Tiberias Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Tomb 001

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  • Title:  Tiberias Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Tomb 001
  • Description:  Although Rabbi Meir died outside of the Land of Israel, he was brought to Tiberias (the same city where his well-known teacher Rabbi Akiva is buried) and buried there in a standing position near the Kinneret. It is said that he asked to be buried this way so when the Final Redemption occurs, Rabbi Meir would be spared the trouble of arising from his grave and could just walk out to greet the Jewish Messiah. He requested that he be buried in Eretz Yisrael by the seashore so that the water that washes the shores should also lap his grave (Jerusalem Talmud, Kelaim 9:4). Visitors to his grave traditionally recite Tehillim and a special prayer. Every year, thousands of Jews make pilgrimage to his grave to receive blessings for health and success, in particular on his yahrtzeit (anniversary of his death) the 14th of Iyar, which is also Pesach Sheni (known as the holiday of the 'second chance').

    Four tombs in Israel and one or two in Iraq have over time been associated with Rabbi Meir. The 12th century visitors Benjamin of Tudela and Petachiah of Regensburg favored the Iraqi option and did not mention a tomb near Tiberias. The first clear mention of a tomb of Rabbi Meir in this place was made in the early 13th century by Samuel ben Samson, but he also mentioned a tomb of Rabbi Meir in Jish, as did many other writers in the following centuries. There was also until the 16th century some disagreement over which Rabbi Meir was buried here. For example, Moses ben Mordecai Bassola, while noting the story that the person here was buried standing up, stated explicitly that it was a Rabbi Meir different than the tanna. However, from sometime in the 16th century there has been general agreement that Rabbi Meir the tanna has his tomb in Tiberias.
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  • Keywords:  Tiberias
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