Mt. Meron

One of the most significant Jewish holy sites is Mt. Meron. Mt. Meron lies a couple of miles away from the Sea of Galilee, north of the city of Tzfat, in beautiful northern Israel. The holy mountain is famous because many righteous rabbis are buried there; most notable being Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who lived in the 2nd century CE. He was a student of the famous Rabbi Akiva, the first rabbi to publicly teach Jewish mysticism, and is the author of the Zohar, the foundational work of Jewish mysticism. Also buried on Mt. Meron are Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s son, Elazar, and the Talmudic sage Hillel along with many of his disciples.

Till this day, on the Jewish holiday called Lag Ba’omer which falls in the spring, massive numbers of Jews travel and take busses from all over Israel to Mt. Meron. They converge to remember and celebrate the life and teachings of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai with joyous dancing, singing, prayer and festivities. Additionally, it is a custom among many Jews to bring their three-year old sons to the mountain to have their first haircut.

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