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Cave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

The white-domed roof of the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the seminal Kabbalistic work, the Zohar, is one of the most beloved destinations in the world for Jewish pilgrims.

Tens of thousands of people stream to the tomb on Lag BaOmer, the traditional death date of Rabbi Shimon. They sing, dance, light bonfires, feast and study Kabbalah. Many have the custom to give their threeyear old boys their first haircut at this holy spot.

A disciple of Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai hid from the Roman authorities with his son in a cave for thirteen years where they were miraculously nourished by a carob tree and a stream of water. They merited frequent visits of Elijah the Prophet who revealed to them the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah.

A path from the southern part of his tomb complex leads to a cave and the spring of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

The cave is also known as the Cave of Hillel, according to a 12th-century tradition identifying a tomb in it as that of Rabbi Hillel the Elder. According to tradition, only the righteous could witness a miracle in the cave: the sudden appearance of water. When such people beheld this event, their prayer requests would be answered.