In his letter concerning the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon
Bar Yochai, the Shloh Hakodesh writes: " . . . for many
miracles have taken place there." Numerous are the
cases of people who have been helped extraordinarily in
the zchus of the Tana. Here are a select
Old Residents of Tel Aviv all knew him. Much as he
tried to hide his greatness, R' Simchale Mond was famed
for his geonus in Torah and his sterling
character. Likewise, all were familiar with the annual
pilgrimage of R' Simchale to Meron on Lag BaOmer,
joining the throngs who poured out their hearts at the
holy gravesite. Never would R' Simchale miss the trip.
He expended every effort to be there on Lag BaOmer,
come what may.
Even when he was well over ninety years old, he refused
to compromise and as usual made the arduous journey to
"Why doesn't R' Simchale wait one or two days until the
traffic and crowds have left Meron. Wouldn't it be so
much easer?" he was asked that year. In his typically
humble way, R' Simchale replied with a moshol.
When the rich philanthropist sits at home the year
round receiving the poor and hearing their requests for
donations, each one is questioned as to his status and
conditions and is then given according to the judgment
of the gvir. However, on the day of his
grandchild's wedding, when the rich man is overcome
with joy and throws out sums of money right and left,
then no questions are asked; everyone receives a
generous amount in honor of the joyous occasion.
"So too," continued R' Simchale, "when Hashem gives us
favors in the merit of the tzaddik all year
round, there are strict investigations as to who is the
petitioner and what are his merits — `Un az men
fregt is bitter' (and if there are questions asked,
then it's bad for us), for not always are we fitting to
receive Hashem's blessing. However, on the Yom
Hillulah of R' Shimon, a day on which he begged that
Jews rejoice, out of pure gladness, Hashem asks no
questions and all requests are fulfilled."
The mekubal HaRav Osher Zelig Margolis,
zt"l, relates two sagas to which he was witness.
In the days of the holy mekubal HaRav Chaim Shaul
Hacohen Dwek, zt"l, a letter was sent to the
tzaddik, from Tunis, begging him to intercede on
their behalf in Heaven since the ruling Pasha was
causing the Yidden untold misery.
It was the Shabbos before Selichos and R' Chaim
Shaul Hacohen traveled with a group of twenty of his
talmidim to stay for five days in Meron. In
accordance with Meron tradition, they danced
Hakofos around the grave of R' Shimon with their
Arba Minim of the previous year and then
proceeded to daven lengthy tefillos on
behalf of their brethren in Tunis.
Upon their arrival home in Yerushalayim, the group
discovered that a telegram from Tunis had preceded
them, revealing that the Pasha died a sudden death,
with no apparent cause.
The second story concerned Lag BaOmer in the year 5683
(1923) which fell on a Friday.
Most of the crowds who had made the pilgrimage to the
grave of R' Shimon had made plans to stay over Shabbos
where the exalted atmosphere would continue through the
Shabbos tefillos, seudas and zemiros.
Shabbos morning after the musaf prayers, the
ohel was suddenly filled with frightened, broken
A 3-year-old Sephardic boy who had been brought to
Meron to celebrate his "chalaka" had been struck
with cholera and was lying comatose in one of the rooms
above the holy tziyun. The doctors that were
hurriedly brought from Tzfas nearby immediately
quarantined the whole gravesite in order to prevent the
spread of the disease, chas vesholom.
After a while, police came and cordoned off the whole
courtyard and surrounding area. Above all the
commotion, the loud weeping of the mother of the boy
could be clearly heard. The heart-rending cries of a
mother who had brought her only son to Meron to
celebrate his third birthday and the cutting of his
hair, only to discover that she would not be returning
home with a live child.
"We were all terribly anxious and worried, and instead
of making Kiddush, we began to say
Tehillim. Suddenly, amidst the panic, confusion
and heartfelt tefillos resounding all over, the
woman took hold of her almost lifeless son and carried
him down to the inner cave, the me'oroh, where
she began to entreat and cry: Shimon Hatzaddik! Oi
Rabbi Shimon Hatzaddik. It was in your merit that my
first son was born. I brought him now after three years
to celebrate with you his haircutting with customary
singing and joyful dancing. How can I return home
shamefaced without my child, I'm simply unable!"
The woman finished her pleading with a short
techinah, "Please Ribono Shel Olom, I place
my son in Your hands. Have pity and return him to me
healthy in the zchus of R' Shimon Bar Yochai in
whose honor I brought him here and I will sanctify Your
Name and that of your servant, Adoneinu Bar
Yochai in the world." Thus saying, she left the
me'oroh, leaving her dear son sealed off from
Following this, we all continued fervently
davening that Hashem indeed have mercy on this
woman and her son.
After a few minutes, a childish voice was heard from
within the me'oroh, "Ima! Ima — I'm thirsty!
Please Ima bring me a drink."
Incredulously, the people hurried to open the doors and
to our immense surprise and joy we saw the child
standing by the door asking to drink.
He was immediately taken upstairs to one of the rooms
on the roof and closely watched. When the doctors saw
that his recovery was confirmed, they canceled the
quarantine and closure and allowed the crowds back into
the tziyun. Hundreds went up to the roof to see
with their own eyes the miracle boy who had been saved
in the merit of R' Shimon.
Every Lag BaOmer the Nassoder Rov used to relate the
Many years ago the custom was to auction the honor of
hadlakah, lighting the fire over the tziyun
of R' Shimon on the night of Lag BaOmer, to the highest
One year a certain wealthy individual won the honor of
hadlakah with a hefty sum. Immediately following
the hadlakah, the crowd broke out into joyous
singing and dancing "Bar Yochai Nimshachta
Ashrecha." In the ensuing pushing and jostling, the
wealthy man was pushed to the side and before he could
catch his balance, he had fallen from the roof of the
me'oroh to the ground below.
No one heard his weak cries for help and he lay there a
while until one of the celebrants noticed him. The
stranger carried him up to a room and then drove out to
Tzfas to get a doctor's help, since the tiny town of
Meron had no medical personnel.
It was no easy job to find a doctor who would agree to
come late at night to Meron, but after much pleading
and cajoling, one young medic agreed to make the trip.
Arriving at the gravesite of R' Shimon, the young man
took the doctor up to the room where he had helped the
injured patient to lie down. To his astonishment, the
room was empty. No sign of an injured man around.
Anxiously, they began searching and enquiring. Already
they were both tormented with regret at having taken so
long to get there. Perhaps the man's condition had
worsened and he was no longer — the thought tortured
them as they searched and asked.
As they approached yet another circle of dancers, the
man rubbed his eyes. Could he be dreaming? There, as
large as life, was his wounded "patient," dancing and
singing as though nothing had happened.
Noticing his "savior," the rich man grasped his hand,
drawing him into the circle as he explained:
"As I lay there writhing in pain, I saw you going to
call for help and in agony I passed out and fell
asleep. I saw in my dream Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who
said to me, `When you bought the zchus to light
the fire, you caused me such great joy. Now it is my
turn to return to you that joy and heal you.'
"I awoke and tried to get off the bed, and Boruch
Hashem — as you can see, I am totally healthy!"