The Pilgrimage to Meron

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The Pilgrimage to Meron:

The custom of those in Eretz Yisrael is to visit the Kever of the Rashbi on Lag BaOmer.[1] By the Kever one is to rejoice with great jubilance.[2] This is based on an old custom dating thousands of years, to visit the gravesite of a Tzaddik on the day of his passing.[3] This custom was followed by the Arizal, who went with his wife and children to Meron and remained there for three days. He had also once gone there a previous year to perform the Upsherinish of his son in Meron. This custom is rooted in holiness.[4] Thus, those who are able to do so, are to travel to Meron on Lag BaOmer.[5] The community leaders are to arrange transportation from their area to Meron.[6] 

The spiritual preparation for the visit:[7] One must be extremely careful to act appropriately while visiting Rebbe Shimon, and not perform any frivolity matters while there, not to mention matters of sin, Heaven Forefend. This is in contrast to that which we see done today in which people have frivolous parties at the site of the Tzaddik, and certainly this causes the soul of the Tzaddik to flee and be elevated to the upper worlds. If however the visitors come properly spiritually prepared, after repentance, then certainly the Tzaddik partakes in one’s visit and hears his prayers.    



Should Yeshiva Bochrim travel to Meron for Lag BaOmer?

It is proper for the Yeshivos to allow the students to travel to Meron on Lag BaOmer.[8] Nevertheless, it is not necessary for the entire Yeshiva, and its teachers, to go.[9]


Those who cannot make it to Meron:[10]

Those who are unable to make it to Meron should visit the gravesite of other Tzaddikim, as by the Tziyon of a Tzaddik, all other Tzaddikim are also found, including Rashbi. I therefore advise that those found near the Ohel of the Rebbe Rayatz are to visit the Ohel on Lag BaOmer, as the Rashbi is also found there. 


May one answer Amen, Kaddish, and Kedusha through a Telephone, radio, and live video/audio internet hookup?[11]

Some Poskim[12] rule one is not to answer Amen or Kedusha in such circumstances.[13] Other Poskim[14] rule one is to answer Amen and for Kaddish/Kedusha.[15] Practically, one may be lenient in this matter.[16]



Chai Rotel:[17]

It is an old Segula for the merit of having children to donate Chai Rotel [ח”י רוטל] of beverage to be distributed on Lag BaOmer by the Rashbi in Meron. The term Rotel is a measurement of liquid that equals three liters. Hence 18 Rotel is a total of 54 liters of liquid.


The joy:[18]

The joy on Lag Baomer in Meron completely breaks all bounds of nature.


Revelations of Rebbe Shimon in Meron:[19]

When the Arizal traveled to Meron, he would see physical revelations of Rashbi, and on one occasion danced with him in the circle. In fact, the righteousness of the Shamash, Rav Eliezer Azkari, was revealed due to this dance. Rav Eliezer Azkari was the Shamash of a local Tzefas Beis Midrash, and was not known to be a Torah scholar. One year during the Lag Baomer celebration in Meron he was invited into the circle to dance with the Arizal and an elderly looking man of shining countenance. After the dance, the students of the Arizal asked as to the identity of the radiant old man, and questioned why the Arizal agreed to dance with the simple Shamash. The Arizal replied that the man was Rashbi. They then discovered the secret righteousness of this Shamash who was handpicked by Rashbi to dance with him.


Rebbe Shimon performs Techiyas Hameisim:[20]

In the year 1923 Lag Baomer fell on Friday, and the majority of the pilgrims who arrived for Lag Baomer remained also for Shabbos. On Shabbos morning, after Musaf, a sudden cry was heard from the women’s section of the Tziyon. A small boy, an only child, who was brought by his mother for Chalaka on Lag Baomer, had passed away due to a certain disease. The British authorities present commanded that all those in the vicinity be segregated for a number of days to prevent an epidemic. There was absolute panic in the crowd, and people started to flee. The police locked the gates of the Tziyon, not allowing anyone else to escape. The mother went ahead and took her lifeless child down to the Kever of the Rashbi, placed him on the ground next to the Kever and began crying and pleading for a miracle from Rashbi and that he revive the child. Everyone exited the room and closed the doors, leaving the child alone with Rashbi. After several minutes, they suddenly hear a shout from the room of a little boy calling for his mother. They opened the door and low and behold there stood the child asking for his mother to give him a drink. Everybody was shocked, including the British doctors present who just witnessed resurrection.



