were saved in his merit."
He fell from a height of six floors and his state was critical. The same day he revived and was healthy as anyone
"…I will tell the great miracle that occurred on that day," Rabbi Horowitz continued, "that my own eyes saw. When the entire holy group – men, women and children, went up to the roof the Study Hall of the Tanna (Sage of the Mishna), Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, to look at and enjoy the celebrations of the day of the RASHBY's passing, a boy of about five years old fell from the top of the roof – which was about thirty cubits (more than forty feet) high. The boy fell to the ground and lay there like a corpse. When everyone heard about it, they felt terrible and said that the boy died. His father went about crying but a doctor who was there said that they should let blood from the boy. The boy was revived and began yelling, 'Oy, Father'. When they heard the boy crying, everyone retuned to be joyous".
"G-d sent a speedy recovery to the boy and the next day he was completely healthy and rejoiced together with his father and everyone. Then everybody knew that only in the merit of the godly Tanna was the boy cured, so that his joy would not be curtailed."
The barren are redeemed after fourteen years in the merit of a donation for the sake of rashby's soul
Rabbi Yehudah Leib of Poltshian, author of "Responsa of the MAHARIL" describes the celebrations that he himself heard and saw: "And here at the celebrations I saw with my own eyes that there were two people who had drinks and they asked everyone to honor them by accepting their drinks." When asked why, they themselves related that they both needed to be redeemed from Heaven. With G-d's help, they were indeed redeemed. One of them had a first child after fourteen years of being married and the second one had a first son after ten years of marriage."
How were they redeemed? By the celebrations, one of them announced: "I pledge eighteen rotels (to pay) for drinks at the rejoicing at RASHBY on Lag Ba'omer. May it be the will before our Father in Heaven that He help me this year and I be blessed with a son." The entire congregation including his friend answered aloud, 'Amen!' That year their two wives gave birth to sons and three years later the time came to cut their hair. The fathers paid up their pledges and went up to Meiron to thank G-d for redeeming them in the merit of that righteous man and there they gave their sons their first haircuts.
The author of the Hilula D'Rashbi went so far as to claim, "Whoever lives in Israel must, and it is a mitzvah for him to travel to Meiron on Lag Ba'omer, to be there for the grand celebration… and he will certainly be redeemed there for all his heart's desires."
"Many legends and stories of miracles without end are told of Meiron and none of them are news to us," the author writes, "for he is called 'The Master of Miracles', as we have seen (Masechta Meila) that he was called 'Accustomed to miracles'. And even though this is not the place for stories, nevertheless, I cannot hold back and stop from telling this story, a story of a wonderful fearful miracle that we saw with our own eyes…."
A frightening story of revival of the dead from eye witnesses
"And I am hereby a witness to tell everyone about the miracle and wonder that I saw with my own eyes when I was in Meiron…."
"… In 1923 Lag Ba'omer fell on a Friday and most of the thousands of people who came there stayed in Meiron for the Sabbath as well and experienced a wonderful, enjoyable, uplifting Shabbos."
On Shabbos morning after the Musaf prayers, there was a great tumult because a little Sephardic boy who had just had his first haircut the day before had passed away. "I saw with my own eyes", the author writes, "- the boy was lying in his room on the floor, green and lifeless. Everyone felt terrible that a Jewish child had died and they shared the mother's grief. In their gloom, no one could make Kiddush and eat the Shabbos meal."
"Suddenly the mother stood up, took the dead child in her arms and went downstairs to the synagogue of the holy gravesite and put him on the floor. In a bitter voice she began yelling, 'Oy, the very righteous Rabbi Shimon, I, your maidservant, came here in your honor, to cut the hair of my first and only son that G-d gave me in your merit. I upheld the vow that I made and yesterday I brought him here alive and I cut his hair with songs and praises, drums and fiddles, drinks and rejoicing. And now how can I leave here in shame and embarrassment without the child? How on earth can I come home?' Her voice and crying were heard in the entire yard and every heart melted like water hearing her crying. When she finished her prayers, she stood up and said, 'Righteous rabbi, I am putting him here before you as he is, and please, do not put me to shame, do not leave my prayers unanswered, return him to me alive and well just as I had brought him before you yesterday, and the Name of G-d will be glorified in the world, and people will know that G-d and the righteous rule the world.'"
"They closed the door of the synagogue and no one was in there besides the boy lying on the floor – and a few minutes later the cry of a child was heard, calling his mother. They opened the door and the boy had stood up and was yelling, 'Mother, give me some water, I'm thirsty.' The entire crowd came to see the child alive. Even the doctors who were there to check the boy admitted that this had not occurred naturally, and all those standing by made the blessing, 'Blessed is He who revives the dead.'"
A helpful merit for the childless to donate drinks for the merit of rashby
Great Chassidic leaders used to send letters to
The gravesite of the RASHBY does not only serve as a place of prayers for those awaiting private salvation from their troubles; it is also a central point for joint prayers. Communities abroad that had troubles used to turn to the
ENCIRCLING THE GRAVESITE FOR THE SALVATION OF A COMMUNITY IN EXILE THAT SUFFRED BITTERLY FRom A ruling despot
Rabbi Chaim Shaul HaCohen Dwick, one of the great Kabalists in Jerusalem, received a letter from a community abroad describing the ruler in their city who harassed the Jews terribly, and asking him to pray for them Rabbi Chaim Shaul responded to their request and for the Shabbbos and several days close to Rosh Hashanah he travelled to Meiron with twenty disciples of his. Every day they encircled the holy gravesite of Rabbi Elazar, as per the custom of the Kabalists, with an old set of Four Species that people had used to perform the mitzvah the previous year.
When he returned to his home in the holy city together with his disciples, Rabbi Chaim Shaul found a telegram on his table from that same community informing him that the ruling tyrant had suddenly died and the Jews were rejoicing.
A merit for medical recoveries
Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ehrenreich of Shamloi wrote in one of his letters to