Reuven Piatigorsky of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

We have all heard the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the great teacher of the period of preparation of the Mishnah (the first codified record of the Oral Torah, Rabbi Yehuda Implemented Anasi). Anyone who studies the Mishnah and the Talmud, is familiar with its many statements on almost all issues of Jewish law, is a sample on behalf of Rabbi Shimon (without adding "Bar Yochai").

It is known that Rabbi Shimon was one of the most outstanding students of Rabbi Akiva, under whose leadership the 13 years studied in Yeshiva Bnei Brak. His studies did not cease even after the Romans threw Rabbi Akiva in prison for violation of the prohibition to teach Torah. Faithful disciple every night to come to the prison building and located in the casemates of the window, where his teacher was sitting.

After the execution of teacher Rabbi Shimon hated the Romans and once spoke disparagingly of their rule, stating that in all they pursue only their wicked goals. After the denunciation of Rabbi Shimon, who was sentenced to death by the Roman Court, he was forced to flee. For many years he spent in the cave, he engaged exclusively in Torah study. It is said that, coming out of the cave, he saw farmers fields, and as the first duty of the Jews said to be occupied by the Torah, the extraordinarily angry. Immediately a voice came from heaven, commanded him to return to the shelter, where he spent another year until it learned indulgent treat ordinary people. More telling what Rabbi Shimon made the Romans the abolition of cruel decrees against Judaism - when he was able to extract the daughter of the emperor from severe mental illness.

Rabbi Shimon is the author of the famous commentary on the Torah called the Zohar, the most authoritative book on Kabbalah. He died on 18 Iyar, on Lag B'Omer, 33 days after Passover. Dying, punished students celebrate the anniversary of his death is not mourning, and with tears, and songs and fun. Every year, dozens of pilgrims visit this day his grave on Mount Meron.