[1] Ateres Zekeinim 493 in name of Peri Eitz Chaim Sefiras HaOmer 7 “In today’s times people go visit the Kever of the Rashbi and his son Elazar in Meron on Lag BaOmer.”; Letter of Rav Ovadia Bartenura printed in Darkei Tziyon “The 18th of Iyar, the day of his passing, people come from all areas to Meron”; Mishnas Chassidim Iyar 1:6 “On Lag BaOmer it is a Mitzvah for those who live in Eretz Yisrael to visit the Rashbi and rejoice there greatly”; Siddur Reb Shabsi [student of Baal Shem Tov] Seder Sefiras Haomer “It is a Mitzvah to go up to the Kever of Rashbi on Lag BaOmer”; Story of Rav Avraham Halevi, recorded in Ateres Zekeinim 493

[2] Mishnas Chassidim ibid

[3] Rashi Yevamos 122a

[4] Peri Eitz Chaim ibid

[5] Igros Kodesh 13:46

[6] Igros Kodesh 13:50

[7] Rav Margolias [author of Midos Rashbi] brought in Taamei HaMinhagim p. 259

[8] Igros Kodesh 15:172

[9] Igros Kodesh 11:61

[10] Toras Menachem 1:68

[11] The Halachic issues regarding this question are 1) Is this considered an Amen Yesoma? [Admur 124:11] 2) Must one suspect that there are feces interfering between the answerer and the person saying the blessing? [Admur 55:22]

[12] Piskeiy Teshuvah 167; Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo 9:1; Moadim Uzmanim 6:105; Mishpitei Uziel 1:5 [brought in Igros Kodesh 13:221as opinion of Sefaradim]; Beir Moshe 3:166-168; See Mishneh Sachir 30; Tzitz Eliezer 20:19; Ratz Katzevi 2:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 56:3

[13] The reason: Being that there may be feces or idols that intervene between him and the area that the blessing or Minyan is taking place. [See Admur 55:22; Koveitz Ohalei Sheim 5:104] Alternatively, this is because it is defined as an Amen Yesoma since the person is not in the same room as the person saying the blessing. [Piskeiy Teshuvah ibid; Minchas Shlomo ibid; Moadim Uzmanim ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun Gadol as to why being in a different area would make it an Amen Yesoma, contrary to the explicit ruling in Admur 55:22 based on the Gemara and Poskim

[14] Minchas Elazar 2:72; Igros Moshe 2:108; 4:91; Yechaveh Daas 2:68; See Igros Kodesh 13:179 and 13:221 and Likkutei Sichos 21:497 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 1:81] that the Ashkenazim [i.e. Minchas Elazar of Hungary] are lenient in this, thus implying that the Rebbe rules like the opinion.

[15] The reason: This is permitted as a) There is no need to be in the same room as a person in order to answer Amen, [Admur 55:22] Now, although most certainly there are feces or idol worship in-between, nevertheless we are lenient being that the phone wires that carry the voice bypass the feces and idols. This is in addition to that the wires are in the air, higher than ten Tefachim and is thus considered a different Reshus. [Minchas Elazar ibid; See Admur 345:17]b) There is no need to hear the actual voice of the person saying the blessing so long as one knows what blessing he is answering for. [Admur 124:11]

[16] So seems to be the leaning opinion of the Rebbe ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 56:3 that one may be lenient regarding Amen of a blessing [however not obligatory] however not regarding Kaddish and Kedusha

[17] Letter of previous Rebbe of Bobuv, brought in Taamei Haminhagim p. 263, that so is the tradition in Eretz Yisrael

[18] Bnei Yissaschar 3:3

[19] Told by the Munkatcher Rebbe [Chaim Eliezer Shapiro] in name of the Rav of Shinava, who heard it from a Tzfas resident, brought in Taamei Haminhagim p. 260

[20] Hilula Derashbi 9 [of Rav Margolias]; Taamei Haminhagim p. 263

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