This tiny village, located five kilometers west of Tzfat on the road to Haifa, is the final resting place of Rebbe Shimon bar Yohai, redactor of the Zohar. The same sages who discussed the oral law and argued over the fine points of halacha (Jewish law) also  discussed the secrets of the Torah. While the discussions regarding the oral law were recorded in the Talmud, the discussions regarding the secrets of the Torah were recorded in the Zohar. Rebbe Shimon, who learned Kabbalah from Rebbe Akiva, was the leader of this holy bunch when it came to the secrets of the Torah, and every year, usually in May, (on lag b'omer, thirty three days after Pesach), as many as a quarter of a million Jews congregate around his tomb and commemorate his hilula, or anniversary of his death. The celebrations go on all night with bonfires and readings from the Zohar, which became the seminal work of Kabbalah, upon which the later work of the Ari z'l is based. From the works of the Ari, the Zohar was also later incorporated into Chassidic literature, and especially into the chassidut of Chabad. The most important activity of this memorial day, however, is the prayers at the tomb of the tzadik. Such prayers are said to be especially efficacious for all those who request his intercession on their behalf. The same prayers are effective all year 'round, however, and Meron is always one of the main destinations for those who wish to pour their heart out at the tomb of a tzadik.

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