Join us on a tour of Pekiin, the possible location of the cave where Rabi Shimon bar Yochai and his son Elazar hid from the Romans
By Yitzchok Cohen
In honor of the upcoming celebration of the yahrtzeit of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai on Lag BaOmer, we contacted veteran tour guide Reb Asher Chazan, who has been showing Jewish tourists the holy sites of Eretz Yisrael for many years. Among the numerous fascinating places to which he takes tourists is the remote northern village of Pekiin.
Pekiin is a quaint village tucked into a corner of the Galilee Mountains in northern Israel. According to many sources, the cave where Rabi Shimon bar Yochai and his son Elazar stayed for thirteen years while hiding from the Romans is located there. In fact, tourists are shown an ancient, half-collapsed cave that has a carob tree next to its entrance. This spot is widely accepted as the Rashbi’s hideout, where a carob tree miraculously sprouted overnight and sustained the holy tanna and his son for thirteen years. A stream of water is located nearby that correlates with our Sages’ account of the miraculous stream from which they quenched their thirst.
Join us for a walk along the paths of Pekiin’s history and let’s hear the various opinions concerning Rashbi’s cave. This compilation is based on a conversation with Reb Asher Chazan and several historical sources.
The Cave of Fame
The Midrash tells us that during Bar Kochba’s uprising, Rabi Shimon bar Yochai and his son Elazar fled from the Romans and hid for thirteen years in a cave. There they delved into the mystical depths of Torah and reached awesome heights of holiness. Where, we wanted to know, is that cave? Read the rest of this entry