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Tomb of Simeon the Just

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Tomb of Simeon the Just

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Basic Information

Location 31.791500°N 35.231050°E
Country Israel
City Jerusalem

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment yes
Handicap accessibility no
Website http://www.jerusalem.muni.il/jer_sys/picture/atarim/site_form_atar.asp?site_id=7170&pic_cat=1&icon_cat=5&york_cat=8
Geographical Coordinates 31.7915,35.23105


Summary

The Tomb of Simeon the Just or Simeon the Righteous is an ancient tomb in Jerusalem believed to be the burial place of Simeon the Just.


History and time period

The tomb is located in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood adjoining Sheikh Jarrah. According to a long-standing Jewish tradition, it is the tomb of Simeon the Just and his students. The first recorded mention of the site is by Jacob-the-Apostle, a student of Jehiel of Paris, writing in 1235 that near Jerusalem is the cave of Simeon the Just and his students. Charles Warren asserts that the tradition of the tomb dates back at least to 1537. For centuries after this, the cave tomb was only accessible by paying an admission fee to the Arab caretakers of the site; this was a common arrangement at Jewish and Christian (and Roman) sites in Jerusalem. In 1876, the Jewish community purchased the site and surrounding land for 15,000 francs. Under the guidance of Jerusalem's chief rabbi, Shmuel Salant, housing construction in the area around the tomb commenced in 1891. By 1948, twenty Jewish families were living in these homes, but the area then found itself in the very middle of a war zone; after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the property fell on the Jordanian side of the Green Line, and Palestinian families moved into the, by then abandoned, homes. During the Ottoman period, Wasif Jawhariyyeh mentions the site as the location of communal festivities known as the Yehudia, attended by Jewish, Christian, and Muslims in honor of Shimon the Just. While people flock to the tomb of Shimon bar Yochai on Lag Ba'omer to perform the Upsherin ceremony, the Tomb of Simeon the Just is used by many as an alternative location.


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