Love of the Land

For the week ending 17 May 2008 / 12 Iyyar 5768

Peki'in A Legendary Cave

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

In the center of the Peki'in village in the north of Israel there is a cave which is purported to be the one in which the Sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son Elazar hid for thirteen years. Lag B’omer, which is celebrated this coming week, is the Yahrzeit (anniversary) of Rabbi Shimon's death.

Condemned to death by the Romans for publicly criticizing their oppressive rule in Eretz Yisrael, this great Sage, who authored the classical Kaballah work "Hazohar", fled to a cave. The Talmud recounts that he and his son were sustained with the fruits of a carob tree and water from a spring that miraculously appeared out of nowhere.

Next to the cave there is a synagogue which the Israeli government renovated and which serves as a prayer site for visitors to the cave.

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