Amirim
The Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

The Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Amirim Moshav was established in 1958 by a handful of people who shared a joint ideology: vegetarian-veganism and health awareness. In this period, the village members earnt a living by growing vegetation. The closeness of Amirim to Tzfat (Safed) encouraged the building of guest rooms for tourists which over time turned into guest houses. Today, Amirim is considered a special vacation village with around 180 zimmers intended for couples, families and also suited to the needs of religious and orthodox guests.

The Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Mount Meron is one of the most famous tombs of a sage in Israel. It is the second largest religious site (following the Kotel or Western Wall) in Israel. However, like at the Kotel, here also many non-religious guests visit. Each year on Lag B’Omer, there is a large celebration and Upsherin takes place (a custom at Meron where three year old boys receive their first hair cut) accompanied by the Klezmer orchestra.

Secular visitors should note that they should dress modestly on this occasion. Men and women are both required to have their head covered. On site, men and women are separated.

The site is open to visitors every day of the year and is suited to all the family, including families with small children or those with physical disabilities. The path is circular, around 1.5 KM in length and lasts around 2 hours.

The tour begins with a visit to the ancient synagogue. Remains indicate that a thriving Jewish settlement existed here in the Mishnah and Talmudic periods. The chiseled stones of the synagogue wall, the perpendicular columns in the corners and the remains of the building enable us to imagine the incredible glory and splendor that characterized it. Even though there are those who believe that that when the synagogue lintel falls the Messiah will arrive, the stone walls have been strengthened with concrete for the safety of visitors. Apart from experiencing the synagogue, you can also enjoy the breathtaking view - the peak of Mount Meron, Ramat HaDalton, Mount Cna’an and in good visibility conditions you can even see the Hermon Mountain.

Stories and Anecdotes about the Tomb Site

According to tradition, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s son, Elazar, who he hid from the Romans for 13 years, is also buried in the tomb.

There is a hypothesis that states that because Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was a Torah sage, following his death there were differences of opinion and disagreements as to where he should be buried. Everyone wanted him to be buried close to them. The anecdote tells that after his body was taken to be buried, the Rabbi’s empty bed, surrounded by pillars of smoke, flew over the slope of Mount Meron and thus it was concluded that this was where the Rabbi chose to be buried, so he was.

A narrow pathway encircles the burial site and passes a cave with burial vaults inside. The burial vaults are carved in stone and well preserved and, according to tradition, Hillel and his disciples are buried inside.

The final anecdote relates to the fig tree standing at the entrance to the cave. You can see by the kerchiefs and strips of cloth tied to the tree that it has become a “wishing tree” for the people.

Directions

When arriving from Amiad junction, turn right onto Kvish 85 (Road 85), pass Halfata junction and turn right at Hananiya junction. The sign posts are very clear so you will find it easily.

Where to Stay

Stay in Amirim. Amirim village is in the heart of the Galilee and is close and approachable to many religious and historical attractions. We will be happy to host you at any time. We have no doubt that our zimmers will make your vacation a perfect experience.

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Around Amirim

Zimmers in Amirim

Amirim is situated in a nature reserve in one of the most beautiful locations in the Galilee with a panoramic view of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the hills of  the Galilee. The strategic location of Amirim allows easy access to many attractions, making Amirim a popular option for visitors and guests.

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Amirim guests will find a range of vegetarian-vegan restaurants and cafes and also breakfasts and chef meals brought directly to the zimmer, all of which offer the best of vegetarian-vegan cuisine. 

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Amirim for Body and spirit

באמירים תוכלו להנות ממרכזי ספא המציעים מגוון טיפולי גוף ונפש בכל סגנונות העיסוי הקיימים. באמירים גם, מגוון של מטפלים המתמחים בטיפולים ספציפיים. לאורך השנה מתקיימות באמירים הרצאות וסדנאות בנושאי בריאות, צמחונות וטבעונות.

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