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What did Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai do in the cave for 13 years and how did he survive?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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Miraculously, a stream of water and carob tree appeared from which they sustained themselves. They lived a completely spiritual lifestyle, spending every waking moment in study. It is believed that he wrote the Zohar, the primary work of Kabbalah, during that time as well.

Source: Talmud, Shabbat 33b

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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
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.