Who Was the Rashbi – Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
The Rashbi or Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was one of the important pupils of Rabbi Akiva and was a legendary figure at the time of the Roman Occupation. The Rashbi wrote the Zohar – the main text of the Kabbalah and was an influential figure in the Talmud.
Legend has it that the Rashbi and his son were forced to hide from the Romans for many years and survived on a diet of mainly intensive study supplemented by a carob tree and a stream (both miracles in that location.)
Rashbi & Lag B’Omer
Tradition holds that he died on Lag B’Omer (the 33rd day after the start of Pesach/Passover & just before Shavuot – See Major Jewish Festivals) and that he requested that the day be marked as a day of celebration. Many thousands visit his grave on Lag B’Omer – the roads are sealed for miles around and in some traditions 3 year old boys receive their first haircuts here. His grave is a pilgrimage site year round and there are always crowds of people who come to pray to receive his influence and to celebrate family occasions.
The Safed (Zefat) – Meron area has many graves of Talmudic Scholars, revered to this day. The grave of Rashbi is probably the most well known of them.
Getting to the Grave of the Rashbi – Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai
Located inside the village of Meron – near Zefat (Safed) on route 866 near the junction with the 89.
There is wheelchair access from the side (avoiding the stairs.)