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praying by kever grave of Tzaddik

Rabbi Ari ShvatIyyar 9, 5778
Question
What is the reason people go to Meron and pray by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochei kever at his yarzchiet? Should I also submit a little donation? I love how Judaism has soo many interesting things. It was much power and strength to it. Baruch Hashem Judaism gives me much hope.
Answer
Great to hear that you are “connecting” with Jewish traditions and mitzvot and that they strengthen your hope! The Talmud tells us that there is an ancient custom, dating back to the time of Moshe, that Calev went to pray by the graves of our forefathers in Chevron (Sotah 34b). The reason is that we ask God to please answer our prayers, even if we don’t deserve it, but for the sake this tsaddik (righteous person), our great-great-great…. grandfather! Accordingly Jews have always gone to pray also by the graves of our matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem, King David in Jerusalem, R. Meir Ba’al HaNess in Tiberias, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, etc. often on their yahrtzeit, but really any time it works out for you to go there. If you can’t make it, it’s possible to send a donation to the yeshiva or respective prayer site, and ask them to please pray for you there. It's worth noting that the famed R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, use to daven at the military cemetery in Mt. Herzl, explaining that those selfless Israeli soldiers, who gave their lives for the sake and continuity of Israel, are the holiest of holies! May Hashem answer all of your prayers and give hope and salvation to all of Israel for the sake of all our holy ancestors and predecessors!
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