The Ari’Zal

March 22nd 2011

The Ari’s tomb and mikvah memorialize Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-1572), who is known as the Ari (means “lion” in Hebrew). The Ari greatly influenced Kabbalah in Safed, when he lived there for the years prior to his death. The Ari’s mikvah, where the Ari was washed before burial, is situated around a natural spring near the cemetery’s entrance. Tradition says that during the preparation for his burial, the Ari miraculously rose to immerse himself in the mikvah. The Ari’s tomb, which is about 100 yards away, stands out from the surrounding grave stones as it is taller and has an eternal flame which shines through a glass portion of the tomb. Rabbi Moshe Luria, the Ari’s son, is buried nearby. Within this tomb, a tree grows and visitors leave prayer notes in plastic bags hanging from the tree. On the Ari’s death date, an extravagant ceremony takes place at his tomb.