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7 Tombs of Tzaddikim to Visit in Israel

Published on Tuesday November 6th, 2018

Who are the Tzaddikim buried in central and southern Israel? What did they do during their lifetime and what are the Segulot associated with their graves after their death?
In the Center of Israel

1. Shimon Ben Yaakov

Location: Between Kfar Saba and the Arab village of Qalqilya. Go to the village of Tzofim, and after about 100 meters, turn right towards Efer. Then follow the signs towards Tzion. Near Kochav Yair on Highway 6, you will find the Tzaddik’s Tomb.

His origins: He was the second son of Yaakov Avinu and Leah. Shimon's name was chosen by his mother Leah when she said, "For Hashem listened to me ...". He was born on 28th of Tevet (and according to another version on the 21st of Tevet).

2. Rabban Gamliel

Location: Gan Sanhedrin, Hativat Givati ​​Street, Yavneh.

His origins: He was a Tana whose function was to preside over the Sanhedrin (great tribunal). He was named after the end of his father's mandate: Shimon ben Gamliel. At the outbreak of the revolt against the Romans, although he was part of the moderate camp, he was always pursued, because the Romans wanted to put Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai in his place as president of the Sanhedrin.

His name is mentioned repeatedly as a scholar of Torah and Halacha who rubbed shoulders with the greatest scholars of his generation: Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Akiva.

3. Yehuda Ben Yaakov

Location: Gan Atzmaut, Yehud.

His origins: He was the fourth son of Yaakov Avinu and Leah, brother and head of the tribes of Israel. He deserved the kingship after having publicly acknowledged the truth in the episode with Tamar, and the people of Israel are named after him, as "Yehudim" (Jews). He died in Egypt, and he was later buried in Israel.

4. Rabbi Abahu

Location: The district of the old city of Caesarea.

His origins: He was a Dayan (rabbinical judge) from the time of the Amoraim of Israel. He was certainly one of the greatest sages of his generation. He lived in Caesarea, which was then the capital under Roman rule. He was close to the Roman authorities and he often travelled across the country and abroad to act for the sake of his Jewish compatriots. He often had discussions with members of other religions. When he died, Rabbi Abahu was preceded by 13 rivers of persimmon and he was shown his share in the world to come. He was very surprised and asked, "Who is this all for?" He was told, "All this is for Rabbi Abahu". He replied, "All this for me when I did not learn enough".

5. Matityahu ben Yochanan the Kohen Gadol

Location: On the road to Tel Aviv, following the sign indicating the tombs of the Maccabees.

His origins: He was the father of the Hashmonaim dynasty. His zeal in the service of Hashem led to a revolt against the Greeks and Hellenists, during which he was able to breathe new life into the practice of the Mitzvot. He and his sons destroyed all the idols that were placed in the Beit Hamikdash, and they fought so that all the children could be circumcised following the terrible decrees of Antiochus.

South of Israel

1. Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira (Baba Sali)

Location: At the western entrance to the town of Netivot, next to the cemetery.

His origins: The Tzaddik Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira came from the prestigious Abuchatzeira family, a lineage of Rabbanim who performed many miracles. He was born on Rosh Hashanah in Morocco, to his parents Rabbi Massoud (zatsal) and his mother Aisha. From the day of his birth, his father knew that his son had a holy soul because his mother had no pains of pregnancy and childbirth. He even set up a group of Torah scholars to learn outside the door of his house to increase the holiness of his son. Many miracles were attributed to the Baba Sali but in his great humility, he concealed his strengths and his greatness.

2. Yona Hanavi

Location: Ashdod.

His origins: Yona Hanavi received a mission from Hashem to visit the city of Nineveh and inform the inhabitants of the imminent destruction of their city because of their bad behaviour. But Yona chose to evade his mission and decided to flee on a ship to Tarshish. Hashem then decided to send a storm that endangered all the occupants of the ship. Yona was chosen by lottery as the cause of the storm and was thrown overboard. Heaven, sent the Leviathan (a large fish) down to swallow Yona, and he spat him up sometime later onto dry land, and Yona was thus saved.

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