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Who was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai lived about 1800 years ago in the land of Israel, which was then under Roman rule. He was a student of Rabbi Akiba whom he admired and respected immensely. When Rabbi Akiba was imprisoned by the Roman authorities, Rabbi Shimon followed him and continued studying with him (Pesachim 112a).

Rabbi Akiba was gruesomely murdered by the Romans before having the chance to pass on rabbinic ordination to a number of his students, including Rabbi Shimon. These students later received ordination from Rabbi Judah son of Bava, who was then killed by the Romans as well.

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai lived about 1900 years ago in the land of Israel...a studend of Rabbi Akiba...he is one of the most oft-quoted sages in the Mishnha, and Jewish law often follows his opinion...he is the author of the Zohar, the primary work of Kabbalah...
Rabbi Shimon once spoke out against the Romans and was forced to go into hiding. He hid in a cave with his son Rabbi Elazar for 13 years until he was no longer being hunted by the Romans.

He is one of the most oft-quoted sages in the Mishnah, and Jewish law often follows his opinion. In addition, he was known for his proficiency in the realm of the miraculous and the mystical. He is the author of the Zohar, the primary work of Kabbalah. The day of his passing is celebrated by all Jews (as per his instruction), especially in the city of Miron, where he is buried.

See also "Why did Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai stay in a cave for 13 years?"


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Torah » Mishnah and Talmud
Torah » Kabbalah » About

Zohar
The most basic work of Jewish mysticism. Authored by Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in the 2nd century.
Kabbalah
Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
Judah
1. The fourth son of Jacob and Leah. He was blessed by Jacob to be the leader of the tribes. Consequently, the Davidic royal dynasty is from the tribe of Judah. 2. The southern part of Israel which was occupied by the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and always remained under the reign of the kings from the tribe of Judah.
Mishnah
First written rendition of the Oral Law which G-d spoke to Moses. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishna in the 2nd century lest the Oral law be forgotten due to the hardships of the Jewish exiles.