The Charming Site of
Shammai's burial place is in the general vicinity of the tomb of Rabbi Shimon
bar Yochai and of Rabbi Hillel, in Meron. Travel on the main road from Tzfat to
Meron, but continue past the entrance to the Rashbi, going beyond a wide curve
in the road until you arrive at the first clearing on the right side of the road.
(If you would prefer to arrive here by iking from Tsfat to Meron, the left side
of the road at this point is where you would emerge from Wadi Amud). A large area
for parking and a sign in Hebrew saying, "Nahal Miron," will
indicate that you have arrived at the starting point of your adventure.
a relatively easy uphill walk of about 15 minutes, and begin on the clearly discernible
dirt road which leads to the ruin of a building with two windowless windows, which
will face you. To the immediate left is a path that has two overgrown bushes on
each side of it. This is the path to take. Do not continue on the path beyond
where there is a roof-like structure with large Hebrew writing on its roof. Keep
walking on the left-turn path. The path is gravel with loose stones so care should
be taken in walking.
The first site that you will see, as you arrive at
your destination, will be the top of Rabbi Shammai's tomb. Presumably, this area
was the site of a small village in times past. There is indication of what looks
like the remains of an olive press. You can find the ruins of an ancient synagogue
by standing with your right side to Rabbi Shammai and then walking left until
you get to an opening in a wire fence. You will assuredly be excited to come upon
this wonderful find with its unexpected and lovely view of Tsfat and its surroundings.
to Rabbi Shammai's site. To its right is a trail marker indicating a path. The
path goes up the mountain. After about 15 or 20 minutes, you will arrive at a
spot called the "Kisei shel Eliahu Ha Navi" -- "The throne
of Elijah the Prophet." You will know when you will have arrived because
the spot looks like a mini-amphitheater, with Eliahu's flat, stone seat in the
middle. This will take you by surprise! Be aware of the trail markers leading
you to this spot so that you can follow them when descending the mountain.
as well as Hillel, were called the "Avot HaOlam" -- "the
Patriarchs of the World." It was they and their way of learning and teaching
that established the major schools of Torah study and Torah interpretation. They
were good friends. Their many recorded differences of opinion were for the sake
of Heaven, the Sages say, and not for personal or argument's sake.
easily spend hours at this special site, praying, studying Torah, picnicking,
daydreaming and gazing at the scenery that includes Tsfat in the distance.
moved to Tzfat from Northern California fifteen years ago. She
spends much of her time driving visitors to the many holy sites in the Tsfat area.