Monday, February 20, 2012

The Holy Tomb Site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

For hundreds of years the holy tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai - Rashbi, was somewhat deserted. People would visit at certain auspicious times, but most of the year it remained abandoned, to the extent that the Arizal warned against going there alone. This changed with the advent of one of the 36 hidden tzadikim, the principle bearer of the Breslov tradition, Rabbi Yisroel Karduner. Rabbi Yisroel would spend the entire week at the holy tomb, subsisting on crumbs. Rabbi Yisroel would never enter the tomb with shoes, and even on the most cold and frigid winter days he would stand barefoot in awe and reverence as he poured out his heart to H"Y, bound to Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Nachman. Rabbi Yisroel would not enter the tomb without having ritually immersed in a mikva, and one Yom Kippur (a day that it is forbidden for all except the high priest, to immerse) when he was unable to immerse beforehand, Rabbi Yisroel remained outside the entire day, forfeiting the communal prayers.

From the time of this awesome self sacrifice till the present the holy tomb gains greater and greater popularity, B"H. Unfortunately, for many years a group of quasi fiends took control over the holy site, they made themselves a great business amassing fortunes of money from the faithful pilgrims. They provided a minimal amount of services, those that abetted their cause. When the huge philanthropist Safra offered to give some $20 million dollars to build and expand the site, with the one condition that there would be an accounting for the money, they refused it. A few years ago the Israeli government cracked down on some of this group, exposing their fraud, however others like SBC (who threw two pairs of my tefilin in the garbage, amongst the very many other atrocities he perpetuated) got off easy, and now work for the government at Rabbi Shimon. B"H at least now they are somewhat responsible to be honest and civil.

With the intervention and entrance of the Israeli government into the scene, the holy tomb has seen great improvement in many areas. On the other hand, it has also seen the hate and idiocy of which the government is so infamous.

The Israeli government wants to take greater control of this holy site, building it up as a central tourist attraction. To this end the government has already built up park areas all around the holy tomb, introduced an overmanned shift of guards to monitor the tomb, and all types of other odds and ends. The Hasidic and Haredi world is crying murder, not to let the government take control. They say that it is sacrilegious to have multitudes of tourists visit the site. This seems kind of a sacrilegious accusation, denying the true holiness and power of Rabbi Shimon. Perhaps they say that it is better for the tourists to be barred from visiting the Western Wall?! The Bible says explicitly that all the nations should and will come to visit the Temple Mount, obviously this is a very positive event. So certainly it should be a positive event for tourists, of all the nations and faiths, to visit Rabbi Shimon, who is considered greater than the temple. Do the hasidim and haredim not believe in the strength of Rabbi Shimon, God forbid?

The root of the problem is explained in the dictionary of the late master Kabalist Rabbi Ashlag, known as the Baal Hasulum, the name of his commentary on the Book of the Zohar of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (the controversial figure - Berg who opened the Kabala Center is a son in law of one of the main disciples of the Ashlag). Under the entry of "Shifcha Key Seerash Giveerta" (a maidservan taking over her mistress), Ashlag explains that the cause of the lengthy exile of the Jews is due to a disproportionate attention to the Kabbalah. In orthodox circles the Kabala is somewhat off limits, it is said that only someone who mastered the Talmud and achieved other such accomplishments is permitted to begin to study the Kabbalah. So almost all the attention of the observant Jews is on the legalistic rulings of the Torah, and the secrets of the Torah are not very sought after. Whereas the gentiles who seek to learn the inner qualities of just what it is that makes the Jews and Judaism so strong, enduring, and appealing, are not very concerned with the outer garments of the legal details, they concentrate on finding the secret of what makes it all tick. The Baal Hasulam asserts that this inequality is what enforces the exile.

So here we have one of the fathers of the Kabbala, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and B"H people are interested they are being drawn to visit to see and to taste from the true source, and the Hasidim and Haredim lack a figure and a message that is holy and special enough to give guidance and light, so they throw up a wall of darkness and resentment.


This is the same problem with world politics. The world knows that countries faced with threats much less than those that face Israel, do not hesitate to kill and torture. Yet the world looks expectantly to Israel, they believe in the Jewish people, they wish to see how a holy elevated personage deals with the problems that are so overcoming and overwhelming. Unfortunately, as they turn to Israel, Israel elects incompetent politicians, who are busy looking to see how they can appease the world. The world doesn't need to be appeased, they need to be shown true leadership, true wisdom and remedies. To say it bluntly, the world needs, the world is desperate for Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman! [to a great deal, R' Shlomo Carlbach preached this and did his best to rectify it].

Rabbi Nachman has the light. Rabbi Nachman will guide humanity into their transition to higher more noble existence. Help the world and help yourself with Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman!

Imagine it, having all the "profane" tourists streaming into the holy site, and seeing on the walls the holy teachings of Rabbainu: "It is a great deed to always be happy!", "There is no despair in the world", "Peace can only be achieved through happiness", "This world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not be afraid at all!" and so forth, and to be welcomed in to read and study more holy teachings and lessons... in no time this would have such a powerful effect, the world would be experience a revolution of freedom of moral, social, ecological, educational, development and advancement.

Only Rabbi Nachman can really answer and meet the bill, so let us all do our best and utmost to promote Na Nach Nachma Nachman MeUman!

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